Our waiter asked about our day, expressed sympathy for the amount of homework we had and then announced the dinner specials. At that moment, it became clear that Sunny Boy, a new restaurant in Washington Square, is relaxed enough for the average high school student.
From the exposed metal walls to the homestyle mac and cheese and meatballs, Sunny Boy aims for a comforting yet trendy vibe and, in our opinion, it succeeds.
After we were seated outdoors in attractive metal seats, the waiter filled our mismatched Mason jars and intricately patterned glasses with water. The atmosphere was relaxed, with a quiet hum of chatter present throughout the small seating area under the awning of the restaurant.
The first dish we ordered, the mac ’n cheese ($6), arrived relatively quickly. It was pleasantly light and was served with colorful rigatoni and fresh white cheese. While it was labeled as a side, the portion was generous, and not greasy or overly dense. For its price, the pasta was high quality and definitely worth ordering.
Another side dish we ordered were the meatballs ($6), which were smothered with a very flavorful thin marinara sauce. While meatballs are typically regarded as traditional Italian fare, the combination of herbs blended into the meat added a twist to the classic recipe. Their toughness made it harder to cut them effectively, yet they were too big to be eaten in one bite. Nonetheless, their parmesan sprinkling made them addictive, and we ended up finishing them off quickly.
Our first main course was typical brunch fare, which is served all day at Sunny Boy. The classic favorite of biscuits & gravy ($12) arrived piping hot and was much larger than we had expected. The biscuits were perfectly browned with a salty,tender interior. On the other hand, the accompanying sausage-filled gravy was flavorless, monochromatic and an unappetizing shade of grey. The dish redeemed itself with its two runny over easy eggs that could be absorbed with the biscuit, creating a more flavorful bite.
The flatbread pizza ($11), one of the night’s specials, was an interesting combination of duck, blue cheese, apple sauce and assorted green sprouts. It was served cold, and while the combination of ingredients was certainly unusual, the pizza’s flavors blended surprisingly well together.
However, the fries ($4) that we ordered to accompany the meal were uninspiring and mediocre at best. While the skin was still attached and they appeared to have been prepared fresh that day, the fries were limp and soggy. Besides the copious amounts of pepper, they had very little taste to them at all.
At the end of the meal, we were all too full to even consider ordering dessert. When the check came, along with our friendly and talkative waiter, we agreed that while the food was on the pricier side, eating there was still worthwhile.
In the Washington Square neighborhood, standing out for excellent service and a unique menu is tricky, considering the many other American-style eateries nearby. For a new restaurant that is still shaping its menu and image, Sunny Boy does a pretty good job.