After the streets were cleaned and the rainbow glitter was combed out of our hair, New York City closed out Pride month with a lavish dinner at MICHELIN Guide recommended spot SONA. The Indian boîte is co-owned by hospitality guru David Rabin and restauranteur Maneesh Goyal. With Goyal helming the day-to-day operations, SONA has become the spot to celebrate individuality with their weekly drag brunches and all-year events highlighting the culture and cuisine of Southeast Asia. However, this week, it was all about Pride. Along with New York City Tourism + Conventions and OpenTable, SONA's private dining room, Mimi's, was transformed into a powerful roundtable of LGBTQIA+ leaders.
As New York City Tourism president and CEO Fred Dixon welcomed guests including Bon Appétit contributor Chala June, Senior Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Whitney Museum Scott Rothkopf, and Harlem Pride historian John Reddick, an overwhelming sense of togetherness permeated the space. As bites and nibbles including techa paneer tikka, shrimp koliwada, and avocado padi chaat were passed between guests, the conversation focused on the need to do more and for the leaders present to use their platforms to raise awareness about the problems still facing the LGBTQIA+ community.
However, once the champagne, cocktails, and wine flowed so did the conversation about the incredible work that NYC Pride Executive Director Sandra Perez and her team executed over the weekend. Joining the discussion were HAGS NYC's sommelier Julianny Gómez, The Purple Tongue's owner and beverage director Otis Banks, and Austin Allan, owner of Sugar Wood, a sex-positive bakery in Soho.
And while Pride might only come once a year, it was clear from the evening, that the spirit, energy, and tenacity of the LGBTQIA+ community is present the other 364 days of the year.
Hero image: Photo courtesy of Sona
All photos courtesy of Sona