Roasted beet & shaved fennel salad $14
Bright, crunchy haricots verts combined with thin shavings of crisp fennel and small, delicate roasted beets. Muddled with chunks of pistachio and slices of spicy serrano pepper. Dressed in a light and creamy tonnato sauce.
Little gem and sweet corn salad $15
A friend and I described this dish as a tasty hybrid of a classic cesar salad and good ol’ Southern corn. Big, crunchy leaves of little gem lettuce, mixed with smooth ricotta salata, fluffy cornbread and covered with shavings of Grana cheese. Served with an unusual and interesting crème fraîche –chili dressing. Personally, I found this dish overwhelmingly heavy but both my dining companion and my friend enjoyed it.
Ricotta gnocchi $23
This was one of the daily specials when we dined at Sorella. The gnocchi were absolutely perfect; small doughy balls, oozing with rich, creamy ricotta. Each perfectly sized piece bursting with gooey cheese and smooth flavors. Served with slivers of tender braised pork, rich slow roasted tomatoes and diced Caselvetrano olives (incidentally, the folks at Frankies 457 are also fans of these olives). Garnished with a generous serving of Grana Padano cheese.
A pleasant portion of hearty homemade risotto. The pasta was al dente (perhaps a bit too much so for my dining companion), mixed with intense porcini mushrooms and salty guanciale, which is an unsmoked Italian bacon, often prepared with pig’s cheeks of jowl. Smothered with delicious pecorino oro antico cheese.
To finish, we opted for three scoops of Sorella’s incredible-sounding gelati.
- Chunky Sorella: Salted caramel gelato flecked with chocolate-covered pretzels and punctuated with an intense fudge swirl. Definitely our favorite of the three.
- Bananimal: Banana gelato muddled with caramel-covered animal crackers and a sweet caramel swirl.
- Buttercrunch: Brown sugar gelato with buttercrunch toffee and a smooth milk chocolate ganache. This was our least favorite option, as we found the buttercrunch ice cream a bit bland.
While I’d been meaning to eat at Sorella for sometime, I pushed it to the top of my list on a recommendation from a friend. To be totally honest, I’m very glad I did. Push past the discreet looking door on Allen street to first enter into a bar space with high tables and then into a larger dining room. The space is simple but warm, with thick wooden tables, comfortable felt-covered chairs and small tea lights dotted around the restaurant. The servers, who are chatty and knowledgeable, work with a refreshing enthusiasm, proudly showing their own appreciation of the food available.
As for the cuisine, chef Emma Hearst and her partner Sarah Krathen have drawn on their experiences in Piedmont, Italy to create an elegant and authentic menu full of tasty, cheesy treats. We really did enjoy all of our savory dishes, marveling at the jovial flavors. Where Sorella really disappoints, however, is in the dessert department. All of the dishes available sound delicious but sadly overpromise. While they aren’t pictured, we had a ‘bicerin’ (a pot de crème of sorts, with espresso fudge and chocolate pudding garnished with soft whipped cream) and a tartelette (a small tart with almond cream, marinated cherries and a scoop of cherry-cream gelato). Both of these were pretty bland.
With that in mind, definitely head to Sorella to check out the awesome savory dishes but be sure to skip dessert. You won’t regret it!
95 Allen St.