after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Sotto: no frills, just food

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t says:  There’s a tiny restaurant that opened up on 24th Street right next to the Walnut St bridge.  We’ve been watching the renovations for some time, now, hoping that something delicious was going to move in.  What was bizarre, though, is that the blogosphere didn’t report any new restaurant going up in that location, leading us to believe that it was going to be a front of some sort.

When we saw it was open, we decided it was time to visit.  Fortunately, we then saw this post, suggesting that the place was going to be a real restaurant, and not a vital piece of an organized crime syndicate.  That’s good.

October 2012, Thursday Dinner, Party of 2.  It was astonishingly empty when we got there, but picked up by the time we left.  We sat by ourselves, and the servers were very attentive (we were the only ones there in the beginning, so the moment we stirred, they were all over us).  But they were polite and we liked the enthusiasm.

g and I got down to business:

saute of broccoli rabe

The rabe was wonderfully-textured, with just the right amount of bitter and spice.  This is how g makes broccoli rabe – it’s simple and delicious.  We would come to find that this was going to be a recurring theme:

dittelini and chicken

pasta and seafood

We went for pastas (we’re predictable like that).  Both dishes featured perfectly-textured pasta with just the right amount of bite.  The sauces were insanely simple.  The added meats/seafood/veggies were tastefully done.  But in actuality, nothing was at all that “deeply flavored” … for example, these pastas are not Melograno-tasty, and they’re not going to knock-your-socks-off.  Rather, these were bowls of pasta that some Italian grandmother would make and the younger generations strive to emulate.  They did fill us up (the servings are large – don’t let the ridiculously-super-XXXL bowls above throw you) and completely disarmed us – this was comfort pasta, seemingly designed to lull you into a state of relaxation that brings to close an otherwise crazy day.  With no thought required to eat this food (“simple” is good, right?) our conversations ran wild, from stories of growing up in South Jersey, to lost stethoscopes, to who-we-hoped-would-date-whom.  And before we knew it, we were lingering over the last few drops of wine in our glass, realizing it was time to go to our actual home. Well – we did have some dessert in there, too:

tiramisu like an Italian grandmother/aunt would make it

Nice job Sotto.  You’re not fancy or frilly.  You’re not pushing boundaries.  But you are making solid pasta at reasonable prices within walking distance from our home.  We’ll be back on those weekdays when we roll in the door, are too tired to cook, and are too impatient to wait for delivery … which is more often that one would think …

 

EDIT:  Boom.  Within 2 weeks of our last visit, g and I were back at Sotto for some cheap, yummy pasta.  This time we did the bolognese and the matriciana.  Wow.  They were superb.  I mean I’m almost about to take back that “not pushing boundaries” thing, because I’m going to go out on a limb and just say it: Sotto’s “matriciana” is as good as Melograno’s “amatriciana”.  Wonderful!  The bolognese didn’t quite have the finesse of Melogran’s wild boar bologenese (Sotto uses ground meat and a more “tomato-y” sauce), but g was still very satisfied.  We’ll be back for sure …

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Written by afterdinnersneeze

25 October 2012 at 5:31pm

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