There’s something in the air at Sotto. It could be the hint of wood smoke from the immense, growling wood-fired oven in the kitchen. It could have something to do with the effortless cool that the space exudes. Who knows. But it’s alluring. The food here takes Southern Italy as its inspiration, meaning that diners get treated to a menu stuffed with Neapolitan-style pizzas and all manner of Mediterranean treats, from homemade pasta dishes festooned with squash blossom, spring onion, sun gold tomatoes, and blue crab, to Cannoli Siciliani (with ricotta, orange marmalade, pistachios, and chocolate).
As good as the main dishes are, the chefs excel in the arena of antipasto. You can always trust a restaurant that can wow a diner with simple, homemade bread, after all. And Sotto’s, made in the wood oven and smeared with your choice of olive oil, lardo, burrato or anchovy, garlic butter, is delicious. But the honey-glazed pork belly, charred broccolini, and chickpea panelle are also serious contenders.
If you can tear your eyes from the menu long enough to notice, you’ll see that the interiors at Sotto feature chunky wooden tables and dark, curvaceous chairs. Not to mention the rows of gleaming bottles behind the attention-grabbing bar, promising well-mixed cocktails, which bar director Brynn Smith more than delivers on. Her aromatic concoctions are a particular highlight here, throwing together everything from housemade espresso cold brew to ginger bitters and Amaro (a herbal liqueur she has a penchant for).