I know, I know. I’ve never been to Sotto. One of Cincinnati’s best restaurants. Not that I need to defend myself, but I do have my reasons.
First, BK and I don’t often go out for expensive meals. We spend a lot of money going out to eat, yes, but we don’t usually have a meal that will easily cost us three money signs worth of dollars (see also: $$$ on Yelp). Second, I’ve never been one to love Italian food. Third, in the couple of times I’ve tried making reservations in the past (like, for birthdays and anniversaries; I wouldn’t be silly enough to try going there on or around Valentine’s Day), I’ve not been able to, so I’ve never been very pressed to try it.
Enter Monthiversary Meal Vol. 6 (six months, guys!) at Sotto.
A few weeks ago we were discussing options for this meal, which we wanted to make a little more special than the others (six months, guys!). I threw out the idea of Sotto, checked reservation options — table for two at 5:15pm on a Wednesday — and, thus, we decided sort of on a whim to finally make it happen. Yes, 5:15 is early, but we both work in the Central Business District and it was perfect for a post-work meal. Also, we eat dinner like we’re grandparents nearly every day anyway. Wins all around.
I’d perused the menu many times in the past and, to be completely honest, I still have no idea what 75% of that stuff is. But I’d heard about how great the Short Rib Ravioli (Short Rib Cappellacci) and Ricotta Doughnuts with Three Sauces were, so I knew I had to have them. We also got the Goat Cheese and Hazelnut Honey Bruschetta to start and BK ordered Gnocchi Alla Romana.
Truth be told, it has to be really hard for any restaurant to live up to the hype surrounding it. Sotto sure did its best, though. Service was very pleasant and efficient, the place itself was very dark (seriously terrible for photos) but pretty and romantic (ugh, that term makes me cringe), and the food was very good. I especially loved BK’s dish. The bread crumbs on top were exquisite. Our table was right by a wine cellar, which I thought was a great spot, too.
Though three dollar sign meals aren’t usually my thing, it wasn’t as expensive as I was expecting and I’d be happy to go back for a lunch portion of Short Rib Cappellacci.
Bonus: Sotto is open for lunch Monday through Friday.
Bonus part two: Check out this awesome interview with chef/owner of Nada, Boca, and Sotto, David Falk.