Last night I finally went Sorella, an Italian restaurant in the Lower East Side I have been wanting to go to since it opened. It is a really nice space with two small bars in the front, (for wining, beering, and dining,) and a small dining area in the back enlcosed by a sunroof (or moonroof). The lighting is dim, lit by lights in what look like propellers in the bar area, and candles, perfect for a date. Or dining alone in my case. It has a romantic, yet homey feel.
I took a seat at one of the bars and asked for some recommendations. I ended up getting a watermelon and cucumber salad, the pate de fegato, and the Tajarin.
To start off the meal instead of bread you are given grissini, basically breadsticks. But friends, these are not your ordinary breadsticks. These grissini are made in-house by Sorella's dessert chef and are extremely addictive. I wish they packaged them so I could take some home to snack on. I loved them!
The watermelon and cucumber salad ($13) (which was recommended by chef/owner Emma Hearst) came with cashews, caprino (Italian goat cheese), basil, and pickled red onion. The funny thing is I am not a fan of cashews nor watermelon, yet I thought this salad was fantastic! It was extremely refreshing and was like "Summer in your mouth"! All the components worked really well with each other. The fact that you could take two ingredients I don't really like and combine them into something I enjoy says a lot about this restaurant
The next dish I had was the pate de fegato ($8), a dish I had seen on their online menu before coming and knew I needed to order. It is a duck fat english muffin bread, chicken liver mousse, fried egg, and bacon. And, it is one of the best dishes I have ever eaten in my life! Of course, you don't want to think about dieting at all when eating this dish, and that is fine (I walked over 40 blocks to the restaurant anyways) it's just an amazing dish. The bacon is candied and delicious, and gives the dish a nice sweetness. The mousse is smooth and addictive. I literally got a tear in my eye after my first bite, it was that good!
I really wanted to try one of Sorella's house-made pastas and went with the Tajarin ($12) with lamb ragu, black pepper ricotta, pistachios, and mint. This dish was unbelievable! The pasta was perfectly cooked, and the combination of all the ingredients was harmonious. I am not a fan of mint, yet the mint in this dish took the dish to another level, giving it an extra complexity and kick that I loved. This was another dish where an ingredient I disliked I really enjoyed. The lamb ragu was absolutely delicious and the pistachios gave the dish some nice crunch, and complemented the mint perfectly. This was a great pasta dish.
I was definitely stuffed at this point but how could I travel over 40 blocks and not have dessert? That would have been a crime, and might even be illegal in some states. I ordered the Bicerin ($8), which is espresso fudge, chocolate pudding, and soft whipped cream. Ironically again, I am not a fan of pudding, but ordered the dish because the staff and chefs recommended it, and I was not disappointed. This was some great pudding. The espresso fudge took this dessert to another level, for the espresso flavor was strong and great. Two little sugar cookies accompanying the dish was a pleasant touch as well.
I should mention that the prices here are unbelievable as well, the most expensive dish being $16, making this place a great bang for your buck! There are also some great wines available for all you oenophiles out there.
Sorella is definitely one of my favorite NYC restaurants. There is a lot of heart in this place, from the homey and romantic feel, to the amazing food. This is a restaurant everyone needs to go to, no matter where they live.
95 Allen Street (bet. Broome and Delancey)
New York, NY 10002