Sorellina, “little sister” in Italian, may be a bit of a misnomer for this complex restaurant serving upscale Italian-Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant is more like the sophisticated older sister, dressed for a night on the town.
Location: Sorellina, located at 1 Huntington Avenue in the Copley Square area of Boston, Massachusetts.
Menu: Chef Owner Jamie Mammano’s menu is a fresh interpretation of Italian cuisine offering seasonal dishes. For example, the lobster bisque contains no flour or cornstarch thickeners, and rather than sherry the broth features white wine.
Thoughts: As you approach the restaurant from the outside, the façade, decorated with topiaries, suggests what the inside will reveal, simple elegance. Floor-to-ceiling windows complement the back mural. Even fully seated, the open floor plan is remarkably quiet, most likely due to the cork flooring and the floating panel ceiling. The chairs and banquettes covered in soft gray leather are smooth and comfortable. The decorative pillows on the banquettes offer additional comfort.
The servers don white button-down shirts open at the neck with black pants. They cover it all with blue and white striped aprons. When you sit down, the tables covered in white linen clothes are set with an entire place setting, including decorative chargers. During the meal, we didn’t need to ask for anything. Silverware appeared automatically as required for each course. Servers didn’t ask if you required beverage refills, they silently refilled each water glass as they began to empty.
Sorellina offers a well-rounded wine list featuring unknown Italian gems.
Some of my favorite dishes include:
- The artichoke carpaccio. This starter is out of the ordinary. Baby artichokes, truffled Pecorino Moliterno, and black summer truffles are each shaved paper-thin and layered ending with the truffles decorating the top. The dish mixed with a lemon vinaigrette provides a slightly tart counterpoint to the raw crunchy artichokes.
- The braised veal tortellini. The tortellini pasta formed from a won ton wrapper, features roasted mushrooms, with a Marsala truffled crema sauce, mirepoix herbs, and fava beans. Microgreens add a pop of color.
- The Maccheroncelli. This pasta is fresh elongated tubes with tender Feather Brook Farms Kobe beef meatballs that sit in a Montepulciano sauce, a cross between a brown gravy and a red wine sauce. To make it they mix veal demi-glace, bordelaise sauce, tomato paste, and brown sugar. It’s combined with Montepulciano red wine from Italy’s Abruzzo region. Shaved Parmigiano completes the dish.
- The strawberry-rhubarb crostata has a cornmeal crust. The dessert comes on a long-thin rectangular plate, with the crostata sitting on one end. A strawberry rose espuma decorates the plate in an artful swoosh. A ricotta gelato slightly sweetened with honey accompanies the crostata.
I suggest reservations for dinner. Be aware of the dress code. Sorellina is an upscale restaurant, and you will be most comfortable dressing in that manner. No ripped jeans or hats on men are allowed. If you are within a two-mile radius of the restaurant, Sorellina will provide a complimentary car service at your request.
Price Range: Primi or first courses range from $17 for a Caesar salad to $28 for tiger prawns. The pasta course starts at $19 for a small portion of pasta to $39 for pasta in more substantial portions with more expensive porteins. The secondi or entrée course runs from $37 for the chicken to $59 for lamb chops. Desserts range from $8 for assorted biscotti to $16 for a warm molten chocolate cake with gelato. Dinner for two is about $150, including taxes and tip.