restaurant week boston: sorellina

A couple of my friends and I decided to try Sorellina this past Monday night during Restaurant Week.

{I interrupt this post to give you a little bit of background info … }
After talking with other foodie friends and reading similar posts, I’ve come to realize that I wasn’t the only one that felt a little disappointed about Restaurant Week experiences in years past. I think the overall concept of being able to try out a restaurant’s fare at a lower-than-their-normal-menu-price is great. It’s also great because – with Sorellina as a prime example – I probably wouldn’t choose some of these places as my first pick for a night out because they can be rather expensive (entrees range from $29 to $44 dollars, let’s not even mention the bottles of wine!). I’m happy to say that I think restaurants took past feedback to heart and have really made an effort to change the perception of Restaurant Week by increasing food portions and offering exciting menu items. I know I only have this one experience at Sorellina to base my theory on, but I think we all agreed on such around the table Monday night (and again, referring to this similar post). As you read on, I think you’ll see what I mean.
{Now back to the post … }

There were five people in our party – Amy, Stephanie, Kathy, Lauren, and me – and all but one arrived earlier than our 6:00 pm reservation, so we congregated at the bar for a glass of Prosecco. Which, by the way, was extremely refreshing considering the 85+ degree weather outside. The bar area has a nice set up and seats about 20 people. Tony and I had been there about 3 (maybe 4?) years ago for a drink while waiting to meet up with friends one night and we saw ex-Patriots player Ted Johnson there hanging out with some other local celebrities including Mish Michaels. Even then we could tell it was quite a posh place!

The dining area is really nice. Very large, spread out and each place setting is so elegant. Of course, a couple of us in our party swear to one day (i.e. when we hit the jackpot) have a wall of wine like theirs. We were seated at a large circular table and had plenty of elbow room in between each person, but a couple of us noticed that the section of the dining room where tables of two were seated seemed a little tight (i.e. very Parisian where you’re rubbing elbows with the person next to you), so probably a little more ideal for groups of four or more unless you don’t mind the close contact. (Click on images to enlarge.)

Our waiter, Blake, was super friendly, welcoming, and attentive the whole time. I ordered the insalata which was made Al Greco with romaine, cucumber, calamata olives, sheep and goat’s milk feta. It’s normally served with vine ripe tomatoes but I mentioned to Blake that I am allergic to them, so they were able to omit them for me. It was delicious. I thought that since I asked for no tomatoes they added more cucumber slices to make up for the quantity, but it turned out that the other salad orders had just the same amount of cucumbers which made the portion altogether quite hearty. The dressing on the salad was quite refreshing (paired well with the Prosecco I must say) and the combination of the sheep and goat’s milk feta cheese was quite nice.

Amy sat next to me so I was able to snap a photo of her bruschetta which was made with soft whipped ricotta, grilled zucchini, and tomato agro dolce. {By the way, you know you’re out with other foodies when 3 out of 5 people at your table whip out a camera to take pictures of food!} She said it was pleasantly sweeter than expected. I couldn’t get over all the pretty colors on top of the bread.

The funniest thing was that 4 out of 5 of us ordered the bisteca for our entree, and all of us like our steaks cookes medium rare. One thing that I particularly appreciated was that Blake came back to the table to tell me that the chef said that there were tomatoes in the sauce that is served with the steak, and also in the marinade that they use for the mushrooms. So I opted to have mine served with out the sauce and without mushrooms which was no big deal to me. It turned out that the chef found some un-marinated mushrooms in the kitchen and added them on top for me. It was simply delicious. I mean, I know I use that word a lot but it really was delicious. And perfectly cooked medium rare. And a rather large portion. In fact, all four of us had a small piece leftover so some was packed into doggy bags for later. Now that is a big change from past Restaurant Week experiences for sure!

The bisteca dish is a grilled sirloin served with olive oil braised onions and cremini mushrooms, gorgonzola, and chianti butter. I brought home my leftover piece and Tony tried to cut it up into the smallest pieces possible just so he could savor each morsel. It was really that good folks!

Kathy was the only non-steak eater that night and she ordered the fettucine dish which was made with Vermont butter, softened summer squashes, and Pecorino Toscano. It looked and smelled so yummy! And of course, us nerdy-foodies ooh’ed and ahh’ed at the bowl it came in.

We also had two orders of their famous truffle french fries to go around the table. I love how they are super skinny and crispy. They went perfectly with the steak and the bottle of Burgess Syrah that we split. I forgot to mention the delicious bread that was brought to our table before the appetizers were served. It was nice and warm but what really made it great was the little dish of butter and olive oil that came with it. Yes, you read it correctly – butter and olive oil, not separated. The combo gave it such a nice sweet and rich taste.

For dessert, I had the vanilla gelato which was served in a cute little thin glass. It was served with espresso and whipped cream and was quite heavenly. Again, talk about attention to details, Blake had them omit the little almond cookie that they normally serve with the dessert after I told him that I was allergic to nuts. I really appreciate the fact that he was so attentive, I can’t tell you how awesome that is.

Another dessert at our table was the panna cotta which was served in a cute little dish and topped off with lots of fresh mixed berries. I tasted a little bit of Kathy’s and it was nice and creamy, but another person at the table commented that it was a little too thin consistency wise.

Overall I must say that it was a fabulous experience at Sorellina and I’m so glad I got over my fear of a less-than-spectacular experience based on the past. I felt a little guilty that Tony wasn’t there with me because I think he would’ve definitely appreciated the large portions and dinner options. All five of us thoroughly enjoyed the dining experience: the food, atmosphere, service, and options. Definitely highly recommended to anyone looking for a place to try during Restaurant Week!


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