Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Apr 2, 2007 05:26 PM

Sotto Sotto

You always hear about movie stars dining at Sotto Sotto when they are in town. Is the food actually special or is it just a place to see and be seen?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. The latter. If you are a celebrity, you will get special treatment. If you are not, and don't appear to be someone ready to plunk down a wad of cash on wine or booze, then you will not enjoy your experience.

      5 Replies
      1. re: TorontoJo

        Any thoughts on Sotto in the Village? Same?

        1. re: JennaL

          The one in the Village (Spadina, a couple of blocks north of St. Clair) is a cheaper, less pretentious and more family-oriented version than the original. I've been there a couple of times, since I live nearby: good service, pretty decent fare, including tasty desserts. No annoying celebs here in our little village. :-))) Perhaps still a tad pricier than the food/experience warrants due to the famous name... but not outrageous.

        2. re: TorontoJo

          So how did they ever attract a celebrity clientele in the first place to what from the outside looks like a dingy basement room?

          1. re: Moorepark

            Sotto is simply a restaurant for the tourists and wannabe glitterati. Should never be considered by any locals with half a mind for decent, reputable restaurant operations, where good food, value and service is of importance.

          2. Sotto Sotto has the honour of being my worst dining experience ever. After a couple of good visits with hubby, went with a gf while the coveted front table was occupied by some band. I could go in to detail, but suffice to say, that as much as I liked their pasta, I will NEVER return!!!!! We left feeling ignored and insulted by both the food and the service. TorontoJo hit the nail on the head.

            (And it is like eating in a dark, crowded basement decorated by Charo.)

            Go to Zucca. Great food, genuine hospitality that is not based on your 15 minutes of fame. Just an all around lovely experience.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dinin and dishin

              "And it is like eating in a dark, crowded basement decorated by Charo."

              THAT is funny!

            2. My wife and I have been there a total of 3 times over the past 5 years and we've been very happy there with each meal (and we're certainly not celebs!). Our first time was for a birthday celebration, and service was quite good, food was very fresh and some dishes quite authentic (we tried it right after our Italy trip). My favorite dish when I first went was this seafood pasta baked in parchment paper. Couldn't find it on the menu after that, argh.

              Sure it's like sitting in a basement cellar, but that's part of the romantic charm of the place.
              I'd say give it a try and maybe wear your dark sunglasses when you enter and you might get better service. :)

              2 Replies
              1. re: Royaljelly

                I expected ho-hum when a friend of mine suggested we go there, but was very happy with the wonderful dinner I had. I was disappointed by the low ceiling when I first arrived, but warmed up to it later (did have a charming quality).

                I tried two salads, and three pasta plates - each one was wonderful and I eat pasta at restaurants quite often. Looking forward to going again. Excellent service and it wasn't one of my Angelina-Jolie-look-alike days.

                I've also been to Zucca and it didn't appeal to me... My sage pasta was overly buttery and extremely sweet without much additional for balance.

                1. re: madame.mystery

                  I've been to Sotto Sotto once, a few years ago and I quite liked it. I thought the food was great and the service really nice. Of course some people in my party were good friends with the owners and plenty of booze was ordered. Still, the food was good. Nothing to complain about whatsoever. That said, only been the once.

              2. I don't get this restaurant. Its a dark little cellar. It's very expensive. The food is fine. But why the hype. Why do I care if some "star" ate thier fish here. Why do they call the papers after a "sighting". I just dont get it.