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Nov 22, 2011 07:46 PM

Sorella -- Tasty Piedmontese Small Plates on the LES and A Great Value

We had a good dinner at Sorella on Sunday night, and given the quality and portion size, I think it's a very good value on the Lower East Side. We sat in the back room, which felt a little bit like a converted porch or sun room. We chose to order more of the small plates although the entrees (and special entrees -- Hawaiian blue prawns, duck confit, etc.) did look nice.

We had the pate de fegato (duck fat english muffin bread, chicken liver mousse, fried egg, bacon), which was good but I think a little overhyped. A nice fat piece of bread, with a hunk of chicken liver mousse, and sprinklings of bacon on top, with a fried egg, that when broken, oozed all over everything. I liked it but I think the chicken liver toast is better at other places, where it is simpler. Or maybe I was just craving a different texture or something warm. So I thought this was only OK.

My personal favorite was the tempura broccoli which had an amazing texture, and I loved the basil and cream sauce. If you don't think you like this vegetable, think again. I never would have paired basil and a mountain of shaved Grana Padano with deep fried broccoli but this dish was a winner. The pickled hot pepper aioli was on the subtle side, but worked very well, a slowly growing heat but never overwhelming. I think we devoured this in five minutes.

My husband's favorite was the fried and breaded sweetbreads. These tasted like the best faux chicken nuggets ever, fried to perfection, served with a spicy mustard sauce. Hot, crispy, a tiny bit sweet, with a little bit of a kick. I had to slow down as I was eating these terribly fast, and giving myself a little bit of a mustard headache. My husband took advantage of my weakness and finished them off!

We also liked the tajarin pasta -- a nice, meaty ragu, really hearty on a cold night, and I thought the nuts on top were a nice touch. Served with a creamy black pepper ricotta, pistachios, and a little bit of mint. It seemed comparable to what you might find on the menu at dell'anima, one of our other favorites. Maybe a notch down, but just barely.

Dessert was great. The seasonal doughnuts were almond cream bombolini. Four to an order, fluffy and warm tubes of delight. These were basically perfect and I usually don't like filled doughnuts! Served with a thick caramel dipping sauce.

Cute room, and really really reasonable pricing! $57 before tax/tip for two people (3 appetizers, 1 pasta, dessert) which I was not expecting. Service was very sweet, the vibe of the room was cute and casual, and it is extremely well located if you want to go out for a drink after dinner. We'll definitely be back.

95 Allen St, New York, NY 10002

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  1. Kathryn, you sold me on the sweetbreads. Although the last ones I had at Recette werent anywhere as good as Bamonte's used to make them. Sorella sounds like a place I would like.

    95 Allen St, New York, NY 10002

    328 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodwhisperer

      The sweetbreads do sound excellent - and $57 for two before tax and tip? Sounds like a good deal. I'm putting it on my list. Thanks for the review!

    2. Agreed on all counts Kathryn. The front room can be a bit hectic and narrow but the back room where you sat is totally civilized (with decent space between tables). They do vegetables really well there.

      1. i slept on sorella for years...or however long theyve been open.

        had dinner here about a month ago with the girlfriend. i liked it but cant see returning often. i found the food quite salty which i usually dont have a problem with but i recall that everything was heavy and salty. the pate de fegato was rich and tasty but salted and the mousse was cold if i recalled which clashed with the warm english muffin.

        we had some shredded brussel sprout dish if i recall...once again, very salty and heavy...and spicy. the pasta dishes were quite small and forgettable to me...particularly a tajarin dish with carrots that i found strange.

        dessert was their plate of homemade chocolate bars...the plate was a massive and gluttonous but tasty.

        service was great but the heavy-ness and the salt made me wish i went to terroir instead who do a fantastic job with small plates and wine.

        413 E 12th St, New York, NY 10009

        95 Allen St, New York, NY 10002