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February 21, 2010

Sorriso Italian Ristorante

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Last night we met up with a group of friends for a birthday dinner at Sorriso in Cleveland Park. It is a small, family-run Italian restaurant with two levels. It has a very homey feel. The walls are a rich buttery color and there are pictures and framed maps from Italy. It is quite small, but not uncomfortable. It just makes it a little on the loud side. We were seated in the upper level which has an open balcony to the lower level.

I was happy to see the menu was very traditional Italian, with multiple courses and Pizzas. I also saw on the menu that the pizza chef (the owner's son) actually studied in Italy where he received a Masters in Pizza. Who knew that even existed? I was impressed, and knew at that point I would have to try one.

We started with appetizers for the table of calamari fritti, antipasto and beef carpaccio. They ran out of the beef for the carpaccio but offered us a nice cured beef to substitute. Everything was very fresh and good. The calamari had a light, crispy breading and was tender.

For the main course, I opted for a pizza with tomato sauce, prosciutto, mozzarella di bufala and arugula. The crust was amazing. It was thin, crispy on the bottom and had the perfect amount of chewiness. This pizza was really light and fresh.

My husband ordered the Tagliatelle with boar sausage ragu. I was very excited to try this since one of my favorite pastas in Florence was hand rolled pici pasta with a wild boar ragu. Sorriso's version did not disappoint. I felt like I was in Italy. The noodles were light and tender and the sauce was simply outstanding. It was similar to a bolognese sauce, but not dense. The boar had a rich flavor and I could taste accents of cinnamon. This dish was the ultimate comfort food.

Two of my friends ordered the veal parmesan and it was like nothing I had ever seen. They breaded an entire veal tomahawk. It was huge, and they said quite delicious. Other items ordered at the table were prosciutto ravioli in a butter and sage sauce, linguini with clams and more pizzas. Everyone was very happy with their dishes.

After we finished our main courses, they brought out a giant homemade tiramisu with a candle for our friend's birthday. It was heavenly. The dessert was huge, but not heavy. To top off the evening, one of the chefs came up to our table to ask how his dessert was. He was extremely friendly and it was such a nice, personal touch to finish off our dining experience.

I highly recommend Sorriso, I know I can't wait to go back!


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