They say the proper way to eat pasta in an Italian restaurant is to order a small portion as a first course and then move on to an entree.
We did not do it the proper way. Not at all. When I had dinner with my daughter recently at Inman Park’s Sotto Sotto, we ordered pasta, pasta and more pasta.
It was carb-fest supreme, and I don’t regret it for an instant.
Sotto Sotto is, to my way of thinking, one of a handful of restaurants that delivers a consistently excellent product for a reasonable price.
We feasted on this wonderful tangle of sleek, slippery papperdelle noodles with duck ragu ($16 for a full order, this is a half). Then we moved on to another half order of ravioli nudi ($16 for a full plate) — round marbles of spinach and ricotta in a sheer skin of flour.
The name means “naked ravioli,” and there could be nothing more naked that this pure marriage of spinach and dairy. Add butter and parmesan cheese to the picture, and you’ve got a dish that may be low carb but definitely isn’t low fat.
My daughter and I stabbed them one by one and savored them like chocolate truffles.
Were we done?
Not by a long shot.
We each got a half order of lasagnette alla bolognese ($16 for a full order) and savored the layering of supple noodles, béchamel sauce, meat ragu and cheese, all piled up like messy bedsheets. You can kind of see in my lousy photo that the edges of the noodles crisped under the broiler and contrasted wonderfully with the pockets of gush.
My kid petered out partway through, and it took every ounce of restraint not to snarf up the rest of hers.
I love the inventive pastas at La Pietra Cucina and the regional ones at Pricci. Every once in a while, a bowl of penne at a branch of Figo Pasta hits the spot.
But I ask: is there better pasta in the city than that at Sotto Sotto? I haven’t found it.