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Pasta feast at Sotto Sotto

Pappardelle al Sugo d’ Anatra

Pappardelle al Sugo d’ Anatra

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.

photo 5

Ravioli nudi

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.

Lasagnette alla Bolognese

Lasagnette alla Bolognese

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.

20 comments Add your comment


September 16th, 2010
11:04 am

I really enjoy Pasta da Pulcinella hidden away in Midtown. Great food, great atmosphere, and very reasonable prices.


September 16th, 2010
11:56 am

No clue, but the lasagnette alla bolognese sounds a lot like my lasagna recipe. Except I make it in a pan. I kinda like the “bedsheet” idea. Might try that next time. Were y’all quite stuffed after 3 half orders between the two of you? Just trying to get an idea if we ever go of what to expect.


September 16th, 2010
11:59 am

Love Sotto Sotto. My favorite local Italian place by far.


September 16th, 2010
12:25 pm

“is there better pasta in the city than that at Sotto Sotto?” IMO, absolutely not. As a matter of fact, I’ll take Sotto Sotto (and Fritti) any time anyone wants to go.

Thinking about the ravioli nudi makes me weak at the knees … I’m hoping my no-holds-barred dining partner returns from vacay soon, as I’m intent on staring down the sin of gluttony one night very soon.

Billy Blank

September 16th, 2010
1:19 pm

I love the folks at Sotto Sotto. I have been one of their regulars for a long time. They have come a long way since the country cooking place called Otto’s. Brilliant business move to spell the name backwards and repeat it and change cuisine from collards to ziti.


September 16th, 2010
1:19 pm

That ravioli nudi sounds wonderful. Times like this I miss the Italian place at the Buckheat Terminus. They had an antipasta bar that had the best grilled veggies and goodies.


September 16th, 2010
1:38 pm

Love Sotto Sotto and their sister restaurant beside them, Fritti!


September 16th, 2010
1:50 pm

Nope. Its by far the best in the city. Love how they change their pastas seasonaly. The cacio e pepe in the winter is a must. They had a special appetizer the other night of duck liver pate with argula, mushrooms, and lardo that was probably one of the best appetizers I’ve ever had. I wish Ricardo’s other Spanish restaurant Cuerno could have made it. It’s a shame a city the size of Atlanta can’t support a Spanish restaurant of it’s caliber.


September 16th, 2010
4:07 pm

I love Sotto Sotto, and rarely eat there the ‘correct’ way. My favorite is to get the mushroom pasta and the caramelized onion risotto (half or full portions depending on my mood).


September 16th, 2010
4:57 pm

I just realized, you took your daughter?

I guess it’s a sign of the times. My father says that his biggest mistake was letting us taste lobster, filet and caviar. Kids meals and hamburgers were then no longer an option.

Nowadays, people are sending their kids to foodie/gourmet cooking camps.


September 16th, 2010
5:42 pm

Sotto Sotto is as good as any pasta you can get in Italy… and given airfare prices, far more reasonable.

Dean stuck in the burbs

September 16th, 2010
10:33 pm

Not just the best in Atlanta….. I had the fortune of living in Inman park when Sotto first opened and I can honestly say that in 11 years I’ve NEVER had a bad meal there. As someone who travels the country entertaining clients, I always make a point of it to try other Risotto’s, but nothing compares to Sotto Sotto’s. I love bringing people from the Northeast there just to watch their skepticism about Italian food in Atlanta melt away when they try the Risotto Funghi or Mantecato. When I finish them off with one of the seasonal pastas or the Tortelli Di Michelangelo, they walk away believers and often ask for a return trip. Love to see them open a location closer to the ’sticks’ where I now live, but it’s worth the drive.


September 17th, 2010
10:10 am

Sotto Sotto = Best gnocchi I have EVER had. They never disappoint. Worth the drive. Worth the price. I will be there tomorrow celebrating my 6th wedding anniversary with the Fab Hub. I am always too full to try dessert….but I am going to be a trooper and go the distance!!


September 17th, 2010
3:34 pm

Sotto Rocks but we miss NEIL!!!!!!


September 17th, 2010
4:23 pm

Was thinking of eating at Sotto Sotto/Fritti this weekend for my bday.

William down South

September 17th, 2010
4:33 pm

Sotto Sotto is about more than terrific food. It’s an event. It’s about the entire evening. The moment one calls or walks in the door it’s about service. Diners don’t have a server; the entire staff is at your service.


September 17th, 2010
5:46 pm

One of my favorite restaurants in the city since the last century. Derek the bartender makes great drinks and the servers are always very friendly, except that Josh guy, but I think they got rid of him.

Hooligans on the Rampage

September 20th, 2010
10:50 am

This place was ok, however, my daughter and I found ourselves walking out about halfway thru the entree and we didnt pay for anything. Upon driving home we noticed that the local Pizza Hut was open so we dropped in had a very enjoyable and delicious lunch.

If one wants true Italian food then Pizza Hut has ya covered.


September 22nd, 2010
1:22 pm

Sotto Sotto is great, but I really like La Tavola better.

white jeans

September 22nd, 2010
4:48 pm

The Bartenders name is Eric and I miss Neal too. But still the best pasta in town