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Classic northern Italian from a brother of the family behind Riccardo Trattoria.

Our Review

In a happy development for Printers Row, Maurizio Michi has moved on from Riccardo, his brother's classic northern Italian trattoria, to open this restaurant not too terribly far removed in spirit. The menu, almost as large as Riccardo's own, features the typical structural breakdown: hot and cold antipasti, salad, pasta, meat, fish, and vegetal contorni. And as far as atmospherics go, it has a comparably restrained, kitschless vibe (I only heard Sinatra on the sound system once). But one thing Sofi offers that Riccardo doesn't is risotto alla Milanese, the saffron-tinged, marrow-rich classic typically served with ossobuco. Someone in the kitchen really knows how to cook rice properly—each grain is distinct and al dente—and if you order it as a starter, it comes topped with a nontraditional, almost southern-Italian-style sausage ragout that cuts through the richness with tomatoey acidity. Other dishes make the most of that richness, like tender veal meatballs or slices of eggplant, both in tomato cream sauces, and grilled octopus with "crushed" potatoes in a butter-extended pesto sauce. In these times of restaurants that serve sushi alongside Italian food, it's good to see such a satisfying, restrained approach spreading to other parts of the city.

Mike Sula

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Price: $$$
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, Discover

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