Chef and restaurateur Alessandro Pavoni will this week open Sotto Sopra in Newport on Sydney’s northern beaches.
Together with his partners from the two hatted Mosman restaurant, Ormeggio at The Spit, Pavoni will launch the new trattoria – the offering at which centres around an Italian wood-fired oven – on 9 February.
Joining the established partnership of restaurateurs Alessandro Pavoni, Bill Drakopoulos and Victor Moya (also head chef at Ormeggio), is Mattia Rossi, who comes to Sotto Sopra as co-owner and head chef. Rossi has previously worked at Ormeggio and its sister restaurant Chiosco, which offers Italian street food.
At Sotto Sopra, which means “down/up” in Italian (the kitchen is located above the dining room), the kitchen centres around an imported Italian wood-fired oven from Marana in Verona, which produces dishes like overnight slow cooked Roman style porchetta with fennel pollen, rosemary, salsa verde, burnt bran bun and pickled red cabbage; cacciucco pie with mussels, white fish, baby octopus, prawns and tomato; caramelised pumpkin, honey, liquorice and hazelnuts; and caramelised mango tart with whipped lemon mascarpone.
The menu will include a Chefs Sharing Feast and Premium Sharing Feast option, which feature a selection of stuzzichini (appetizers), pasta, wood-roasted items, and desserts. Highlights include wood oven buffalo baked ricotta with green beans, herbs and lemon; milk fed veal battuta with eschallot, caper leaves, colatura di alici, sea urchin and crostini; orecchiette with broccoli and honey bugs; whole eggplant, smoked cheddar, mint and tomato; and housemade tiramisu. A selection of Italian cheese will also be available, such as La Tur from Piedmont, Gorgonzola Dolce from Lombardy and Percorino Sardo from Sardinia.
Pavoni said “Growing up in the mountains of Italy we often cooked on fire. With Sotto Sopra, I am so excited to bring this food of my childhood to my Sydney home, while utilising incredible Australian produce. I hope that this relaxed neighbourhood restaurant will soon become a part of the local community and a go-to venue for authentic Italian food on Sydney’s northern beaches.”
The wine list, curated by sommelier Luke Collard, features a selection of Italian varietals from $9 a glass ($35 a bottle). Sotto Sopra uses a Coravin system, allowing some premium wines to be poured by the glass, and every Tuesday the restaurant offers BYO wine.
The multi-level restaurant is designed by Larissa Raywood from The Design Hunter, in collaboration with Pavoni. Seating 49, Sotto Sopra features a bar and kitchen overlooking the dining area, which spills down to floor level and out on to the pavement. Design features include warm timbers, tiled tabletops, whitewashed rustic elements, and an Italian-made decorative gloss dividing wall. A stand out feature of the space is the 16-seat custom made communal feasting table, made from chestnut timber with a blue tinted glass centre.
Sotto Sopra is open for lunch on Friday to Sunday and dinner daily.