Head down the flight of stairs from 6th Street’s Boca, and you enter a whole other world. Sotto, (or below, in Italian) is the subterranean sibling, and more casual dining experience from Chef David Falk and his team. If you’re fortunate enough to be at Sotto for this Monday’s grand opening, you’ll be greeted with one of the warmest, most inviting spaces we’ve seen in quite some time. After many years, Chef Falk’s vision of an authentic Italian trattoria with a menu of comforting, “grandmotherly” type dishes has finally come to fruition.

The former La Normandie is completely unrecognizable, having been entirely transformed; stripped down to its bare bones of wood and raw brick, exuding rustic warmth you could expect to find on a holiday abroad. Small, thoughtful details are evident everywhere, including some of the light fixtures, which were handmade by chef Jono Fries, and the tables, which where all fashioned from re-claimed wood, hand hewn by Cincinnati’s own Brush Factory.

In keeping with the traditional style of an authentic Italian trattoria, the menu is filled with simple, straight forward dishes. Fresh pasta plays a huge part, and indeed there is a pasta prep room complete with viewing window for your inspection. Steaks will be fresh cut and grilled on a de riguer hearth. Authentic bruschetta, fresh vegetable antipasti, fresh fish, and pork round out the rest of the menu. An extensive list of Italian wines, beers, and cocktails will be served. ~Ilene Ross

Here a few peeks from our visit yesterday.

Photos ©Gina Weathersby

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Margot Madison - April 2, 2013 - 10:26 am

I can’t wait to see it in person!

Sarah Miller - April 2, 2013 - 10:28 am

I remember going to La Normandie as a girl…it always seemed so exotic and grown up to me. I’m thrilled that this CIncinnati landmark is being reborn as a fabulous new space. I can’t wait to eat there!

Jenifer Sult - April 8, 2013 - 5:44 pm

Wow! I have been hearing whispers about this place and the Brush Factory tables… Now these photos make me want to hang out in this lovely space! So much detail and texture, can’t wait to try the food too!

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