10 months ago

Sorella is striking the perfect balance

The food is clever but it’s also comforting, the service is attentive but it’s not stuffy, the interior is smart but it’s not cold…

Striking the perfect balance between neighbourhood bistro and high end restaurant is Sorella, an Italian restaurant hidden down Manor Street. This gem has gained accolades from all over, and not only from foodie fans but from the big dogs too; it was awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2019, 2020 and 2021… and we can see why. Produce and service are clearly first and foremost and whilst the food and interior design are top quality, there are lovely wholesome touches like a height chart scribbled onto the wall where you can see how much the owner, Rob’s, son has grown over the years. You might even spot Waffles, the family dog, snuggled in the corner.

Everything we ate at Sorella was show stopping. Starting off with the fattest, plumpest Sicilian olives (the pit was half the size of our little finger) and a perfectly made Aperol spritz was a perfect way to kick things off. The man himself, Rob, was around and told us we absolutely had to try the carbonara arancini- his favourite on the menu at the moment- and the man knows what he is talking about. They were perfectly hot and creamy. The two you are served in a portion were gone in no time.

Next up for the antipasti we had the delicate beef tartare which came with peppers, roasted garlic and crispy potatoes. It was so beautifully presented and we loved the crunch of the potatoes on top which were such fun addition to the plate. The burrata with grilled peach, walnut pesto and a thyme-spiked honey hit all the summery, juicy, indulgent notes we were after. Of course, these all had to be accompanied by Sorella’s focaccia- a squidgy, oily joy.

Then we went for 2 dishes of pasta which is made fresh in house every day. Side note- it’s worth ordering a pasta just to check out the crockery because the pasta dishes are served in really beautiful, really heavy stone plates that add an impressive bit of theatre to what could be a very simple plating experience. Though we went for very contrasting night and day flavours, both were really special and it was hard to pick a favourite. The parpadelle with braised pork ragu was rich and hearty and the prawn linguine was fresh and citrusy. Rob used to work along the Amalfi coast so is an expert in lemony flavours and that really came through in the latter dish; there was no hint of bitterness and it was a zingy delight.

Dark chocolate cremoso with milk gelato and hazelnuts was a properly indulgent pud. A good crack on top of a sugary wafer and you’re into a lovely creamy puddle of mousse-y chocolatey goodness. Chocolate lovers and, actually, anyone will love this.

Circling back to those lemons we were talking about earlier. Their limoncello is also home made which was an amazing detail to the place. The shots are served in a frozen glasses and it was exactly what we needed after a heavy meal- nicely refreshing and a lovely way to finish up.

If you’re into your food and appreciate when it’s really, really good then this is the place for you. The staff are effortlessly passionate about what they are doing, knowledgable and naturally great conversation with diners. It’s an indulgent evening in Clapham that you didn’t know you absolutely, 100% must try out next. Can we come too?

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