August 27, 2008

Sotto Sopra

Certainly not a planned visit, my daughter and I decided to have lunch at Sotto Sopra because of its proximity to the Walters Art Gallery, which we visited on Thursday, August 14th.

The outside is cute with a canvas canopy overhanging what could be a sidewalk cafe. Inside we were greeted with a very artistic room full of painted walls, tall ceilings, and mirrors. The building appeared to be mid to late 19th century in age and was very interesting. The tables were close together giving us adequate access to conversations on both sides of us. And one of our neighbors must have thought that everyone in the restaurant wanted to know about his life in the theater and music industry.

We were quickly seated by an extremely sweaty waiter with wet arm pits. This helped to quell my hunger a bit. The restaurant was fairly crowded and it appeared that only 2 waiters were working the entire floor.

After viewing the lunch specials, we decided on our meal. My daughter chose the Grilled Chicken Sandwich with prosciutto, mozzarella, sautéed mushrooms, fresh herbs, and lemon aioli with a mixed salad. I picked the Cappellini al Pomodoro fresca, which is Italian angel hair pasta with roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and garlic. My daughter asked for water and since I was driving my child, I chose a water, too.

The food took about 15 minutes, a bit longer than I would have hoped. We were really hungry. And thirsty as they didn't refill our water glasses as regularly as would be expected. Perhaps they poo-poo water drinkers. I do tip as if I had purchased a soda.

When our food was served it was definitely hot. My pasta was decent. It definitely tasted like fresh homemade pasta, but the flavor of the overall dish was somewhat bland. The portion was not that great, either. I was definitely still hungry when I finished.

My daughter's meal was a decent portion, but she said that the chicken was dry. Additionally, the mixed salad was somewhat on the bitter side. At meal's end she said it was okay, but knowing my daughter she was just being polite.

Overall, I was not impressed with our experience. The bill totaled about $35, which is fine, but I want to come out of a restaurant either full or satisfied with a good tasting meal. This time, neither of my hopes were fulfilled. Perhaps you can have a better experience with dinner. I would not recommend having lunch there.

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