No. 10: Sotto Sotto - 50 Best Restaurants - Features - Atlanta Magazine

No. 10: Sotto Sotto

Milky buffalo mozzarella arranged among strips of roasted pepper, white anchovies, and capers, the flavors linked by a piquant slick of extra virgin olive oil. Risotto Mantecato, a nontraditional combo of creamy, al dente rice streaked with caramelized onions, slashes of twelve-year-old balsamic vinegar, and wisps of Parmigiano-Reggiano. A haphazard “lasagnette,” its sheets of pasta set willy-nilly around the plate, bound by supple béchamel and rich, meaty Bolognese. Roasted fish, perhaps a Mediterranean branzino, filleted tableside by a sure-handed server and situated beside crackly potatoes and garlicky spinach.

The delight in Sotto Sotto stems from its consistency. I trust these dishes and many others to be cooked with the same moxie every single time I eat them. Owner Riccardo Ullio ensures his firstborn’s steadfastness. Fritti, his pizza restaurant next door, may pass through phases where the pie dough goes flabby, and he continues to gamble with ventures in Midtown (his latest is Escorpion Tequila Bar and Cantina), but Sotto Sotto never wavers. That holds true for the confident service and the welcoming space: This corner of Inman Park felt sketchy when Ullio set up shop in 1999, but the buzzing room and the honeyed lighting cloaked you in coziness. They still do. Noise dampeners installed in 2005 dulled the once-jarring din remarkably.

A couple of summery menu additions like pansotti—“potbellied” ravioli stuffed with chard and other greens and dressed in a pestolike walnut sauce—are worth sampling. But really, in an age when the locavore ethos dictates that menus swap out weekly, a bowl of risotto that feels like visiting an old friend is something to treasure.

What to Drink
Sotto Sotto's bar serves an outstanding Negroni—a trio of gin, Campari, and vermouth with a bittersweet pucker that calls to mind blood oranges. The wine program provides a grand tour of Italian varietals, though I'd love to also see some "orange wine" mavericks from the Friuli region like Gravner and Radikon.
313 North Highland Avenue, 404-523-6678,

Photograph by Alex Martinez

Leave a comment:

showing all comments · Subscribe to comments
  1. sergio posted on 10/02/2012 04:21 PM
    Special discounts from October to December in upholstery
    1. Veronica Balfe posted on 10/15/2012 05:14 PM
      @sergio I am from Beaverton OR. I was a guest ,visiting my son. A most delightful evening. Excellent cuisine . When visiting Atlanta Soto Soto would be highly recommended.
  2. Jen posted on 02/07/2013 01:01 PM
    Anyone know when they are going to fix the website?
  3. Lawrence Coleman posted on 04/02/2013 08:37 AM
    Huge drop in quality since last visit. Sage leaves saturated in oil, under-cooked pasta, over-cooked fish, service remains perfect.
showing all comments

More Features

Best of Atlanta
It's here: our annual celebration of the city's best restaurants, shops, people, and entertainment!
See the list