Sophia’s debuted early last month in Bess Bistro’s former spot on West 6th Street. Owners Matt Deichl, Jonathan Gillespie, and James Brown of BDG Hospitality Group reinvented the space and tapped Mark Sparacino—chef and owner of Prosecco Ristorante in Chicago—to helm the kitchen. Read on for the early word on the contemporary Italian-American supper club meets speakeasy.
Food — While the fun tiramisu pops and colorful well-thought out cocktails may have strong showings on social media, reviewers are quick to point out the pasta dishes—many of which are twists on traditional favorites—deserve the real acclaim. "As a former resident of Italy, the house-made pastas were the star for me," reported Erin Russell of Austin Food Magazine. She went on to single out the baked spaghetti with vegetables as a creamy, crunchy surprise favorite. Sushi in the ATX blogger Amy Drohen also pointed to the meatball, decadent burrata, and seafood offerings as must-tries. Overall Victoria Stowe with Austin Woman Magazine summed it: "Whichever turn on the menu you take, there’s really no wrong way to go."
Drinks — Guests can choose from an extensive list of Italian wines and sparkling wines, and creative craft cocktails featuring house-made liqueurs. Stowe shared that the refreshing La Rosa, made with vodka, pink grapefruit liqueur, strawberry, fresh citrus, and prosecco—is "a most suitable end to a summer evening out on the town."
Atmosphere — Sophia’s includes a bar and lounge area, a dining room with intimate nooks, and a covered terrace upstairs. By pairing its brick walls and archways with plush blue velvet and dark leather furniture, the restaurant hits a sweet spot. Zagat’s Veronica Meewes noted that the space "walks the line between vintage and contemporary chic." Drohen shared, "The sleek booths and alluring decor give this underground supper club a sultry date night vibe." However things can gets rowdy later in the evening when the DJ starts up as Yelper Michael O. warned, "Loud only scratches the surface. Try to finish your meal before the circus begins at 10 p.m."
The overall experience — In the ongoing wave of Italian restaurants to Austin, will Sophia’s stand the test of time? Russell thinks so, "because the food was amazing, but also because few restaurants can offer an experience that is both high-end and familiar."
- Tour Sophia’s, Modern Italian-American Supper Club, Opening This Week [EATX]
- First Look: Sophia's Brings Elevated Homestyle Italian to West Sixth [Zagat]
- Sophia’s Supper Club Serving Up Exquisite Italian Cuisine [Sushi in the ATX]
- Review: Sophia’s [Austin Food Magazine]
- Food News: Sophisticated Sophia’s [Austin Woman Magazine]