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Sorriso, Italian with a Wood-Burning Pizza Oven in Cleveland Park - Closed


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Cross posted on eG:

gnatharobed and I planned to dine off the cafe menu tonight at Palena. We looked forward to trying the Monday night menu and comparing dishes together. We both left work, excited to enjoy the food and ready for some great dessert.

BUT IT WAS CLOSED TONIGHT!

Ai ya, I shoulda called before I drove all the way from Montgomery County to NW. We were *so* disappointed! It was a bitter way to end a Monday - no Palena! And we had been planning this for 2 weeks!

No burger, no chicken, no lime tartlet...

<mock sob>

Sidebar: We ended up at Sorrio's across the street. Overall, substandard food. We had the pizza, homemade pasta with wild mushrooms, seafood stew and creme brulee. The pizza with wild mushrooms, spinach and onions was solidly decent - they could've caramelized the onions prior to adding them, used a lighter hand with the cheese and made the crust crisper. The base for the seafood stew lacked the essence of seafood - the broth was mostly tomatoes. I'm waiting for the mussels to kick in - let's see if Bourdain was right about Monday and seafood. The homemade pasta could've been stellar had they actually used wild mushrooms, less herbs, made a sauce and added more pasta. (For $17, the portion shouldn't be something that's as small as my fist. Note: my fist of fury not that big.)

The kicker was the creme brulee. 'Twas more like creme anglaise. Who knew creme brulee could run? Run, creme brulee, run...

Yes we ate it (hey, we don't waste food!), no we didn't complain 'cause it wasn't horribly bad, just not great enough for us to come back.

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We dropped in about a week after they opened and I remember having caprese, a quite good mushroom pizza and a decent bottle of wine. Price was a little on the high side, but I figured it was about par for the course. Haven't returned.

We are always thinking about where to go for dinner in that immediate area, and Sorriso is usually mentioned and ALWAYS dismissed cuz there is a better option for whatever we are hungry for. Pizza? Why not Vace or a short trip to 2 Amy's for a bug jump in quality. Entrees are nothing that can hold a candle to Palena cafe across the street for the same price (or less!). Indique is far more interesting.

Sorriso sits smack dab in the midst of better options for the categories and price point it's trying to hit. So until they drop their prices or increase the quality of what they churn out it'll keep being dismissed. However, drop the same exact place in the midst of a more cuisine-challenged part of the city and it would thrive. Thems the breaks.

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We should've gone to Spices. Hell, we should've gone to SUBWAY!

The prices were way too high for what they're offering. A calzone for $15 and it's mostly air with skimpy fillings? C'mon.

We'll just have to eat two desserts at Palena the next time we go to make up for last night...

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Crummy food and yet Sorriso also looks crowded.

Well, there ya go. Is Sorriso now officially the Lauriol Plaza of Cleveland Park? I do see crowds of people crowding by the front door on nights when it's packed. All they need to do now is start charging $15/carafe for house wine as people wait and they're in business!

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I actually was in spite of hearing about the cafe menu. Palena, to me, was a hoity-toity "foodie" restaurant. I really had no idea.

WTF, yo.  Who in the heck would be intimidated by a restaurant?!?! :lol:

Send 'em to Olive Garden.  Oy.

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WTF, yo.  Who in the heck would be intimidated by a restaurant?!?! :lol:

Send 'em to Olive Garden.  Oy.

I will admit to being intimidated by Palena the first time I tried going there (several years ago now). My wife and I read the menu posted outside and bailed for Yanyu.

My how things have changed in just a few years. ;)

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NO WAY! I *SO* don't believe you, bilrus. You and your wife were both intimidated? Nooooo.

Huh.

One of the things kills me about Sorrio's is that the wild mushroom pasta could've been good if they only did a few basic tweaks to it.

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I'm a big fan of Sorriso! Been twice, both in the past month or so. The first was to celebrate my birthday. We'd planned to go to Dino, but it was saturday night and the wait was about 45 minutes, so we wandered up the street and ended up in Sorriso. We had a salami and cheese and veggies platter to start with. I don't recall specifics about any of the salamis or cheeses, but they were all quite yummy. The bread was good too, and the olive oil served was, IMO, as good as the olive oil at Dino or Jaleo.

My friend got a glass of pinot grigio, which she pronounced quite good. she got a plain cheese pizza for her entree, and I got spaghetti carbonera for mine. Both entrees were quite enjoyable. The pizza was a tad more oily than I like, but, I've never had pizza anywhere that wasn't, since I prefer entirely unoily pizza, so I don't hold that against them. I was very impressed by my spaghetti, in that it was suitably rich without being TOO heavy, and so mouthwatering that even after I felt I couldn't possibly eat another bite or I'd burst (and have no room for dessert!) I still could barely refrain from indulging.

For dessert we split a slice of the dark chocolate cake, which was delicious, and addictive. The server mentioned some dessert with lemon and strawberries, which I made a mental note to try the next time. There was a large party at the table next to us, and we blatantly ogled their food, all of which looked mouth watering. The calamari fritti, a favorite of mine, in particular looked quite good, but I didn't have room for another bite, so decided a return trip was in order.

That return trip was made for a solo lunch tuesday, and I again found the food to be great. The calamari in particular, has now become my measure against which all other calamari is judged. It was perfectly crisp on the outside, with the batter consisting of something utterly delicious which I am entirely unable to identify but utterly addicted to, and the squid itself was perfectly tender and exactly the right thickness, neither too skimpy nor too meaty. I've had calamari at a number of local restaurants, and this calamari was hands down the best.

The tomatoes topped with mozzarella was a win as well. It was lightly peppered, and lightly olive oiled. I don't know what specific mozzarella they used, but it was just amazing. The tomatoes were a bit out of season, although still quite good, but the mozzarella more than made up for the slight deficiencies of the tomatoes.

Unfortunately, when I asked about the lemon and strawberry dessert, the waiter had no idea what I was talking about, probably because all I remembered was 'it was something with lemon and strawberry.' So I had a slice of the dark chocolate cake, and it was even more addictive than before.

I don't know if Sorriso has changed chefs since spring when people had the not so great experiences, but Sorriso is definitely a very strong contender in my list of places to go to dinner.

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Had drinks and snacks here last night with a couple of friends, one of whom frequents it as a neighborhood joint. Not a lot seems to have changed in two years since the last reviews here, and my experience resembled some of the earlier reviews more closely than the last raving one. Prices seemed high ($11/glass for decent syrah), and snacks were for the most part decent, but not great. We split a pizza margherita, which had nice thin crust, but was a standard red cheese pizza topped with a few scattered basil leaves -- no tomatoes, no fresh mozzarella. As a special item, the chef cooked us up some zucchini fries, which were really quite good: piping hot, and coated with a light, shatteringly crispy, non-greasy, well-seasoned batter. Total for four glasses of wine, pizza margherita, and zucchini fries was $70.

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An old friend was in town and Sorriso is his old stomping ground, so off to dinner we went. We have been there many many times over the years prior to our friend leaving town. My wife and I always enjoyed the food, especially the pizza, and the wine and neighborhood feel of the place. For dinner last night we started with a margarita pizza, it was well prepared, nice char and perfect balance of cheese and sauce. The antipasti plate was a decent combination of veggies and meats, good, but not great. It reminded me of the simply plates my grandmother would put together, no fancy products, just simple. For dinner my wife had the fish stew and I had the Osso Buco with risotto. My wife liked her stew, perfectly spicy with a nice portion of fish, mussels, shrimp and clams. There was a slight broth to the dish, which was full flavor. The Osso Buco was a perfectly prepared, fork tender piece of larger cut of meat served atop perfectly prepared risotto. The flavors were perfectly melded together. I usually shy away from this dish because it is served with Polenta, which is on my trite list. The substitution saved this dish for me. For desert we split a desert pizza, which is served with nutella and fresh fruit. The warm crust slightly melts the nutella, combined with the fruit makes a wonderfully fun desert. We also had a few decent bottles of wine. Overall a good meal. I have been a semi regular at Dino and have recommend it to my friends, and often wondered if I would ever go back to Sorriso. After last night I find that there are some reasons to and while Dino remains highest on my rotation, there is room for the place across the street.

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