Sopra Sotto Pizzeria Opens on the Drive

IMG_5512 (1)We started off as a group of locals who’ve spent much of their time on Commercial Drive. While growing up, The Drive was a gathering point for local Italians to socialize over coffee; eating was either done at home or at Nonna’s house. As our city has grown towards a culture where we don’t always have time to cook a homemade meal, we find ourselves looking outward for tastes of authenticity that bring us back to the Italian dinner table that we know and love. As luck would have it, while on The Drive we were introduced to our incredible head chef, Enrico Fratoni, who brings that perfect balance of tradition and contempo that only a true Italian can. Thus, we began Sopra Sotto. The restaurant is our tribute to both the neighbourhood that helped raise us and the simple, yet natural food that nourished us at home. So, you can’t cook like Nonna? We’ve got you covered. Like his ancestors, Chef Enrico feels that food should be simple and made, “farmer style,” with fresh, seasonal ingredients. As strong believers of the Slow Food Movement, all of our menu items are prepared with care in the traditional Italian fashion. Sauces are simmered for hours allowing for a true emersion of flavours. Similarly, our pizza dough is prepared in advance and allowed two days to rise—this grants that the yeast will complete its full growth cycle, creating a lighter meal. As Italian cuisine is so diverse, seasonal changes will be made to our menu; be sure to keep an eye out for new items, as well as old favourites. Chef Enrico once told us, “You shouldn’t trust people who don’t share their food.” The idea stems from the typical Italian dinner table, where the food is shared as frequently as the stories and affectionate nicknames. As is at home, our food is best enjoyed when shared family style (although we’d be lying if we told you that we’ve never eaten a whole pizza to ourselves). If you have a special occasion coming up, feel free to give us a call aabout week in advance, and we will be happy to put together a customized menu for you and your guest. If you grew up on The Drive, you’ll remember that this location once housed Little Italy’s famed Caffe Roma; a popular gathering point for a coffee with friends, a game of cards, or cheering on your favourite soccer team. Our name is a nod to all of those who won a coffee from their buddy after finally being awarded the “sette bello” during an intense Scopa match, as well as those who went home broken hearted after their team failed to advance in the World Cup. Although we’re wishing that your fortune is always up, or “sopra”, we appreciate that you always returned with a smile when you were down on your luck, or “sotto”. Or logo is our modern take on the Ace of Denari the iconic Italian playing card. Further homage to all of those who stopped by the old Caffe Roma after working hard to help shape the beautiful city that we live in. Although the times change and a beloved Coffee Bar is now a Pizzeria, the good times will not be forgotten. Of course, we offer a variety of Italian wines that pair beautifully with our handmade pastas and pizzas. Although no one enjoys a glass of wine more than we do, we’d be lying if we said that we don’t look forward to Vancouver’s Patio Season. As a result, we offer an assortment of Italian-inspired cocktails, imported bottled beer, as well as local beer on tap. Our space is a reflection of our food and service: simple ingredients, a playful attitude, and quality that lasts the test of time. The combination of simple wood grain, playful details, and traditional metals create an inviting environment and perfect gathering place. Like our name, the whimsicality of luck is reflected within the space through vibrant birds that lend a light-heartedness to an otherwise dramatic colour pallet. As with the highs and lows of luck, contrast is key: During the day, an abundance of natural light lends an up-beat feel that’s perfect for a casual lunch; whereas, in the evening warm lighting and rich tones allow for a dynamic space suitable for anything from a quick family dinner, date night, or drinks with friends. Our up-beat energy extends to our patio where the diversity of Commercial Drive takes center stage. This eclectic combination creates the perfect atmosphere for getting to know someone new, connecting with family and friends, or simply treating yourself – after all, there’s no wrong way to enjoy your meal. In the late 1980’s, much/many of Vancouver’s Italian population relocated to Burnaby Heights – like our brethren, we follow. Coming soon: Sopra Sotto Burnaby Heights.

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