Best Restaurants 2017

Hello, little sister! After years of living—literally—in the shadow of its glitzier, glossier big sister Boca, Sotto has come into its own.

Short rib cappellacci with thyme and brown butter

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

Some credit the decadent ricotta doughnuts that have been a pastry menu mainstay since they opened back in 2013, but those in the know pay homage to the quiet and careful determination of longtime chef de cuisine Danny Combs and his humble commitment to stellar interpretations of honest trattoria standards.

Chef de Cuisine Danny Combs

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

Rustic textures and approachable presentations are juxtaposed with sublime flavors in dishes like the tartare di fassone (beef tartar with lemon and bread crumbs) and their house-made blood sausage with squash and mustard greens.

For hearty appetites, there’s always the one kilo Bistecca Fiorentina, a massive porterhouse that arrives on a sizzling platter accompanied by sides like grilled asparagus with pearl onions and ricotta salata, but we recommend sticking with a bunch of small plates. Try sampling their ethereally smooth chicken liver mousse, the grilled quail with seasonal vegetable (we loved the earthy roasted butternut squash with wilted greens last fall), and the perennial stunner, the short rib cappellacci with thyme and browned butter. Only the most strict teetotalers will want to miss the wines on offer here. Grab a glass of Gavi or split a bottle of Vajra barolo with someone special. Honestly, there isn’t a better date night destination in town.

Vitello Tonnato with Veal, frisée, egg, and pickled Fresno peppers

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

Sotto, 118 E. Sixth St., downtown, (513) 977-6886,

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