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Tour Sophia’s, Modern Italian-American Supper Club, Opening This Week

By Elizabeth Leader Smith

When Italian-influenced Sophia’s opens on Friday, August 5 on West 6th Street., guests can expect traditional favorites—cacio e pepe, grilled salmon, bone-in ribeye—plus whole roasted fish, crudo, and orecchiette tartufate with black truffle cream.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 3.28.48 PMEater photographer Courtney Pierce visited the space before its debut this week, which includes a bar and lounge area, an open dining room, and a covered terrace upstairs. Owners Matt Deichl and Jonathan Gillespie, plus partners at BDG Hospitality Group, took over the defunct Bess Bistro spot, reinventing it with fresh wallpaper and flooring, and added new furniture and lighting to usher in its supper club-meets-speakeasy atmosphere.

Executive chef Mark Sparacino joins Sophia’s from Prosecco Ristorante in Chicago, where he is the owner and will still remain head of that kitchen. His menu will consist of starters both hot (grilled octopus and calamari) and cold (burrata and prosciutto), salads, pastas, seafood, and meats. Highlights of the cocktail program include whiskeys, tequilas, mezcals, and a homemade limoncello.

Once open, Sophia’s hours will be from Tuesday to Sunday, with late nights on Thursday through Saturday, though the specific times are not yet available. With Sophia’s, Austin’s wave of Italian restaurants continues strong. 2015 welcomed Juliet, Juniper, Italic, and the quickly-closed Al Fico, the openings extended into last month with L’oca d’Oro. More are on the horizon with Red Ash and two more joining the Arnold complex on East 6th Street.