Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Sofia’s of Little Italy

At Sofia’s Little Italy, in the heart of New York’s most Italian neighborhood, classic Italian food is what it’s all about. There are starters like Polpettini alla Sofia (special house meatballs in marinara with fresh oregano) and a selection of four carpaccios, first courses of risotto and housemade pastas like the gnocchi al pesto, and second courses of whole branzino grilled with lemon and rosemary, and osso buco. There has to be osso buco; this is Little Italy.

Paul Shaked, Sophia’s co-owner with his father, used to wait tables and tend bar at the family’s restaurant, but he had his sites set on a career in finance and management. After getting his degree from New York University, though, he decided to return to the restaurant business instead. He wanted to take over from his dad when he retired, to keep the restaurant in the family. A wine lover himself, Shaked did his homework and remade Sophia’s wine list to highlight lesser known Italian wines.

And at the ripe old age of 25, Shaked opened a restaurant of his own, The Cleveland, just a few blocks away from Sofia’s. There, some of the city’s critics have called the wine list one of the geekiest in town. And in a wine town like New York, it doesn’t get any better than that.

  • Moveable Feast

    Little Italy, NYC (203)

    In season 2, episode 2 of Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking, host Pete Evans explores Manhattan’s Little Italy with chefs Gabrielle Hamilton and Marco Canora.

Season 7 Sponsors

  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Land Rover
  • If You Care
  • Edna Valley Vineyard
  • BritBox
  • BelGioioso
  • Mutti
  • Maille
  • Oatly

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.

Start your FREE trial