There are three more days to eat broccoli fritto.
Proprietors Sarah Krathen and Emma Hearst are closing Sorella, their cozy Italian restaurant, after dinner service on Saturday night. The pair shared their decision with The Lo-Down this week, saying:
To the family, friends and fans of Sorella: It is with a heavy heart that we are announcing the closing of Sorella at 95 Allen. It has been quite the ride for the past five and a half years, but all good things must come to an end. We opened quietly in December 2008 as best friends, and are closing quietly this weekend, still as best friends. There’s no drama, so we urge you to come say goodbye, as our last service will be Saturday, May 24. If you want your final broccoli fritto fix, one more honeypot, a taste of Chunky Sorella, or to just say hey and chew on grissini, now is the time. We’re bringing in some old friends to make it special, including the beloved pate de fegato. We couldn’t have had a better time, and it’s because of all the people we got to work with and serve over the years.
Best friends who met while studying at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, Hearst helmed the kitchen while Krathen ran the front of the house and oversaw the bar program. When Sorella opened, both partners were in their early 20s, leading Krathen to often crack that they learned how to run a restaurant by running a restaurant.
Shortly after its debut, the restaurant garnered critical success with its original spin on traditional northern Italian dishes. The ever-changing menu featured small plates of delectable pastas and inventive meat and vegetable dishes. The latter included the broccoli fritto, a customer favorite, which involved a light fry and a spicy aioli. Hearst wasn’t shy with butter, cheese and other decadent ingredients; the pate de fegato returning to the menu for one last weekend features chicken-liver mousse on an English muffin doused in duck fat. The housemade gelato flavors were so successful that they led to a spin-off dessert parlor called Stellina, which the partners launched in an adjacent storefront in 2011.
In late 2012, Hearst stepped away from the kitchen after the death of her grandfather, moving out of the city temporarily while keeping a hand in the business from afar but turning the kitchen over to chef Molly Nickerson. At the same time, Hearst and Krathen were crafting a cookbook drawn from Sorella’s menus, which debuted last fall.
What’s next for Krathen and Hearst?
“We’re still young, so we may return … just never again at 95 Allen,” the partners wrote in their goodbye note. “We are excited to start the next chapter, and hope you’ll stay tuned as the story unfolds.”