Sotto Voce

Ghibellina’s New Downstairs Smokery

None 6 Photos Sotto
For a second there, you thought 14th Street didn’t have any surprises left in it.

And for a second there, you thought wrong.

Because the Ghibellina folks have a new underground thing. They’re playing around with a smoker, and the bar snacks are inspired by state fairs. It’s called Sotto. Opens Tuesday night.

Don’t let the Italian-sounding name fool you. This place skews American, from the aforementioned smoker to the Jazz Age drinks (like the Trolley Car: spiced rum, blood orange, bitters) to the live jazz, blues and soul.

Take a look around. There’s brick. There’s a bar made from a single tree. There’s sliding metal screens. And you’ve got two ways to proceed. If there’s just two of you, post up at that bar. The rest of it is all communal seating—big semicircular booths and even bigger wooden tables. Perfect if you’re with a big group, or you don’t mind taking your chances with meeting new people. (Could turn out great. Or horrible. Focus on the great.)

In any case, you’ll be ordering ballpark peanuts and popcorn with chili and lime, pretzel-dough monkey bread with apple mustard and a 30-ounce smoked short rib for two.

Trust us. It’s what you’ll be ordering.

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