We started off as a group of locals who’ve spent much of their time on Commercial Drive. While growing up, The Drive was a gathering point for local Italians to socialize over coffee; eating was either done at home or at Nonna’s house. As our city has grown towards a culture where we don’t always have time to cook a homemade meal, we find ourselves looking outward for tastes of authenticity that bring us back to the Italian dinner table that we know and love.
As luck would have it, while on The Drive we were introduced to our incredible head chef, Enrico Fratoni, who brings that perfect balance of tradition and contempo that only a true Italian can. Thus, we began Sopra Sotto.
The restaurant is our tribute to both the neighbourhood that helped raise us and the simple, yet natural food that nourished us at home.
So, you can’t cook like Nonna? We’ve got you covered. Like his ancestors, Chef Enrico feels that food should be simple and made “farmer style,” with fresh, seasonal ingredients. All of our menu items are prepared with care in the traditional Italian fashion. Sauces are simmered for hours allowing for a true emersion of flavours. Similarly, our pizza dough is prepared in advance and allowed two days to rise — this grants that the yeast will complete its full growth cycle, creating a lighter meal. As Italian cuisine is so diverse, seasonal changes will be made to our menu; be sure to keep an eye out for new items, as well as old favourites.
As is at home, our food is best enjoyed when shared family style, like the typical Italian dinner table.
If you have a special occasion coming up, feel free to give us a call a week in advance, and we will be happy to put together a customized menu for you and your guests.
Of course, we offer a variety of Italian wines that pair beautifully with our handmade pastas and pizzas. Although no one enjoys a glass of wine more than we do, we’d be lying if we said that we don’t look forward to Vancouver’s Patio Season. As a result, we offer an assortment of Italian-inspired cocktails, imported bottled beer, as well as local beer on tap.
Turin, Piedmont, Italy is well known as the home of the Shroud of Turin, the Juventus F.C. and Torino F.C. soccer teams, the headquarters of automobile manufacturers FIAT and Alfa Romeo. It is also the hometown of Sopra Sotto’s Executive Chef, Enrico Fratoni. He refers to Torino as his “land of truffle, gianduia [chocolate hazelnut], grissini [bread sticks] and excellent wine.” Although Enrico began his post-secondary education studying sciences, his passion for good food and his natural talent soon lead him to the restaurant business.
Enrico has always had an obsession with cooking. At the young age of 21, he opened a restaurant in Turin with his best friend. They cooked, they served and they slept. There were many long days, but so much enthusiasm. Since then, he has worked in France, Australia and of course, Canada.
Enrico likes to cook simple foods using the best ingredients. “Food is [his] life,” he says. “I love to eat and I want the best. We are what we eat [and] life is too short to eat bad food.” Outside of the kitchen, Enrico enjoys playing sports, as well as going camping to take in what nature has to offer. It is appropriate that Vancouver is his new home – a city where he can challenge his passion for cooking, while being surrounded by true natural beauty of the ocean on one side and mountains on the other.