Is Italian Trattoria Sotto Cincinnati’s Most Romantic Restaurant?

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Sotto is Cincinnati's hidden basement trattoria — a below-street-level Italian eatery, nestled underneath sister restaurant Boca on Sixth Street downtown.

This is the place that comes to mind when you’re in the mood for great pasta — or a great date night. The mood lighting is dramatic: think candle-lit tables, wood accents and red velvet drapes. And the food is delicious. Order a bottle of wine or a cocktail from the Italian-leaning drinks menu and it's instant romance.

With multiple dining rooms, the kitchen is open to view, including the custom-made wood-fire grill in front and a fresh-pasta room in the back hallway. Menu items include big-ticket items like Bistecca Fiorentina, a grilled creekstone porterhouse steak with daily sides, a delicious kale Caesar and any pasta. The handmade options change with the seasons, but if the cacio e pepe or short rib cappellacci are on the menu, order one of those. The cacio is spaghetti topped with creamy pecorino cheese and black pepper and the cappellacci (little pasta “hats”) are filled with short rib and topped with shallot, Amish butter and thyme.

118 E. Sixth St., Downtown, sottocincinnati.com.

| Photos by Hailey Bollinger