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Grilled salmon with farro, roasted beets, goat cheese / Image: Phil Armstrong, Cincinnati Refined // Published: 11.19.16

Going Underground To Sotto, One Of Cincinnati’s Finest Italian Eateries

It’s impossible to glimpse the inside from the outside.
It has a modest, unassuming sign painted above its door.
It’s hidden down several flights of stairs on 6th Street.
It’s an enigma forged in wood and brick to those who don’t know it.
It’s one of Cincinnati’s finest Italian restaurants.

It’s Sotto.

Everything about Sotto is deliberate and intentionally tasteful, from the dining room’s dim, rustic ambiance to the carefully-designed menu. After years of success like Sotto’s, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t associate its name with a special night out and an incredible dining experience.


As you descend into its warm, inviting atmosphere and the aroma wafting from the kitchen envelopes you, Sotto’s lavish aesthetic becomes immediately clear: a copper-top bar with rows of backlit liquors and bottles of bourbon, a circular wine rack in a shallow pit beneath a brilliantly-lit beaded chandelier, a red-walled private dining room illuminated by mirrored sconces that surround polished brass fixtures and wooden furniture, half-moon leather booths sidled up to exposed brick walls...

There is no shortage of sumptuous design; its elegance cannot be overstated. It’s that nice down there.


But it’s not all pretty tables and chairs with shiny chandeliers. Sotto’s separate lunch and dinner menus encompass an impressive spectrum of Italian specialties ranging from grilled salmon to short rib cappellacci. Extensive wine and cocktail menus accompany the myriad meal options, complementing the dishes perfectly.

When you dine at Sotto, you’re doing more than just eating a meal. You’re experiencing the distinct fusion of authentic Italian cuisine and a Queen City legacy in the making.

I’m confident that I don’t have to convince you of its excellent menu. Ask anyone who’s been there, and they’ll tell you some version of “it’s some of the best Italian I’ve ever had.”

You’re gonna want to check out the gallery above. Trust me. Were I a better writer, I would weave together descriptions that befit the Chef’s work. Ultimately, though, I can’t do the food justice through text. I’m a photographer at heart.

But, on the other hand, you know how many words a photo is worth.


Sotto is located down a short flight of stairs at 118 E. 6th Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202.