Sunday, November 29, 2009

Beet & Goat Cheese Casserole Recipe

Serves 6 to 8 people

This is Executive Chef Bill Crouse's recipe which makes an excellent dish for any holiday table.

4 pounds beets - trimmed
Salt & Pepper
2 pounds goat cheese-room temperature
4 ounces Mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
2 oranges, rinsed, dried, zested and juiced - reserve
¼ cup heavy cream
1 lemon, rinsed dried zested & juiced - reserve
½ lb baby arugula
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of orange segments (can use drained canned mandarin orange segments)
½ cup of pine nuts toasted (optional)

½ sheet pan
Mixer with paddle attachment
7 x 12 casserole dish
Piping bag

Coat beets with oil, salt, pepper and roast at 375 until tender. Cool at least 15 to 20 minutes. Peel and slice into ¼ in slices

In mixer bowl or large bowl add the goat cheese, mascarpone cheese, chopped tarragon, orange zest, orange juice, heavy cream, lemon zest and lemon juice. Use paddle attachment if you have a Kitchen Aide mixer or whip by hand.

1 Line the bottom of the casserole dish tightly with the slices of beets to create one layer
2 Put the goat cheese mixture in piping bag and put one tablespoon of goat cheese one inch apart. With the back of a spoon or recessed spatula smooth out the goat cheese.
3 Repeat steps one and two - or until casserole dish is full. Chill until service.
4 Toss arugula with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, then top the casserole just before serving
5 Arrange the drained orange segments and optional toasted pine nuts on top of casserole.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

This is what Sotto Sopra is all about

We recently received an email from David and Kimberly Gula about their experience in Sotto Sopra. The letter reflects what we strive for here at Sotto Sopra, a wonderful experience for our guests. The fact that David and Kimberly took the time to write this letter was greatly appreciated, to express that their evening was memorable and joyous - thank you to them for sharing.

On Thursday November 19th, my wife Kimberly and I were celebrating our13th anniversary. Your restaurant has always been one of our favorites.We make it a point to dine at your establishment at least 8 times a year in addition to celebrating special events. We have never been disappointed. We always leave raving about the chefs/food, service,atmosphere, friendliness and your commitment to excellence!The attention to the smallest details mean so much to us. One example is the size opening of the glasses you serve your wine in! They allow the wine to breathe.

We arrived and were warmly greeted at the door. On this particular evening my wife and I felt somewhat "chatty", so we decided to sit at the bar. Derek was bartending that evening and made us feel right at home. The choices on your menu are always a dilemma because everything is fantastic. We asked Derek about several choices we had in mind. It was refreshing that he didn't try to dictate what we should order nor try to push a particular item. He simply gave us his thoughts about what we were contemplating. We ordered several items, and like the 30 times before during the past 4 years - every choice was a joy! A place like yours means so much to us because we are the type of people that would rather spend our money going out once a month to a wonderful restaurant, rather than going out more often to places that are only average.

Derek mentioned to us he had affiliations with Chicago. We love Chicago, and talked about its culture, history and food for a short period. In the course of the conversation we did mention it was our anniversary. The next thing you know we had a glass of wonderful house wine comped. The people that select your "house wines" should be commended. In addition to Derek, there was also an employee who is petit and had blond hair. It's a shame we can't remember her name because we've seen her many times, she is always friendly and attentive. Derek must have mentioned it was our anniversary and at the end of the evening she brought us over a couple of samplings of champagne.

The point of this story is that as customers we interact with very few of the staff, and the experience we take away with us is based off of those interactions. The reasons those interactions are so important is that your employees would not be allowed to do these things that made our evening so delightful unless owners and management promoted this philosophy. It is obvious to us that the practices you are putting into place regarding customer satisfaction will translate into a business that will last generations.

You can count on my wife and I supporting your restaurant in the coming years. In addition, when we have guests visit, we will be promoting your restaurant as the place to go.

Our thanks to all the people that made our anniversary dinner so memorable

David and Kimberly

December 13th - OPERA NIGHT

Sunday, December 13th, 2009 ~ 5:30pm.

Ring in the holidays with an evening of live music, 6-course Italian dinner and our beautiful room for unsurpased atmosphere. Still undecided on your holiday party, maybe Opera Night would be a great alternative. We are holding Opera Night a little earlier in the month so as not to interfere with family gatherings. We look forward to seeing you.

A Night of Live Opera

Ms. Kathleen Dougherty, Soprano
Ms. Diane Abel, Soprano
Mr. Paul McIlvaine, Tenor
Mr. Tom Hetrick, Piano


1st course
Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad
with orange vinaigrette

2nd course
White Bean and Rosemary Soup
with onion bread

3rd course
Parmesan Risotto with Lemon Roasted Shrimp

4th course
Spiced Apple Sorbetto

5th course
Prosciutto Wrapped Beef Tenderloin
with sweet potato gratin and tarragon demi-glaze

6th course
Chocolate Cake
with peppermint and chocolate ganache

$58 per person
(excludes beverages, tax and gratuity)

Reservations are required - Call Monika Pawlak at 410 625 0534 or e-mail her at

Special promotions and discounts do not apply to this event

Save the Date: Our next Opera Night is Sunday, January 17th

Friday, November 27, 2009

A New Holiday Music Classic is Born: Andrea Bocelli

From Abbondanza Magazine comes the story of a new holiday music album from Andrea Bocelli.

Legendary Tenor Andrea Bocelli has catapulted himself into immortality with his new holiday CD My Christmas. The celebration of holiday classics is a glorious collaboration of efforts, as artists Mary J Blige, Natalie Cole, The Tabernacle Choir and The Muppets sideline Bocelli - giving voice to the true spirit of Christmas. Trust us, this one’s a keeper.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Holiday Lunch Party Menu

for parties of 10 or more

Haven’t made your holiday party plans as yet? May we suggest having your celebrations at lunch time at Sotto Sopra. Remember we are open for luncheon on Saturdays as well as weekdays.

As a host/hostess you can choose any three entrees from our menu selections and one of our delectable desserts for your exclusive party.

Contact Monika, banquet manager, at 410 625 0534 or email at for inquiries on your holiday or special event gatherings.


Zuppa o Insalata ~ Choice of

Zuppa Del Giorno
Soup of the day
Insalata Mista
Mesclun salad with tomatoes, onions and balsamic vinaigrette

(As host please select three entrees)

Rigatoni alle Melanzane
Rigatoni with eggplant, fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce

Penne alle Zucchini
Penne pasta served with roasted zucchini, garlic, olive oil and shaved Pecorino cheese

Bucatini All’Amatriciana
Bucatini pasta served with bacon, Vidalia onions crushed red pepper and fresh tomato sauce

Chicken Sotto Sopra
Grilled chicken topped with tomato, provolone cheese and asparagus served
with mashed potatoes and rosemary sauce

Honey -Lavender Glazed Salmon
served with roasted broccoli and parsnip puree

Grilled Chicken Panino
Italian ciabatta bread stuffed with chicken breast, Prosciutto, provolone, sautéed mushrooms, fresh herbs
and lemon-basil aioli

Pizza Margherita
Pizza with fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil

(As a host please select one)

Homemade Tiramisu

Apple Strudel served with Vanilla Gelato

Crepe filled with Nutella and Banana served with Vanilla Gelato

$25 per person
(excludes tax and gratuity)
Beverages ala carte

All You Can Drink
sodas, American coffee and tea
$5.00 per person
(excludes tax and gratuity)

valid for December, 09
no other promotions or discounts apply to this menu

Monday, November 09, 2009

Chef for the Day Dinner November 19th

Chef for the Day Dinner
Ron Culbertson
Thursday, November 19
Open reservations – 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Our November Chef-for-the-Day dinner is Ron Culbertson. Chef Crouse and Ron have chosen a four course menu that reflects the season, the land and the sea. We hope you will join us and enjoy this special meal.

About Ron Culbertson:

With Italian and Polish heritage, this Baltimore native grew up helping his mother and grandmother stir the pots on the stove. "Cooking is just in my soul," claims Ron. Despite his mathematics background, his cooking is less about measurement and more about experimenting with flavors and ingredients. Ron retired in June after thirty-seven years as teacher and administrator at the Gilman School. For the last twenty-five years, he was the Middle School Head there: "Working with young adolescents inspired me and kept me young. It was a dream come true having a hand in helping to shape these young men." Since retiring, Ron has spent time working on the house, helping to care for his 15-month old grandson, training to be a high school football official, and cooking for family and friends. "Chef-for-the-Day will be another fantasy come true."

1st Course
Bruschetta Trio
Mushroom and Liver Pate
Roasted Peppers and Marjoram
Cannellini Bean and Rosemary

2nd Course
Pasta Duetto
Butternut Squash Ravioli
Asparagus and Tomato Fazzoletti

3rd Course
Terra e Mar
(Land and Sea)
Stuffed Pork Loin with Goat Cheese
Oyster Rockefeller with Crabmeat
with lemon and rosemary roasted potatoes

4th Course
Brie and Apple Butter Torte
with apple cinnamon gelato

Cost per person
(excludes beverages, tax and gratuity)
Reservations are highly suggested - please call Monika at 410 625 0534 and let her know you will be attending the Chef-for-the-Day dinner.
no other promotions or discounts apply to this event