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Make the most of summer with inspired al fresco dining at Sorella

Sorella, Bay View’s newest dining destination, opened last week at 2535 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. And it’s the perfect spot to enjoy the dog days of summer while enjoying a casual Italian-inspired meal.

Open for reservation-only patio dining, Sorella offers a menu of appetizers, salads, pastas, wood-fired pizzas and moderately priced entrees, all of which derive inspiration from Italian and Italian-American staples.

At the bar

Peruse the wine list and you’ll find an impressive selection of moderately priced Old World Italian selections (red, white, rose and sparkling) from Tuscany, Puglia and Treviso to Piedmont, along with New World selections from Argentina, California and Washington.

Draft beers are categorized similarly and include classic German quaffs along with new-school craft brews. Cocktails, meanwhile, are fresh and summery with options like a classic negroni, spritz and the Hotel Cristina with house limoncello, vodka, soda, basil and mint.

On the menu

The vegetable-heavy menu is filled with salads and antipasti that take advantage of the season. Solid finds include kale Caesar salad, a tasty take on the classic featuring tender massaged kale, Caesar dressing and a sprinkling of parmesan and crisp crouton bits ($12).

Among the generous bowls of well prepared vegetables is roasted broccoli with apricots, chilies and almonds ($9), a delicious carry-over from Chef Kyle Toner’s time at Wolf Peach; and roasted cauliflower amatriciana, a play on the pasta dish of the same name with cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, pancetta, onion and pecorino romano ($10). The generous portion is enough for a meal or sharing.

There are also seafood options like mussels stuffed with garlic and herbed breadcrumbs ($11); and shrimp scampi with garlic, butter and white wine sauce ($13).

But be sure to save a bit of room for the arancini carbonara, fried rice balls stuffed with a creamy mixture of guanciale, pecorino, egg and black pepper ($10).

Pastas, served in petite, Italian style portions (perfect for enjoying as part of a larger spread) run the gamut from fusilli with “Monday sauce”, a ragu of broken meatballs, sausage and pork with ricotta cheese ($14); to vegetable-based options like rigatoni with vodka sauce and spinach ($13) and spaghetti alla nerano, a rich velvety sauced pasta with thinly sliced summer zucchini, provolone and fresh basil ($12).

Wood-fired pizzas, made with the exceptionally light, crisp dough for which Toner has become known, run the gamut in terms of toppings. Options include classic pies like margherita, topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil and parmesan ($12); earthy mushroom pizza topped with roasted garlic cream, marjoram and dried tomatoes ($14) and more elaborate combinations like the capricciosa with sauce, mozzarella, ham, artichokes, mushrooms and olives ($16).

Pepperoni pizza is topped with mozzarella,…

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