Author's note: The Italian word sorella literally means sisters. No surprise then, when we approached the team behind the newly opened Sorella, owner/chef Emma Hearst and general manager Sarah Krathen wanted to do their interview together. This pair traveled together through Northern Italy--all in the name of research, of course--and brought the cuisine of Piedmont to a cozy spot on the Lower East Side to share with their fellow New Yorkers. Let's see what the "sisters" have to say! --Laren
Name: Emma Hearst, Sarah Krathen
Location: Lower East Side
Occupation: Owner/chef and general manager, Sorella
What elements in particular did you try to bring back to share with New Yorkers?
Emma: The sense of family and the importance of quality on all levels. Sarah: The hospitality.
Many of us immediately think of truffles when we think of Piedmont. What other delicacies are found there that you've included on your menu?
Emma: Tajarin which is a delicious thin ribbon pasta of the region very high in egg yolks, Tonnato sauce, Agnolotti, Gianduja and of course delectable grissini (our house made breadsticks) that one would find all over Piedmont.
You used to work at Union Square Cafe. In what way, if any, did Danny Meyer's award-winning hospitality influence the atmosphere at Sorella?
Emma: Fortunately I was able to witness Mr. Meyer's strong commitment to hospitality first hand. If I can achieve this in my own restaurant, I would view it as a success.
Give me three things on the menu that are not to be missed on a first visit.
Emma: The gnocchi, the torta di Marsala, veal sweetbreads and the super dank Italian beers we have. Sarah: Pate de Fegato, side of brussel sprouts, and espresso.
Can we get a little preview of what's on the brunch menu?
Emma: Tasty, seasonal selections of foods you crave when you partied a little too hard the night before. A decadent French toast is a promise... oh yeah, multiple pork products too. Sarah: Well, I can speak for beverage, as Emma hasn't shared brunch items with me yet...but I have had her French toast... which is ridiculous. Hope that's on there...I can say there will be a lot of bubbles.
Where do you like to eat when you're not working?
Emma: It all depends on what I'm in the mood for. For Mexican, Mercadito/Mercadito Cantina...fantastic and authentic. For Italian, dell'Anima. Upscale? Hmm...Jean Georges for lunch. Sarah: Mamoun's.
Best pizza in the city?
Emma: Grimaldi's Brooklyn. Sarah: Jury still out.
Emma: Warm madeleines, pink champagne, Jameson. Sarah: Drinking sparkling with everything.
Food you won't eat?
Emma: Human hair. Sarah: Depends on who is cooking it.
Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant recommendations. Who's yours?
Emma: TJ Steele, the Executive Sous-Chef at Union Square Cafe. Sarah: Unfortunately, Emma.
What's the best recommendation he/she has given you?
Emma: Hard to say. We've eaten all over the city together. Sarah: Well...honestly? Mamoun's.
95 Allen Street, New York NY 10002 (b/n Broome and Delancey streets; map) 212-274-9595
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