Prolific Houston restaurateur Ben Berg envisioned his newest project, Trattoria Sofia, to feel like it’s right out of a side street in Rome or a tiny rural town in Italy, with the rustic cooking to match. The new Berg Hospitality Group restaurant is expected to open for lunch and dinner on Friday, November 26, at 911 West 11th Street. The original plan involved opening this weekend, but an issue with the gas company pushed back Trattoria Sofia’s debut. Reservations for November 26 are available now.
Trattoria Sofia’s menu features dishes like shrimp bruschetta, woodfire-roasted octopus, pan-seared swordfish, lamb ragù, and cacio e pepe. Houston-native L.J. Wiley serves as executive chef, and chef and bread baker Magnus Hansson consulted on the menu, which will be driven by the seasons.
The menu begins with appetizers like crostini with Sicilian pesto and a dip with whipped sheep’s milk ricotta, spicy honey, and fried garlic. Order pizza or pasta or entrees like veal milanese. Desserts include a frozen coffee tiramisu made with sesame cookies and chocolate cake.
Meanwhile, Alba Huerta, owner of Washington Avenue’s Julep, put together the intriguing cocktail list for Trattoria Sofia, which includes a jasmine fizz, amaro colada, and bergamot margarita.
Trattoria Sofia gets its name from Berg’s eldest daughter. The building is made out of repurposed brick and vine-covered aged stucco walls, with an antique fountain stationed at the 2,500-square-foot restaurant’s entrance. A covered patio is meant to evoke a secret garden, with pergolas and an olive tree. There’s seating for 64 inside and 84 outside.
Trattoria Sofia isn’t the only project Berg’s been working on lately. Berg Hospitality Group will open two new restaurants at 14-acre mixed-use development Autry Park next year.
The first restaurant is an American brasserie called Annabelle’s, which will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner with views of Buffalo Bayou. Berg will also debut a luxurious steakhouse called Turner’s Cut, featuring rare cuts of meat from Japan and North and South America. Both are slated to open in spring 2022.