Soya is tucked away in a vaulted arcade, like an old trattoria upon which you might stumble on a side street in Rome. It's a seductive setting for red-sauced and rustic Italian fare, and Smiling Gums' natural mix of rock n roll and afro-Cuban rhythms. The band will play two sets each last Friday of the month, at 9:30 and 11:30 p.m.
"The nostalgic feeling of the abandoned bank lobby and old book shelves makes me feel like I am in some decayed grandiose old city. Something like Havana," explains vocalist and guitarist Ruben Millares. "It keeps our music rich and really captures our sound. Not to mention the authentic Italian food!"
In addition to bottle specials on Italian Pinot Grigio ($24) and Chianti Classico ($26,) the full menu is available throughout the evening. Highlights include antipasti ranging from bruschetta ($6) to antipasto affettato with cured meats including prosciutto di Parma, sopressata, mortadella, mozzarella and eggplant ($14.) For fresh pasta, there's eggplant and aged ricotta paccheri with fresh tomato and basil ($13,) and spaghetti alla chitarra with a homemade classic meat ragu ($15.) Cavatelli pancetta zucchini e zafferano ($14) is rife with Italian bacon and zucchini, in an exotic saffron sauce. Fazzoletti di formaggio e pera ($15) is filled with cheese and pear, in a sauce of shrimp and ricotta. Ravioli is stuffed with porcini mushrooms in a walnut sauce ($15,) and orecchiette comes with sauteed clams and zucchini in a white wine sauce ($16.) Secondi piati include a vegetarian option of sfoglia di melanzane, where sheets of browned puffed pastry arrive layered with eggplant, smoked mozzarella and fresh tomato ($15.) The lamb shank is braised in a red wine sauce and served with rosemary mashed potatoes ($21.) Pan-seared tuna rests on a bed of roasted eggplant, mint, olives, and fresh tomatoes ($19.)
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Soya e Pomodoro
120 NE 1st St