If you love food and you're also a fan of “The Sopranos,” you'll likely remember the scene where Vito Spattafore prepares a home-cooked meal of pork chops and vinegar peppers for Jim "Johnny Cakes" Witowski. The Italian-American dish, which is thought to have origins in the Neapolitan dish costolette di maiale con papaccelle, is an East Coast staple.
It’s also a dish that conjures fond, familiar memories for New Jersey natives Chef Kyle Toner and Paul Damora, co-owners of Sorella, a nascent restaurant which is swiftly attracting a loyal following in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood, despite opening during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On this week’s podcast, we chat with Toner and Damora about the secret sauce behind Sorella, a restaurant built from their collective backgrounds as Italian American New Jersey natives and perfected by years of experience in the restaurant industry. Together, they share the vision for Sorella, the yin and yang that makes their partnership work and the nostalgic dishes that form the basis for the restaurant’s menu. Along the way, they also share the details of their journey to open their first restaurant during one of the toughest moments in history for the restaurant industry.
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Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.