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 is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.