Dining: Try Sophia’s for a romantic night out

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“Eat pasta. Live longer,” is the catchphrase of Sophia’s Ristorante Italiano. While eating pasta may not extend your lifespan, eating at Sophia’s will certainly make living more enjoyable.

Jay and Camille Cherr, who also own and operate Susie’s Diner on Marco Island, own the Naples restaurant, and the Cherrs have put noticeable effort into their new endeavor, even going so far as to name the place after their 4-month-old daughter, Sophia.

The restaurant, on Pine Ridge Road in Naples, just opened two weeks ago, and offers a wide variety of pastas dishes and brick oven pizza, as well as seafood and steaks. There are several intimate tables, even a few with views of the open kitchen. Reservations are suggested.

On a recent night out, this Naples Sun Times reporter sampled three courses, but it was a challenge deciding which ones. After much debate, the Calamari Fritti and Vongole & Cozze were ordered for appetizers.

The calamari was coated in a special seasoning, fried golden brown and served with marinara. The appetizer was large enough to share, nearly overflowing off the plate. The Vongole & Cozze was a combination of littleneck clams and mussels, with hot chili peppers and olive oil in a white wine sauce, served over linguini. Both dishes were amazing, but the white wine sauce and the subtle hint of spiciness made the Vongole & Cozze, which can also be prepared with a red wine sauce.

For the main course selections, the Lobster Fra Diabolo and Filet Mignon Baraolo were chosen. The menu describes the lobster entree as a classic dish, slightly spicy, with fresh tomatoes, garlic and olive oil, served over linguini. The lobster was de-shelled and seasoned with herbs and butter, and then stuffed back in the tail and stacked atop linguini with a piquant marinara.

The Filet Mignon Baraolo was served with mushrooms, prosciutto and red potatoes, which made for a lovely presentation. The 10-ounce filet was a hearty portion, but order it cooked slightly less than normal.

Sophia’s offers a wide variety of desserts, including Cherries Jubliee, described as tableside flambé for two. But we tasted the tiramisu and ricotta cheesecake, with the tiramisu a delight! The cake was moist, the coffee flavors just right and the cocoa topper not too overpowering.

At Sophia’s, eating just might have you living longer.

If you go:

6565 Pine Ridge Road

4 to 10 p.m. daily

597-0744

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