When chef/owner Jean Dupon closed the doors after 37 years of serving memorable French inspired cuisine to Islanders and visitors last Fall, people were sad and disappointed, another downtown Vineyard Haven restaurant closing its doors.
But hope was on the horizon. Island restauranteurs Susan and Stephen Bowen were interested in the building. The owners of Waterside Market and Blue Canoe on the Vineyard, and Parkside Market in Falmouth already have a proven, successful track record. And in my opinion, they serve great food and their restaurants have great aesthetics too.
This June, La Soffitta (So-feat-ta), which is the Italian word for attic and a nod to the space’s rich history, will open it’s doors.
I was able to meet with La Soffitta’s chef, Anthony Carroll, for a sneak peek at what’s to come. It’s these experiences that I get most excited about.
There’s something wonderful about knowing what a space used to look like, what it looks like in transition, and then seeing the final product. For these business owners, it’s a labor of love — of food, of community, of the Island.
When I walked in to La Soffitta, memories came flooding back of my Le Grenier experiences — hosting a Plum TV dating show there, cooking segments with Jean, dinner with friends.
However, those were combined with the excitement I felt for the way the space was starting to change. Susan has really put a lot of thought and intention into the new life of the space.
The Bowens want to create a comfortable, fun, family-friendly Italian restaurant with a focus on fresh food and a relaxing vibe.
I didn’t know where to look first. A really cool, vintage 1952 huge shuffle table that will provide a little added fun for guests in the lounge area caught my eye. Oh yes, I did say lounge. Love the idea of a lounge.
You’ll walk into the lounge area first, where you’ll find the shuffle table, a great new bar for sipping on wine and beer, and of course some creative wine cocktails.
Here, you can relax a bit before dinner or even dine here if you choose. Don’t forget to check out the beautiful new hardwood floors.
Something that has made a huge change in the space is the color. The green everything is on the way out, thank goodness. It is being replaced by a soothing grey with buttercream white trim. The whole space looks lighter and more welcoming.
There are beautiful chandeliers throughout the lounge area. To add to the chic feel, the ceiling will have swagged burlap. Love this idea.
The bar has been crafted out of reclaimed wood from a ship. When at La Soffitta, be certain to take time to really look at the bar. It’s quite interesting and beautiful.
You might remember the fixtures in the dining room. The small ceiling sconces are from Le Grenier, but without all the corks and stuff. They’re quite charming in the space.
I can’t wait to see what it looks like with tables in it, bottle of red, bottle of white – our soon to be favorite Italian restaurant?
The chef, Anthony, travelled to Italy over the winter to attend the Italian Culinary Institute. Tough gig for January, right? No, but seriously, he went to Italy to train with some world renowned chefs, and learn how to make authentic Italian food.
It was an eye-opening experience for him. Many times Italian food in America is heavy with basil and oregano and huge portions. However, true italian cuisine celebrates the individual flavors of the ingredients.
You should be able to savor the ingredients and know what they are. Many Italian dishes have only a couple of ingredients but can take your breath away. La Soffitta will offer authentically inspired dishes from various regions of Italy.
For La Soffitta, the food will be like that, fresh pasta, fresh ingredients, a fresh take on food on the Island. The chef is very excited to create this menu. His trip to Italy has energized his love for food and the excitement of sharing it with others.
The food will be served family style. Think lots of sharing and the best thing for me is that it will be kid friendly. I appreciate that Susan and Stephen incorporated this into their restaurant theme.
They have two young children themselves and many of us parents still like to eat out, even if it is a table for four now.
I can’t wait to see what the menu at La Soffitta holds for all us foodies. I think there might be some surprises.
La Soffitta will open in Vineyard Haven in June. Once the doors are open, the plan is to have it open nightly, seven days a week.
Downtown is sure getting a boost this year. New restaurants and shops, and the reopening of the Cappawock Theater are going to help make a fun nightlife in this down-Island town.
Also, before La Soffitta opens, don’t forget to visit Waterside Market which is now on the first floor. The entire space has been redone and it is fabulous and well ventilated. The porch is a new favorite place for me, enjoying the Spring sunshine, doing a little people watching. I love it.