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Family Matters: A Conversation With Sotto Mare's Ria Azzolino

The below is excerpted from Ria's interview, as published on the Joe Content blog.

Over 14 years have passed since I relocated to the North Beach neighborhood from New York, and lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my first days here. Coming from the much grittier East Coast, I felt just a little bit out of place at first. But with its narrow alleyways and yellow cabs, North Beach reminded me of Lower Manhattan. And once I had found my corner spot at Caffe Trieste, the place was well on its way to becoming my home.

Shortly after my arrival, a little wine bar called Dell‘Uva opened on Green Street, just across from the near-infamous lineup of North Beach watering holes: Columbus Café, Gino & Carlo, and the since departed Amanté. Right around the same time, an unassuming little seafood place was opening up shop directly across the street. Intriguingly, the menu was Italian. The place was called Sotto Mare (for Under the Sea), and after a quiet start the newcomer’s reputation quickly grew. It wasn’t long before the restaurant–an Oysteria, they called it–had a line snaking out the door. And somewhere along the line, the TV crews started showing up.

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