St. Petersburg Italian restaurant Sophia’s Cucina + Enoteca has closed

Nando Silvestri will open the Matteo’s Italian concept in the space.

click to enlarge St. Petersburg Italian restaurant Sophia’s Cucina + Enoteca has closed
sophiascucina/Facebook

Less than two years after opening, popular St. Petersburg Italian restaurant Sophia’s Cucina + Enoteca is shutting down.

Owners Alex and Kelly Rodriguez made the announcement online, saying they were “dimming the lights” on their concept and passing the keys to Nando Silvestri—responsible for Tampa’s Matteo Trattoria & Pizzeria—who’ll open his own Italian concept, Matteo’s, at 2363 Central Ave.

The good news for fans of Sophia’s is that the Rodriguez’s really aren’t going anywhere. The couple’s new cafe, bakery and market, Sammy + Paco's, is coming along in Historic Kenwood and slated to open this month, while their Lolita’s catering business hums along. A Lolita’s tasting room at 16 18th St. S is also open for carryout and call-ahead dine-in service.

In 2019, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay food critic Jon Palmer Claridge lauded Sophia’s, saying the concept was a good example of a focused menu emphasizing finesse and pure flavors.

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About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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