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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