Sole di Capri (formerly Capri Caffe) is a blink and you’ll miss it kind of place on a section of Church Street in Tribeca that, thankfully, hasn’t been overdeveloped into a street filled with luxury condos and upscale clothing stores! While it probably won’t stay this way for too much longer… it’s still a hidden gem of a place that serves up some of the most delicious homemade Italian dishes I’ve had in a while!
It really is amazing what they have been able to do with such limited space and resources as they churn out dynamite dishes at such little cost. Most Italian places in this city are overpriced for what you get, but Sole di Capri serves up large portions (my pasta- Penne Anna Caprese was just $12.95) at dinner, and even less at lunch!
The décor makes you feel like you stepped into a small neighborhood enoteca in Italy, which sounds so cliché but it really feels that way with yellow painted walls, a random door on the top floor wall, simple mosaics, maps of the mother country (Italy) and paintings of the Italian seaside! Sole di Capri is tiny with no more than 12 (2 top) tables where you’ll find yourself bending around the table and the other diners beside you just to sit down. The staff doesn’t speak much English but it’s quite charming as they read off the daily specials in thick accents and you find yourself hanging onto their every delicious sounding description.
What’s so interesting/confusing about this place is that there doesn’t seem to be a kitchen in the entire place! The second floor looks like an office and the food comes from the front part of the restaurant where they cook everything from their fresh fish of the day to their ravioli in what looks like the counter of a deli (pretty darn impressive if you ask me). A friend of mine and I ordered two pastas each and a tomato and mozzarella salad to share that was so big we couldn’t finish it all! And while we didn’t drink any alcohol, we had a bottle of Pellegrino and our meal came to under $50 for two!
Sole di Capri is a must… it’s completely unpretentious in a neighborhood awash in pretentiousness and serves up uncomplicated food bursting with complex flavors in a setting that is warm and service that is wonderfully friendly.
165 Church Street (between Reade and Chambers Streets)