A Surprise Party at Sorella

Next week, one of my good friends is turning 30. We met through our blogs, but became fast friends the first time we met.

IMG 1913 A Surprise Party at Sorella

Last night, her friend Kathleen organized a surprise dinner for her at Sorella, an Italian restaurant on the Lower East Side.

I know it looks like we were outside, but it was more like a covered patio.

IMG 1908 A Surprise Party at Sorella

I’d seen Emily the night before at wine book club, and was dying when someone else asked what she was doing for her birthday and she said she wasn’t sure. I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING!

IMG 1907 A Surprise Party at Sorella

We started with some breadsticks at the bar while waiting for Emily to show up. They were salty, carb-y wonderfulness.

IMG 1909 A Surprise Party at Sorella

Just before Emily was due to arrive, we moved to the back room. I wish I’d gotten a picture of her, because the look on her face was priceless, but soon after we moved back, Kathleen went to pretend she was waiting for Emily at the bar, and they were led back to “their table,” where we were all waiting.

IMG 1915 A Surprise Party at Sorella

They completely captured my sentiments on the menu.

sorella1 A Surprise Party at Sorella

We started with some meat and cheese. (I think I was too busy eating the cheese, though, to photograph it.)

IMG 1917 A Surprise Party at Sorella

We ate the rest of the meal tapas/family style. Above: broccoli fritto with pickled hot pepper aioli (which had an awesome kick), grana padano and basil. So, totally healthy, because there’s broccoli in there.

sorella gnocchi A Surprise Party at Sorella

We also ordered all the pastas on the menu for the table. This one was gnocchi with cream sauce, brown butter pears and chives.

sorella pasta A Surprise Party at Sorella

I have no idea which one this one was.

sorella some other good pasta A Surprise Party at Sorella

This one, the agnolotti with beef short rib, parmesan and sage butter was my favorite. Kathleen loved it, too, so we ordered another one for the table.

We also ordered Brussels sprouts with bacon, apple and some sort of sauce. I love Brussels with bacon, but the sauce made this a little too rich.

IMG 1922 A Surprise Party at Sorella

And what’s a birthday without cake? Kathleen brought some cake from Billy’s, one of Emily’s favorite bakeries. I love red velvet, so I expected for that one to be my favorite, but I ended up loving a rich chocolate one.

emily birthday A Surprise Party at Sorella

Happy birthday, friend!!!

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