Society / Featured Parties

Ben Berg’s New Heights Restaurant Earns Raves, But a Power Snafu Delays Its Opening — Trattoria Sofia is Worth a Wait

Rustic Italian and Bread to Swoon Over

BY // 11.23.21
photography Michelle Watson, CatchlightGroup.com

On the very day of the wildly successful invitation-only opening party for Trattoria Sofia, the day before the new Houston restaurant was to officially open, the energy company issued a “but wait” advisory due to an unexpected snafu. Workers discovered that a gas pipe that fuels the ovens needed to be replaced and that wasn’t going to happen until Thanksgiving week. So the public opening is set for this upcoming Friday, November 26 rather than last weekend as planned.

Nevertheless, the opening party went off without a hitch in the rustic yet magical restaurant where guests raved over the Italian menu offerings created by executive chef LJ Wiley and globally acclaimed executive chef, consultant and master bread baker Magnus Hansson. The Heights restaurant at 911 W. 11th Street has surely lived up to the plans that acclaimed chef Ben Berg shared with PaperCity last April.

” I love the building and we wanted to do a rustic Italian concept . . . ” Berg said. “We’re going to do something really, really special there on the patio. The aim is to do one thing and really knock it out. The goal is to have the most beautiful patio, covered, Italian, romantic, very private. It’s going to be pretty cool.”

Trattoria Sofia (Photo by Michelle Watson (CatchlightGroup.com))
Sam Governale, Ben Berg enjoy the VIP opening party for Trattoria Sofia (Photo by Michelle Watson (CatchlightGroup.com))

Adding to the romance of the opening party preview evening, an accordion player greeted guests as they arrived while on the patio DJ Valerie Michelle worked a stylish playlist.

For foodies it was night of festive and delicious grazing beginning with a generous spread of Salumi, warm ciabatta, sesame semolina bread and spiced mixed olives.Two bruschetta offerings included one topped with crispy shrimp, arrabiata tomato sauce, smokey labneh, dill and fennel pollen. For traditionalists, there was the classic margherita pizza and for the adventurous a verdi pizza topped with spinach, kale, dill and basil greens, fontina, caciocavallo, di latte cheeses and Parmigiano-Reggiano breadcrumbs.

In addition to wines and drinks, celebrated Houstonian mixologist Alba Huerta, owner of Julep, provided specialty cocktails including amaretto sour, negroni and Modena Cup with Pimm’s, gin, strawberry, blood orange syrup and a white balsamic vinaigrette.

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On the day he received notice of the delayed opening, Berg wrote: “If it weren’t for a LARGE electric & natural gas utility company that I won’t name, we would have been open six months ago! We truly apologize for any inconvenience, and we are obviously doing everything in our power to open our doors and start serving guests as soon as possible. I am so proud of how the food and the overall decor and vibe turned out, and I can’t wait for Houstonians to finally experience it next weekend (November 26).”

Reservations are being taken now here.

PC Seen: Frances Moody Buzbee and Tony Buzbee, Chita and Lane Craft, Javier Loya, Kiki Dikman, Frani and David Denenberg, Dana Barton and Robert Clay, Sam Governale, Lisa and Josh Oren, Ellie and Michael Francisco, Heather and David Houston, Eric Kristiansen, and Gina and Peter Faucetta.

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