In December, hindered but undeterred by the challenges of the year, Nick Lisotto opened his Brookline shop, Sorriso Vino. A long, airy space with weathered hardwood floors, the place is a convergence of his experiences. Lisotto, 38, is a certified sommelier, a chef, and a pasta maker, and a collector of work by Thomas Arvid, the preeminent painter of wine. He has stocked the store with 1,300 labels, with a focus on his specialty, Italian wines. There are hundreds from Tuscany, Piemonte, Sicily, and a concentration of Amarone. Spirits are plentiful, too, with a line-up of Italian liqueurs, Armagnac aged in Scotch barrels, and oddities, like mezcal made not in Mexico but South Africa. “There’s a lot of crazy stuff here,” he says. Step into a side room to find Lisotto’s “wine cellar.” You’ll do a double-take at the assemblage of Bordeaux and Ports from the 1800s and mature Champagnes. But also, an abundance of well-priced bottles from Spain and Portugal are offered. As a chef, Lisotto has worked in high-profile kitchens and learned to craft pasta under the tutelage of award-winning Philadelphia chef Marc Verti. He uses freshly ground grains and vegetable flours he mills himself to produce a line of dried pasta with his own label, Sorriso Pasta: beet rigatoni, spinach gnocchi, red fife fusilli, are among the varieties ($9 for 7 ounces). Their fragrances and robust tastes are a revelation. And then, the shop is a gallery for Arvid’s hand-embellished giclee prints with images of wine bottles that look like photos. Come when you have a little time to spend; Lisotto has the zeal to chat about everything and is building his shop around customer service. He says, “I want to bring a Michelin experience to retail.” 27 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-487-8337, sorrisovino.com and sorrisopasta.com.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at email@example.com.