Mangia, Mangia!

by Suzanne Daub

We must admit that we usually end up ordering take-out from Sophie T’s instead of dining in—they’re efficient when you call to order, you rarely have a long wait, and there’s plenty of parking. So it was a rare treat last week to relax at a table in the comfortable, spacious dining room and be graciously served by Katie. We love the feel of Sophie’s T’s: classic red-and-white check table cloths cover most of the tables and each one has a candle and fresh flower along with shakers of grated parmesan and red pepper flakes. The walls are adorned with sports memorabilia, a good bit local and some even featuring Sophie. The tables are big enough to accommodate large parties and to hold the huge portions served here.

We arrived at Sophie T’s at peak dinner hour. The place was hoppin’ with families and take-out orders, but the seasoned staff didn’t miss a beat. They greeted us warmly, passed around menus, and started taking drink orders. Sophie T’s offers beer and wine by the bottle and by the glass in addition to a range of soft drinks.

Soup was a delicious way to start our dinner on a cool and foggy May evening. Like all the dishes served by owners Rob and Kelli Noll and their experienced staff, the soups are made in-house and offered in a frequently changing variety. The soup special when we were there was Curried Chicken, and this cup of hearty soup was chock full of rice and chicken, peppers and celery, tasting richly of warm-flavored spices with a flicker of heat.

Other great starters at Sophie T’s are perfect for sharing. The big & meaty Buffalo Wings are moist and flavorful, spicy but not fiery hot (unless you add a few dashes of hot sauce). The Crusty Garlic Bread (when is there ever enough bread?) should definitely be ordered with the extra cheese. And the side dish of Meatballs & Marinara make a great light meal if you pair this with a salad.

There are eight salads served at Sophie T’s, all freshly made and most big enough to BE your meal, especially if you add chicken, chicken salad, or tuna salad. We decided to try the Prosciutto and Arugula Salad. It was brought to table in a large bowl, the fresh arugula tossed in a light and tasty herb and roasted garlic vinaigrette that clings deliciously to the peppery young leaves. Plenty of shaved asiago and thin slices of prosciutto are laid overtop.

Entrees served here are Italian favorites expertly made and served in large portions. The Baked Housemade Lasagne is just like grandma’s if your grandmother is a talented master of Italian classics. Our serving arrived piping hot, which was terribly tempting, so we satisfied our desire by first dipping the two sizable wedges of crusty bread liberally painted with butter, chopped fresh garlic, parmesan, and herbs into Rob’s richly flavored tomato sauce. Once the lasagne cooled a bit, we were able to cut through the layers of cheese, pasta, cheese, ground beef, cheese, and sweet sausage with our spoons (we wanted every drop of the luscious tomato sauce)—we love how full of cheese this is!

Entrees served here are Italian favorites expertly made and served in large portions. The Baked Housemade Lasagne is just like grandma’s if your grandmother is a talented master of Italian classics. Our serving arrived piping hot, which was terribly tempting, so we satisfied our desire by first dipping the two sizable wedges of crusty bread liberally painted with butter, chopped fresh garlic, parmesan, and herbs into Rob’s richly flavored tomato sauce. Once the lasagne cooled a bit, we were able to cut through the layers of cheese, pasta, cheese, ground beef, cheese, and sweet sausage with our spoons (we wanted every drop of the luscious tomato sauce)—we love how full of cheese this is!

From the time they open (11:15 am every day), Sophie T’s continuously serves their entire menu, so you can eat dinner at lunchtime and lunch at dinnertime. Their hot and cold Specialty Subs and Sandwiches are tasty at any time of day. At Katie’s suggestion, we ordered the BLT Chicken Wrap. The chicken breast tenders are moist and juicy with a golden brown and crisp panko breading. Cool lettuce, tomato, crisp crumbles of bacon, and a creamy, smoky chipotle mayo are all folded around the chicken in a neatly tucked flour tortilla.

From the time they open (11:15 am every day), Sophie T’s continuously serves their entire menu, so you can eat dinner at lunchtime and lunch at dinnertime. Their hot and cold Specialty Subs and Sandwiches are tasty at any time of day. At Katie’s suggestion, we ordered the BLT Chicken Wrap. The chicken breast tenders are moist and juicy with a goldenbrown and crisp panko breading. Cool lettuce, tomato, crisp crumbles of bacon, and a creamy, smoky chipotle mayo are all folded around the chicken in a neatly tucked flour tortilla.

Just one of several vegetarian options at Sophie T’s, the Thai Veggie Wrap, is fresh and flavorful. Crisp raw carrot, fresh greens, juicy tomato, and cool cucumber are tightly wrapped with slices of red onion and a Thai peanut sauce that sneaks up on you with a light but lingering heat.

Sophie T’s is our go-to place to order pizza on Nantucket. The classic crust is twirled to the perfect thickness and cooked till bubbly and crisp around the edge. It’s strong enough to support toppings, yet remains pliable enough to fold the corner to keep the house-made sauce and fresh toppings in place. Several times a month we call in and take home a “Sophie’s Choice.” Our winter favorites are the Buffalo Chicken Pizza and the ACK Mac Pizza (complete with American cheese, beef, pickles, onions, and sesame seeds on the crust). During the warmer months we tend to order the Margherita or Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza. When family visits, we custom- design our second pizza from the extensive list of 32 toppings, and it almost always includes pineapple.

We recommend the Pig Vicious Pizza, its thick layer of cheese studded with savory roasted garlic and sage along with an impressive amount of prosciutto, diced ham, crumbled sweet Italian sausage, and bacon. The aroma turned heads as this was brought to our table.

Greek Pizza (cover photo) is another showstopper. One of Sophie T’s white pizzas with house-made pesto and blended cheese, this is made even more delicious topped with black olives, fresh tomato, red onion, spinach, and feta cheese. It seems like there’s a day’s worth of veggies on every slice! Shhhhh… don’t tell the kids.

Greek Pizza is another showstopper. One of Sophie T’s white pizzas with house-made pesto and blended cheese, this is made even more delicious topped with black olives, fresh tomato, red onion, spinach, and feta cheese. It seems like there’s a day’s worth of veggies on every slice! Shhhhh… don’t tell the kids.

Pizza at Sophie T’s is also available by the slice—choices always include a cheese pizza, a pepperoni, one that features meat, and a veggie option. The slices are huge (1/6th of an 18-inch pizza), and with the cost per slice from $4.50 to $5, you’ll have enough change to buy one of their freshly baked White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies… YUM!

We made sure to save a little room for dessert during our visit last week (primarily by taking home half the meal). We thought about the Traditional Tiramisu and were tempted by the Mile High Cheesecake, but we decided on the Brownie Supreme. Do not try to finish this alone: on top of the big square of warm dark chocolate brownie is a thick layer of vanilla ice cream. Whipped cream covers it all, decorated with mint leaves and squiggles of chocolate sauce that puddle around the bottom of the dish. We were done in by this dessert!

The final smile of the evening came with the check. We’ve spent more taking two people out to dinner on Nantucket than it cost for a feast for five, and we went home with enough leftovers for the next day’s lunch.

Sophie T’s Pizza
508-325-6265
7 Daves Street in Bayberry Court, Nantucket Commons
Full menu served continuously
Open 7 days: from 11:15 am to 9 pm (till 9:30 pm peak season)
restaurant seating and full menu offered for takeout
Hot Italian Entrees from $12.95 • Hot & Cold Subs from $8.95
Large pizza (18”) from $18.99; Small pizza (12”) from $12
beer & wine • MC, Visa, Discover accepted
families welcome • plenty of parking