When Justin and Stormee Wills opened Restaurant Beck on Depot Bay at the Oregon Coast a few years back, they decided to name it for their son, Becker, who's now six years old. Logic would follow that should the Wills ever open a sister restaurant, they'd name it for Becker's kid sister, Isla, who's now two.
That's pretty much what's happening on Friday, when the Wills open the doors to Sorella, their new Italian restaurant a few miles north of Restaurant Beck in the Nye Beach area of Newport. Beck explains that Sorella is Italian for sister, which seemed like a better fit for the cuisine than the Spanish-sounding Isla.
The 3,000-square-foot space will seat as many as 75 people and has been decked out with a wall paneled in wood, and a 28-foot bar made from a three-inch-thick slab of Douglas Fir that Wills spent several days sanding down and varnishing himself.
As for the menu: "What we're trying to do is an authentic simple approach to Italian food," Wills says. He also says that the price-point will be "a heckuva lot lower" than the spendier Restaurant Beck.
Think fresh, handmade pastas and dishes like mostaccioli with ragù, Italian sausage and ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. Wills will also offer no fewer than five and up to eight nightly pizzas, depending on what's in season and available, as well a chicken stew and polenta dish that his "nana" would make him when he was a boy.
Of course, there will be seafood, too, based on whatever his friends Mark and Lisa Newell, of Newell Seafoods, bring him.
And if you've got children, no problem. As parents, the Wills know that finding a spot that doesn't treat kids as an afterthought is no piece of cake. So they designed a little mingling place just for them, where they can hang after dining on abbreviated pasta portions, pizza or cheese panini paired with tomato soup.
Wills says that for the first few days, service will be a dinner only affair, and he's only staffing it for 55 guests while he and Stormee wait for a banquette to arrive, which should happen soon. Once it does, Sorella will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., every day of the week.
Sorella in Nye Beach: 526 N.W. Coast St., Ste. C, Newport, 541-265-4055