Earlier this week, The Oregonian broke the name and big-deal chef behind the new Italian-American restaurant filling Pazzo’s pasta-shaped hole in downtown Portland. Renata alum Matt Sigler will run the show at Il Solito, filling the 25-year-old shoes of the former Italian fine dining mainstay.
Sigler left Renata a few months ago in a Belmont Italian chef shuffle: Erik Van Kley (Le Pigeon, Taylor Railworks) moved in at Accanto, Chris Frazier popped over to Renata, and Sigler ditched Southeast entirely to move downtown.
Pazzo was a quasi-institution in Portland before it closed in January, but the space is getting a serious makeover. Kimpton shared the renderings with Eater, and the spot seems to nod to rustic Italian trattorias with contemporary flair.
Pazzo was far from red-checkered tables when it was open; the decor had that East Coast black-leather-booth thing going on, which the new spot appears to have abandoned. In general, the look seems lighter and more casual: bright colors for the booths, no tablecloths, and a touch of black-and-white on the walls.
As The O’s Michael Russell says, red sauce is on the rise: Pizzeria sul Lago and Enoteca Nostrana are set to open this month, and Cortezzi is following soon afterward in April. The menu at Il Solito, which translates to “the usual,” will serve just that: classic red sauce plates, from chicken piccata to dover sole marsala, and enough amari to drown Tony Soprano.