Here we are- a little over a year after Chef Francesco Sodano decided to leave his role as Executive Chef at a Michelin starred restaurant on the Amalfi Coast- he is ready to embark on a new adventure a little different...a little pop.
Is Pop, the new project developed by Francesco who puts his territory "at the center of the village" along with his desire to bring people closer to eating well.
Is Pop is located in Pomigliano d'Arco, in the province of Naples, a stone's throw from Casa Sodano: this is the starting point of a project that can expand, maintaining its popular soul, its pop soul. The format will in fact have a prefix: Ciabatta Is Pop, because it focuses on bread and sandwiches-featuring amazing breads that Sodano is famous for. The project is also wide-ranging and the goal will be to have a Gelato Is Pop, a Fresh pasta Is Pop and so on. Think globally, act locally so to speak.
At Is Pop you can find all the specialties that have distinguished Francesco Sodano's cuisine in recent years, starting from sauces, such as smoke and ash or mango and curry chutney, horseradish mousse, apricot ketchup from Vesuvius, miso and lime. Not to mention seafood cold cuts, also made by Sodano: seasoned on site. They will become the specials of the sandwiches of the month (3 in rotation) that will be added to the 10 fixed sandwiches on the menu along with the possibility of creating your own ciabatta. The proposals will be appetizing, full of imagination and flavor.
Is Pop is a place designed for delivery and takeaway but able to accommodate 15 people at small tables.
The sandwiches range from 8 to 15 euros, but on the menu there are also appetizers, from 4 to 10 euros, always signed by Sodano, such as tartare with pickled onion, valerian and ash sauce "that gives smoky notes", salmon carpaccio with horseradish mousse. Among the starters also some timeless classic dishes from Campania such as tarallo 'nzogna and pepper with beer mayonnaise, to recall the classic combination that in Naples is done by the sea, a pear and Neapolitan musso or the classic of the classics: bread and oil, reminding us of one the most popular gestures there are, to use a piece of bread to soak up the oil. Three homemade desserts will complete the menu.
The focus of the whole restaurant will still be bread, a passion that Francesco Sodano has had for many years and that has led him to win important awards, such as the award of "Best bread basket on the table" for Gambero Rosso in the Italian Restaurants Guide. The spark of Is Pop comes from t bread: "At the restaurant it often happened to eat a piece of bread with something you found in the refrigerators, using our sauces, so I wanted to replicate this experience by making it try it outside" says the chef born in Somma Vesuviana. There will be two types of bread: both with 100% Italian flour, with 36-48 hours of lievitation, the first a white bread with fermented potato, the other with wheat, barley, spelled and burnt wheat.
The food proposal will be flanked by a small offer of natural wines and a few labels of beers but extremely selected, in collaboration with the Crak of Padua, one of the most prestigious agricultural craft breweries in Italy.
A "pop" format, in the true sense of the word: all focused on people, all focused on the desire to start from the base and from one's own land. In this perspective, the whole project on sustainability, which has always been Francesco Sodano's workhorse, also falls into this perspective. All products are zero impact, with a cyclical farming technique, all food waste is used as compost for the soil, the oil is 100% Italian. A pop place, for ordinary people, with all the know-how of a great chef. Alongside Francesco will be Ruben Cacace, a long-time collaborator who is now also a member of the project, who sees him personally involved. With Ruben and Francesco also Salvatore Sodano, fresh from a Michelin star at the Local in Venice, and Elisabetta Cioffi, a well respected chef and cooking school professor and Francesco and Salvatore’s mom.
Is Pop will be open for lunch and dinner during the week, on weekends only for dinner. The opening is scheduled for December 8 and e-commerce is also in the pipeline to bring Francesco Sodano's sauces and condiments to all the kitchens of Italy.
In bocca al lupo, guys!