A native of Milan, Italy, restaurateur Riccardo Ullio moved to Georgia as an almost-teenager and spent his college days on Presidential Scholarship at Georgia Tech, garnering undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Like many students, Ullio spent a lot of time working in food service and restaurants. Eventually the restaurant “bug” bit him hard.
“By the time I finished school, I had been working in restaurants my whole life,” explains Ullio. The energy, drive and sense of freedom that permeates the restaurant world was overpoweringly alluring, and he hung up his calculator for a chef’s hat.
After garnering a master’s degree in environmental engineering, Ullio followed his culinary dreams by working in some of the most prestigious Italian restaurants around the city, including Coco Pazzo and Pricci. Taking time to travel throughout Italy to study regional Italian cuisine, he opened his own restaurants, first Pasta da Pulcinella in 1994, then Sotto Sotto in 1999 and Fritti in 2000. Sotto Sotto and Ullio’s more casual pizza concept, Fritti, have become Atlanta’s finest Italian destinations for dining.
Sotto Sotto and Fritti serve honest, delicious food crafted from authentic Italian recipes. Sotto Sotto creates dishes that are delicious and contemporary, while maintaining the integrity of the ingredients and honoring the traditions of Ullio’s homeland. The cozy dining room of Sotto Sotto, which translates to “hush hush” in English, transports diners to a rustic trattoria in the Italian countryside. Fritti, meaning “fried” in Italian, offers more casual dining with menu items like authentic Neapolitan pizzas baked in an open wood-burning pizza oven, a selection of roasted meats and fish and an array of salads.
Both restaurants have received numerous accolades, including Atlanta magazine’s Best of Atlanta Hall of Fame and four-star reviews from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Creative Loafing as well as a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for Sotto Sotto; Fritti was certified by the Verace Pizza Napolentana Association (VPN) in 2007 for serving authentic Neapolitan style pizzas and is one of only 35 American Restaurants honored with this distinction. It has received three-star reviews from the Atlanta Journal Constitution and a four-star review from Creative Loafing.