Sorelle Italian Bistro is located discreetly within a small strip mall in the heart of a suburban Campbell neighborhood. Although it might not catch the eye at first, the moment patrons step foot inside, there’s a restaurant revealing famiglia—the Italian ideal of shared meals, laughter and a welcoming sense of kinship.
Francesca Rudé, who loved her Italian roots and culinary traditions, realized a dream in 2013 when she opened Sorelle Italian Bistro. Her 35 years of service at HP in Silicon Valley were a testament to her dedication, and her retirement marked the beginning of a new chapter.
Rudé channeled that same commitment and energy into creating an Italian eatery that borrowed many of her family recipes. Since Rudé’s passing in 2016, the restaurant has continued as her living tribute. Recently, it celebrated its 10th anniversary and her daughters Deanna and Teresa are carrying on her legacy.
A blend of garlic, fresh bread and rich sauces linger through the air upon entry. The quaint restaurant meets a bustling dinner rush with every table occupied and a few diners waiting. The atmosphere is uncomplicated—an inviting space that doesn’t go overboard with extravagant details. It’s comfortable and lacks high frills, adding to its homey feel.
Daughter Deanna suggested one of the restaurant’s standout options. The short rib Bolognese ($23.95)—a combination of homemade Bolognese sauce and braised short rib served over a bed of Ziti. This dish pairs nicely alongside tortellini alfredo with pancetta and peas ($22.95) to fully appreciate the various pasta flavors within Sorelle.
Prior to the pasta dishes’ arrival, the server presented a plate of freshly baked focaccia bread and an olive oil infused with spreadable garlic (complimentary).
Many of the patrons and staff share a first-name basis, and Deanna mentioned that on numerous occasions parties who were initially strangers concluded their meals as friends. I also had the opportunity to chat with two regulars at the bar, immersing myself further into the culture of Sorelle.
The short rib Bolognese is a hearty plate of well-cooked pasta coated in a rich tomato sauce and crowned with a succulent cut of short rib. There is a juicy tenderness of the meat that compliments the fresh bursts of tomatoes, aromatic herbs and the undertones of garlic in the sauce.
The tortellini alfredo with pancetta and peas is an enticing dish with velvety, cheesy indulgence. The addition of chicken gives this dish an extra flavor boost and elevation. Jacob, one of the servers, shared a delightful tip that patrons can also enjoy the tortellini in a rosa sauce.
For dessert, the cannoli of the day ($7.50)—easily big enough for two—was being enjoyed by neighboring guests. Another diner was enjoying the popular homemade tiramisu ($14.95).
Sorelle Italian Bistro is more than a fun little eatery, it’s a family legacy. It’s hidden off the mainstream with no other restaurant for at least a mile in any direction. The location proudly displays a mayoral commendation for reaching the 10-year milestone as well as a resilience during the pandemic.
Francesca’s vision of famiglia is alive within the walls of Sorelle. It’s worth the indulgence and maybe even disregarding that New Year’s resolution for an evening.
915 S. San Tomas Aquino Rd., Campbell