By Celina Colby

Four years ago, chef and sommelier Nicholas Lisotto and his wife moved to the Boston area and began searching for a community. Finally, Lisotto has found it in Brookline, where he’ll open Sorriso Vino at 27 Harvard Street in Brookline this winter. The shop will feature an extensive selection of fine wines, Lisotto’s own artisanal pasta made with freshly milled grains, a selection of other delicacies, and a gallery of artwork.

“This is my first solo project out on my own,” says Lisotto. “It’s really just a combination of the things I love: wine, pasta, and art.” Fine wines and dining are labors of love for Lisotto, who began his career in finance and left it to pursue his passion for hospitality. It was the right choice. Lisotto speaks with excitement about every aspect of the Sorriso Vino project, from the custom, reclaimed wood tables to the wines he can’t wait to stock the shelves with. He hopes to open the shop by Thanksgiving but says it will certainly be open by Christmas.

Lisotto comes from an Italian background and will focus on Italian and European wines, but his wife’s Uruguayan heritage has also sparked in him a passion for Latin American wines. Visitors to the shop can expect a wide range. “I will certainly have some of the rarest wines in the world, but I’m also going to have wines for $15 that are going to be awesome to drink every day,” says Lisotto. He also says he’s looking forward to taking the Brookline community’s temperature and adapting the wine selection to their interests. One thing’s for sure; each bottle will be of the highest possible quality.

Sorriso Pasta is the pasta production brand of Lisotto’s soon-to-be Sorriso empire. And these dried delicacies will be no ordinary gnocchi. The difference is that Lisotto mills the grains for the pasta on-site at his pasta kitchen. “Most pasta in the United States has the taste and nutritional value of cardboard,” says Lisotto with a laugh. “When you use freshly milled grains, you maintain all those nutrients, and your body is better able to digest it.”

He says that many gluten-intolerant pasta lovers enjoy Sorriso pasta because it’s a natural milled flour process that doesn’t utilize the processed ingredients that irritate during digestion. Those with Celiacs disease needn’t fret, though; he hopes to add gluten-free pasta to the shelves in the future. Freshly milled grains also enhance the flavors in the pasta. Currently, Sorisso Pasta offers flavors like spinach gnocchi, beet creste rigate, and semolina rigatoni, among others.

On the walls, visitors will find the paintings of Thomas Arvid, a well-known wine painter and a personal favorite of Lisotto’s family. Lisotto has also partnered with the Brookline Art Center to ensure that local artists will be featured. For holiday shopping Sorriso Vino will be a one-stop-shop for art, pasta, and wine lovers alike.

No matter what visitors come in for, Lisotto wants the service to be a standout feature of the experience. “I come from a fine dining, Michelin background. What I do is about the experience,” he says. “I want that to translate even in the retail side of the store.” After all,

Sorriso is Italian for “smile,” and every customer should leave the store beaming.

It’s no coincidence that Lisotto chose Brookline to house this artisanal wine experience. When scouting locations, the chef made sure to speak with local business owners to take the town’s temperature. After speaking with the owners at Curds & Co, Serenade Chocolatier, and a few other Brookline Village spots, he was sold. Brookline’s love of all things local and artisanal was the perfect home for Sorriso Vino, a quick trip abroad in one shopping experience.

Ultimately Lisotto would like to open a wine bar under the Sorriso name as well, and he plans to offer regular tastings at the shop once COVID-19 safety allows for it. For now, he’ll be offering Zoom classes and tastings with grab-and-go portions from the shop and delivery service to keep customers safe.

After years of working in Greater Boston, Lisotto has found his culinary home here in Brookline. “This is my dream,” he says. “I’m really excited to be a part of the community.”