This is Highly Recommend, a column dedicated to our very opinionated editors’ favorite things to eat, drink, and buy.
I Sodi in the West Village is my favorite restaurant, but it also annoys me. It’s impossible to get a reservation and even attempting to walk-in with a party of two during a rainstorm at 6 p.m. is dicey. Snagging a solo bar seat tends to be a path of lesser resistance (though you still might have to wait), and the bar is an absolute delightful place to drown your Monday blues. The bartenders make a mean sbagliato and the complimentary bread with peppery Tuscan olive oil is burn-your-throat good.
It’s highly likely I’m going to order pasta, especially the pappardelle al limone, which is unapologetically both lemony and buttery, resulting in an initially bracing bite that slowly mellows out. But the lasagna carciofi is also formidable in its subtlety—thin layers of pasta, bechamel, and artichoke that are there for you when the day didn’t go your way.
If pasta isn’t calling for me (a rare occasion), I Sodi is one of the few places I actually look forward to salad, whether it’s the arugula with castelmagno cheese or the valeriana, made with mâche, pecorino, and balsamic. These are simple creations, made with excellent ingredients that embody chef Rita Sodi’s honed-in Tuscan cooking.
It’s cooking so good that it serves as a carb-heavy therapy session. I’ve gone there when I’ve felt a little “meh” and when I’ve been incredibly close to ugly crying over my pasta because my day was that awful. But then I start eating, and I leave feeling a little better… even if I did have to wait an hour to simply be alone with my thoughts and a bowl of pasta.
Go there: I Sodi
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