Perfect for:BreakfastBussines lunchLunch
Some things in New York City will never change. Your ex isn't going to change attachment styles just because she moved into an apartment with in-unit laundry facilities. Mayors are always told about their bagel orders (orbad vegan practices). And not even one big restaurant from a big restaurant group can make Midtown a desirable place to spend an afternoon. But that doesn't mean Lodi, the Midtown restaurant in question, isn't a dream.
Lodi serves the most impressive Italian food just a few miles from Liz Lemon's office. It just so happens that he's in front of Liz Lemon's office.
This Rockefeller Center venue is the team's third restaurant behindWake upYmore paradise, but the menu here feels unique. For one thing, Lodi doesn't waste energy trying to please the Tribeca/Soho crowds with malfatti or burgers (for which Altro Paradiso is known). Lodi focuses almost entirely on Italian ingredients and techniques, and a meal here almost always upsets us because we're not OOO in Tuscany. (Estela, on the other hand, borrows ideas from countries like Spain, Japan, France, and just about everyone else.)
You can tell how well thought out the food is, and yet nothing tastes complicated in Lodi. There's crumbly homemade ricotta made with milk from upstate New York, an amazing seafood salad with smoky marinated mussels, and a plate of anchovies, caught at their thickest while swimming to Spain from the Nordic region. Build your meal around these inappropriately flavorful antipasti dishes, all accompanied by focaccia (endlessly filling) and sourdough baked with freshly ground grains. And if you somehow save room for dessert, there's a seriously impressive serving of ice cream that's big enough to feed four people. Each dairy mountain is hand-spun to order using the same base used for mozzarella and ricotta, so it tastes a bit like sweet cheese.
Seafood and sourdough aside, you don't need to change your plans anytime soon to eat out in Lodi. The interior of the restaurant mimics an Au Bon Pain for the 1%, with as many Art Deco gold and marble touches as there are Wi-Fi devices. You'll see groups of friends sipping spritzers alongside a Westchester mom who's finally responded to her kids' requests for a $25 mountain of ice cream. Meanwhile, people with big jobs will bring salads from the market in compostable containers while tourists rush to buy carbonated spring water just so they can use the bathroom at the bottom.
Despite the takeout facility, the best food in Lodi requires a sit-down experience with a napkin spread across your lap. For that reason, we recommend hanging out on the full-service terrace, a space Lodi euphemistically calls "Terrazza." There's plenty of room to enjoy all those bean, meat and fish dishes you want to order, with a little extra space for your neighbor's tote bag that piles up after a trip to the flagship Harry Potter store.
However, we would not trust Terrazza for a meal with someone fussy about their surroundings. This is outdoor dining at Rockefeller Center, after all. No matter how enthusiastically you and your dinner partner talk about smoky bacon and blood orange squirts, you still won't be able to drown out the echoes of a bar mitzvah-style playlist blaring from the ice rink across the street. side of the street. Likewise, no amount of seafood salad-induced "holy crap" will replace the audio of the broadcast recording.today's program25 meters away.
So don't go to 49th Street to learn something you didn't already know about Midtown. Come for doctor's appointments, meet that boss you like, or your biannual trip to MoMa. The good news for Lodi is that New Yorkers can't avoid Midtown forever. And the good news for us is that Lodi is just around the corner.
Recordfor our newsletter.
Be the first to get expert restaurant recommendations for every situation straight to your inbox.
All of Lodi's antipasti dishes are served with a basket of the restaurant's signature sourdough bread and focaccia. The bread is freshly ground and baked in a glass windowed room inside that is something of a Lodi bread zoo. Regardless of the circumstances of your meal, do thisAs a matter of factI need this bread for dipping, making sandwiches, and general eating. It's always hard for us to say no to free refills of that squishy stuff.
Lodi makes its ricotta with raw milk from the interior. (You'll also find the same milk base in mozzarella and ice cream.) We expect these fancy upstate dairy cows to enjoy more freedom than we currently do, probably with fewer Kenneth Cole-wearing guys bothering them. Each crumbly little salt-free mound is coated in high-quality olive oil, making everything taste super rich.
If you come before 17:00 you can order some paninis during the day, not available for dinner. This porchetta sandwich is our favorite of the bunch. Every bite tastes of fennel pollen and fatty pork. What more is there to say?
These crunchy Tuscan-inspired crostinis are topped with chicken liver pate, which has the consistency of cake frosting and the unmistakably flavorful iron content you'd expect from liver, without a hint of obnoxious funk. Please ask for them.
anchovies and butter
This snack plate is an ideal way to start a meal here, especially if you're having lunch with someone you often see on Zoom calls at work. Fat anchovies sit alongside canned Italian long pepperoni and a drizzle of unsalted butter. Even if you don't like the typical intensity of anchovies, you will love this. They are more fishy than salty.
We are fish fanatics. So it's no surprise that this seafood salad is one of those dishes we can't think of anymore. Lodi mixes pickled prawns, octopus, squid and mussels with olive oil and lemon. There's some heat from the chili flakes, too, and the fennel and celery tips ensure that the end of each bite feels clean.
Northern Italian cuisine rarely causes a crowd frenzy in New York City. And this salsiccia dish shows why we should all be reaching for it. (A version of this dish is also available at Altro Paradiso, FYI.) Here, the fennel pork sausage arrives so perfectly plump it could be a cartoon. The garnishes are notable, too: candied citrus mostarda, which is bright without being too sweet or tart, and snappy beets that elevate the ensemble. Imagine a family barbecue where the grill master knows a lot about Northern Italian food and likes to be flexible.
These Sardinian pasta pearls sit in a seafood broth heavy on garlic and white wine and loaded with Manila clams and chunks of hake. Your fork may pause while you eat this. This is a spoon plate. Actually, this is a "tilt the bowl to finish it" dish, not the kind of thing you forget about in search of another meal on the table. Get some bread and dip, dip, dip.
On Fridays and Saturdays, Lodi serves up a porchetta special with a sizzling ring of crust on greasy chunks of pork, made even better with a ball of borlotti beans with husks firm enough to stay intact on your fork. The suckling pig for this dish is raised on a North Carolina farm specifically for Lodi's use, and the meat is cured and hung to dry for a day before ending up on your silly little plate. We as a human race are not really worthy of this food, but it is certainly nice to eat.
Remember the greatness of Cold Stone's "Gotta Have It"? Well, Lodi's Gelato only comes in this size, and it tastes less like vanilla and more like pure cream. A word of advice, if you arrive after 6:00 p.m. m. and you're in the mood for Lodi's hand-spinned ice cream, be sure to include your dessert preference with your dinner order. Sometimes the team starts breaking into the kitchen and the window to eat ice cream closes.