Early last week, I made reservations for I Sodi 105 Christopher Street, New York, NY 10014, purely because it was an editors pick in New York Magazine. I usually spend more time researching and reading, but time is something I’m very short on these days. Then, I went to Gottino on Thursday to work with Chef Jody, and I overheard her talking about Rita Sodi, the chef/owner of I Sodi. She gave such glowing praise that I was now very excited about dinner there. Of course, I now had high expectations.


We walked into the small Italian restaurant with tables along one wall, a bar along the other. Chef Jody was sitting at the end, but nothing really clues you in to what kind of meal your about to have, except maybe the generous pour of wine into a large glass. The great big olives are great but the fruity olive oil is even better. (Rita makes it at her home in Italy and it’s sold at Gottino in $40 bottles.) We asked for more and a second basket of bread because the four of us were dunking away.


Soon, fried artichokes, were gifted to our table. So thin and crisp, like artichoke chips, inhaled in handfuls.

fried artichokes

The antipasta is a nice array but we weren’t fond of the over-powering honey, actually rather medicinal.


The thinly sliced zucchini is one of their prettier plates, with shaved cheese, and that glorious olive oil, which makes everything better.

zucchini olive oil and parmesan

The Tomato Bread Soup is more spread than soup. You can eat it with a fork and I don’t really know where to classify it, but it’s soothing and comforting, a bowl you’d curl up with by a windowsill as a snow storm goes by.

tomato bread soup

I love restaurants that offer half portions of pasta and here the halfs are pretty big. Lon had this half portion of Bucatini Con Guanciale. It was a bit too salty but packed with flavor and the most meat  (giant chunks) I’ve seen in a pasta dish.

bucatini con guanciale

I had the Artichoke Lasagna, counting 10 beautiful layers of tender pasta that the fork slides right through. It’s such a unique blend of earthy, cheesy, and peppery flavors. It’s a perfect intro to fall.

artichoke lasagna

Shayna had the Cacio e Pepe (half), which was nice but seemed underflavored  and a little dry compared to the other robust dishes. Justin had a whole portion of the Bucatini can Guanciale and loved it as much as Lon did.

cacio e pepe

You didn’t think Lon was done with his half portion did you? He also ordered Peposa, a pretty ugly pile of meat stew that made up for appearances by being such a concentration of meatiness, a real big boys dish.


The zucchini fritti wasn’t as thrilling to me, a bit limp, but by now we were so full, the four of us could barely sit up straight.

zucchini fritti

Propping ourselves up, we managed to order dessert. The blackberry tart was nicely done, but I could do without it, seeing as how painful it was to move at this point. The Hazelnut Semifreddo was densely pure hazelnut which I loved.

blackberry tart hazelnut semi-fredo

Because the food is all about flavor and less about plating, this feels more like you got to eat at an Italian friends house, and less like a restaurant meal. It’s just as filling as when Sal’s grandmother brings out dish after dish, piling it on your plate. It’s a refreshing change from eating the fancy little plates. For around $60 per person, we were all very happy and I insisted on stopping at Gottino on the way home to buy a bottle of that olive oil.

posted by jessica at 02:34 PM Filed under Italian, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.