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NYC

Review

Hannah Albertine

Lodi

$$$$
Italian  in  Midtown
Hannah Albertine

The daytime Italian food at Lodi, Ignacio Mattos’ new cafe next to Rockefeller Center, is all recommendable. It’s a restaurant particularly perfect for people who freak out about high-quality ricotta and olive oil with creeping bitterness, or anyone smitten with the excellent but simple-seeming cooking style of Cafe Altro Paradiso or Estela. Lodi works equally well for Midtown citizens who have begged the NYC gods for a place to eat a trio of anchovies, butter, and peppers, or fennel-pollen-sprinkled porchetta on a crusty baguette made with grains milled in-house.

No matter how well-executed the dishes are, though, Lodi’s setting doesn’t quite add up yet. The hybridized cafe concept feels like an Au Bon Pain for the 1% - somewhere that’s billed as a place to retrieve a market salad in a compostable container while diners are also encouraged to spend $25 on hand-spun vanilla gelato. Despite the grab-and-go set-up, the majority of the menu necessitates a sit-down experience with a napkin splayed across your lap.

The energy of the gold-and-marble Art Deco office cafe space might change once they get their liquor license. Wait until then, or go for the meat platters and bread products, and sit on Lodi’s outdoor “terraza,” which is a nice name for a covered patio with about a dozen tables and full-service.

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