Braised short rib with potato purée and horseradish gremolata
White chocolate panna cotta with tarragon, strawberries and almonds
Burrata with warm tomato, Saba and broccoli rabe pesto
Tuna crudo with radish, celery, citrus and toasted coriander seed
The dining room at Lido
“I hope that this will be food that people will travel for,” says Lido co-owner Susannah Koteen, who lives just six blocks from the new Harlem eatery. With Lido, her first restaurant project, Koteen aims to deliver light, responsibly farmed fare in an elegant, yet neighborhood-y space. In the kitchen, Koteen enlisted four-time James Beard recognition award recipient chef Stephen Putnam (of River Café and Park Avenue Café), who hails from California and has spent time in Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast.
Our visit began with an herbal cocktail, dubbed Le Violette, which combined velvety crème de violette and Bombay gin with fresh rosemary and lemon. On top of being absolutely dreamy, the flowery cocktail perfumed our palate for the chef’s selection of farm stand cheese: nutty Parmigiano Reggiano, melt-in-your-mouth goat cheese and crumbly blue cheese, served with crusty bread, Marcona almonds and honeycomb. The cheese trio is part of the “assaggini” portion of the menu, which includes charcuterie, mixed olives and a selection of crostino topped with everything from salt cod, potato and lemon to fava bean and mint.
Salad and antipasti selections tempt with rich Italian cheeses and dynamic flavor combinations. We sampled the organic winter chicories tossed with dried cherries, Marcona almonds, Pecorino Romano and red wine vinaigrette. Also peaking our curiosity was the marinated beet salad, dressed in Saba (a sweet, reduced balsamic) and topped with a warm Hudson Valley goat cheese fritter.
Pastas, which are made in house, include the lighter orecchiette with rock shrimp, broccoli rabe and cherry peppers, as well as heartier plates of gnocchi tossed with guanciale, truffle butter and pecorino (a favorite among regulars). Secondi selections of braised short rib, leg of lamb and whole branzino are all enhanced by garden fresh herbs and veggies. The fork-tender short rib arrived on a cloud of potato purée with a crisp horseradish gremolata topper. Desserts change often, but if you visit on a night where Putnam’s white chocolate panna cotta is on the menu, take advantage. Served in a quaint country jar, the creamy custard has a hint of tarragon and is finished with sliced strawberries and shards of almond.
As the weather begins to agree, Putnam’s light Italian cuisine can be enjoyed on Lido’s front patio. And in addition to dinner service, Lido offers Saturday and Sunday brunch. 2168 Frederick Douglass Blvd.