I Sodi: Simple Italian at its Best
I will preface this review with the following disclaimer: it may be biased because while I was dining, none other than the wonderfully talented Alan Rickman came in with a friend to dine in the same small space – incredible. Either way though, Rickman or no Rickman, the discreet and simple I Sodi, on a bar-laden block of Christopher Street, represents perfectly the type of pretension-free high-quality restaurant the West Village is known for.
The brick red storefront is easily missed, hidden amongst the gay bars, tattoo parlors, and hipster-wear shops that dot the Christopher Street block between Bleecker and Hudson. Inside, I Sodi exudes an eery calm; it is soft, quiet, and mature, perfect for serious conversations and romantic dates. Light wood complements muted grey and blue tones, pale light from simple fixtures, and a most serene Japanese-style design. With just a few well-spaced tables and as many bar seats, you’re sure to be left alone by other diners also seeking a little privacy.
The food is Southern Italian, pleasantly uncomplicated, and satisfying. Don’t expect anything fancy here – the menu is kept short and sweet, and each dish is built from just a few key ingredients. Appetizers are heavy on the salads, including a crisp fresh artichoke salad and a classic arugala option. Pastas are also offered in half portions, if you’d like it as a starter or for a lighter dinner. Both the spinach risotto and tortelli were delicious in a cozy home cooking sort of way. The risotto was a bright forest green and very spinachy; it was made interesting in a with drizzles of light oil and fresh zingy cheese crumbles. The risotto’s foil, the tortelli was a round bowl of beautifully-made ravioli stuffed with ricotta and topped with a hearty soul-satisfying meat sauce; savory and meaty, this exceptional sauce showcased Chef Rita Sodi’s commendable kitchen chops. The entrees are well-thought out, elegant yet simple, with unique proteins like squab and rabbit. The fried rabbit is an orgy of fried food with juicy pieces of fried rabbit meat, french fries, and even fried bread – could it get any better?
I Sodi is refreshing; everything is uncomplicated, fresh, and good; nothing’s neither fussy nor pretentious, loud and raucous nor overwhelming. In a striking contrast to its neighbors, I Sodi offers a relaxing and all very adult dining experience.
Perfect For: treating your parents, a serious sort of date night, lingering of quartinos of wine, eats at the bar, and haute takeout