Some of the best things come out of necessity and such was the opening of Lido Restaurant five years ago, when owner Susannah Koteen realized the need for an outstanding Italian restaurant in Harlem. The Harlem food scene was just emerging and the opening of Lido certainly helped to raise the bar.
The restaurant, a favorite of locals, has the feel of a country home in Italy – warm, approachable and welcoming. The substantial bar is frequented by neighborhood regulars and has an excellent selection of wines and spirits
Lido’s Executive Chef Serena Bass, caterer to celebrities and New York socialites, brings an extraordinary element to both the food and persona of Lido. Her menu is infused with special elements that showcase her unique approach to Northern Italian food. The dishes are both beautiful on the plate and pleasing to the palate. She tries to use local and organic ingredients when possible, and the freshness speaks for itself.
Serena has created a menu with so many mouth-watering choices, you can dine there several times a week without repeating a dish. In 2005, her cookbook: Serena: Food & Stories won a James Beard award. The book contains some of the most scrumptious recipes, and is currently available for download on Amazon Kindle.
For starters, Lido offers a great selection of appetizers including: Arancini – filled three ways, a Tuscan Pizza Tart, a variety of Crostini options and Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes among others. We tried several dishes and were very impressed. The standouts included: Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Roasted Cauliflower and Romesco, Sicilian Tuna on a Crostini with Fennel Seed Aioli, Fried Capers Parsley and Lemon – both dishes were unique preparations and simply to die for!
The pasta selection has something for everyone, including a gluten free penne. Both the Spaghetti, with Roasted Veal Meatballs, San Marzano Tomato and Basil, and the Gnocchi with Truffle Butter, Parmesan, Guanciale, and Sage were outstanding.
For dessert don’t miss the Pumpkin Cheescake, or the dreamy Bread Pudding – truly magnificent.
The décor at Lido will lure you in, but the exquisite food will keep you coming back again and again. If you are looking for craveable Italian food in Harlem, look no further than Lido.
Address: 2168 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026
Phone: (646) 490-8575