Oh Harlem! It seems like every day a new dining establishment opens and I’m finding less and less reasons to leave the ‘hood for entertainment. Last weekend Lido was the newish restaurant I decided to try. I think it’s been open since February but it wasn’t until last week that I finally got around to it. There was a lot of catching up to do with Ms. S so I figured a neighborhood spot would be best. I walked into Lido and was pleasantly surprised by the décor. Exposed brick with a variety of seating option including round booths and group tables in the back.
We sat in an elevated booth, which felt more like a private table for two. We had a great view of bustling Fred Doug Blvd. Within a few minutes our server, Steve appeared. He was cheerful and offered suggestions when we asked. We started off with the Crostino. I ordered the Tomato Crostino. (Sincerest apologies again for the low quality pics. It wasn't until the end of the night that I got the hang of things. I promise it's smooth sailing after this post!)
Ohhemmgeee! The many types of roasted tomatoes were flavored with garlic and basil. Incredibly flavorful. There were lots of tomatoes so definitely some spillage but I didn't mind too much. Ms.S referred to it as "boosted up bruschetta" which i think is pretty accurate. She ordered the Rock Shrimp Crostino.
We anticipated she would receive a few tiny shrimp but we were completely wrong. The shrimp were plentiful. I was even able to sample a few strays that remained on the plate because they could no longer hang on to the Crostino. The sea salt flavored shrimp were incredibly fresh and quite delicious. The simple flavors are what made it so good.
In evaluating the menu for an entree, I must say that I was unimpressed. There are simply not enough options! Almost every item had some form of pork hiding in there. The gnocchi had guanciale and the scallops had speck. Most of the other items were not poultry or seafood but we both managed to find something to eat. Ms. S ordered the Orecchiette.
It was served with Rock Shrimp, Broccoli Rabe and Cherry Peppers. The flavor was simplistic and there was nothing that spectacular about it. It's a shame there were such limited options on the menu, especially for pasta. Luckily, I was able to find something amazing to eat. Whole Branzino.
I must apologize again because the picture really doesn't do the fish any justice. It was divine. Served with Roasted Red Livornese, Charred Onion, Organic Watercress and fennel, I truly thought I was in heaven when I took my first bite.
It is seasoned with salt but doesn't taste salty. The fish was deboned which was an excellent surprise! I really enjoyed the fennel too. This dish was perfectly executed and I'm convinced I ordered the best thing on the menu. After devouring the fish, I ordered dessert.
See finally got the camera setting right :) unfortunately as good as it looked the tiramisu just didn't do it for me. I think it had soaked too long so it was over powering. Maybe next time.
Lido was a solid dining experience. The appetizers are great but I'm a little concerned about the lack of variety on the menu. Not everyone wants pieces of pork in everything they eat and really it would be nice of there were a few more pastas on there. I know they're changing their menu soon so hopefully they'll switch it up in a good way. Also their prices are on the high side and it’s really not worth it considering the lack of options. Hopefully, their revamped menus will also reflect more reasonable pricing. I'm thrilled that Harlem continues to bloom with new restaurants and bakeries and look forward to continuing my exploration and re-discovery.