I SODI NYC
I SODI NYC, a restaurant that Rita Sodi, native of Italy, opened 10 years ago on Christopher Street, after leaving the fashion industry for a new career as a restaurateur and chef.
Sodi believes you can’t appreciate the soul of the dish in front of you if you don’t have a complementary atmosphere to eat it in. “It has to be everything,” she says. “It would take something out of the food.”
I grew up on a little farm north of Florence, Italy. Almost everything my family ate came from the farm – prosciutto, salami, wine, and vegetables. Eating together was a very sacred ritual within my family. Missing a meal was not an option.
My mother, Elena, had several rules when it came to food. For example – drink wine because it “makes good blood”; or never eat prosciutto without bread. Upon completing art school, I embarked on a career in the fashion industry. As I traveled the world and experienced many different cultures and methods of cooking, I began to develop a deeper appreciation for the beautiful simplicity of my mother’s cooking. From Italy to New York, California, Asia and Australia, the more I traveled and learned about cuisine, the more I would go back to Florence.
As the years passed, and my travels continued, I would find a kitchen wherever I was and presented my mother’s cooking to friends and colleagues, who filled my kitchen, sat at my table, and fueled my passion.
Rita Sodi and Jody Williams Created Some of New York’s Most Beloved Dining Spaces
People love to talk about I Sodi’s lasagna, how it’s unrivaled in the city. What they won’t tell you is that each of Sodi and Williams’ dining rooms transports you to an enveloping, self-contained world, one that’s simultaneously homey and escapist. Enter these spaces and the city outside falls away—you feel like you’re on holiday.
That’s not an easy trick to pull off. It demands the same level of care and skill needed to nail a mound of cacio e pepe or steak tartare; the only way it works is if you can’t see the effort required. The finished product should seem like “it’s always been there,” Sodi says. “You open the door and say, ‘Oh, I didn’t see that before. How long has it been there?’ That’s our goal.” It’s easily taken for granted, but it’s what makes people keep coming back.
“The truth is we have a list of places we want to go to, and if they don’t exist, we want to make them,” Williams says. It may begin with an idea, but it’s the space that ultimately dictates which idea will take root; each concept is a complete vision in which the culinary and aesthetic points of view are in alignment. “I think when you have one author writing the first chapter, so to speak, the design of the room, and the same author is in the kitchen writing it, you have this unique thing,” Williams says.
The two share a respect for raw materials that applies to both the seasonal produce being prepared in the kitchen and the reclaimed wood on the floor of the dining room.
105 Christopher Street, New York, NY 10014
4:30pm – 9:30pm
Pick-up & Delivery
3:00pm – 10:00pm
Please Contact I Sodi To Inquire About Available Reservations.