by Steven Behling

In late September 2015, preceding a conference in Pittsburgh, I spent a weekend in New York City.  It was quite the whirlwind trip; NYC, Pittsburgh, and Vancouver BC consecutively for three days each.  Nestled between Broadway shows and museum visits was a Sunday brunch with my friend and former co-worker Stefanie, who was two weeks away from the delivery of her son, Marcus, who, for the record, has a delightfully squidgy smile, although we didn't yet know this at the time.  

My goodness...that last sentence really highlighted my love of commas. 

Our search for a spot within walking distance of her apartment in Harlem led us to Lido, a delightful Italian restaurant named after an island off the coast of Venice, Lido di Venizia.  The weather was warm enough to forego a jacket, but the scent of autumn was in the air, influencing my ultimate selection of their gnocchi with rich cream, umami truffle butter, melty bits of guanciale, fragrant sage, and shaved parmesan.  Delizioso.


I have ordered gnocchi at other restaurants three times since then, hoping to get the same perfectly soft-yet-firm, full-but-not-too-starchy pillows of potato, but to no avail.  It really was the perfect dish to usher in a colder season, one which seems to be slowly wrapping up in Seattle as we transition our way into another über-long springtime.  The brave green leaves preceding the arrival of violet crocuses and sunny daffodils are already piercing the soil, and it seems a shame to let this perfect winter dish go unmentioned before their blossoms arrive.  There's something about the ingredients...especially sage, potato, pork, and cream (so basically everything)...that make it just right for cold weather, and I'll no doubt be stopping by Lido again in future...and not just to spend time with Stefanie and Marcus.

Lido is located at 2168 Frederick Douglass Boulevard at 117th Street in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan borough in New York City, New York.