Thursday, February 10, 2011
☞ EAT: Lido To Debut This Weekend
LINK. The restaurant website is also up: LidoHarlem.com
HB: Everyone is pretty excited about Lido. How will it be different from its predecessor since they too were also Italian?
-Our predecessor had different owners and a different vision. We have hired an excellent chef, and are training our wait staff very carefully. The vibe we are going for is sophisticated but still laid back and friendly. Our goal is to be everyone's favorite neighborhood place to eat and enjoy a cocktail or two.
HB: Some readers have mentioned that the previous space needed more warmth to it. What are the new changes for the interior design?
-It is very different. Come check it out. Exposed brick, stainless steel chandeliers with subtle crystal beading, and sea green banquettes create a comforting backdrop for sepia-toned vintage photos of Lido de Venezia and a feminine touch of rose-colored shades. A long, red oak bar offers ample space for cocktails and assaggini. Additional high tops orient towards the dramatic French doors on one of two exposures that each offer beautiful, sweeping light by day and people-watching opportunities by night.
HB: Affordability is always a hot topic for those living uptown. Was that in mind when you decided on opening Lido?
-Yes. I have lived in Harlem for 14 years and know the neighborhood very well. We focused on value. The food and wine we are offering would be way more expensive at other places in Manhattan.
HB: Who is the chef for Lido and is he Italian?
-Chef Stephen Putnam, a four-time James Beard Institute Recognition award recipient. Putnam’s career has brought him to opposite coasts in equal success. His farm to table, local Mediterranean style has been seen in NYC under David Burke at the Park Avenue Café and the W’s Doral Tuscany, as well as the River Café. He was Executive Chef at Wine & Roses Hotel, Restaurant, and Spa in Napa, The Bellevue Club in Seattle, as well as Owner and Executive Chef at Paradise Cafe in the Hamptons, and Frog and the Peach, a French-American style restaurant in Avon, CT.
HB: We know exact opening dates are hard to pin down. Do you have an estimate at this point in time?
-Yes definitely February 12th.
HB: Why choose Harlem at this point in time to open a new business?
-I live in the neighborhood and this type of restaurant seems to be what the neighborhood needs. We are looking to fill a niche in the neighborhood and contribute to the emergence of Harlem as an upcoming dining destination.