Photo: Bobby Doherty

If ever there were a reason to line up outside a restaurant in the freezing cold, it is the news that, after 11 years, I Sodi is now serving lunch. Actually, I Sodi chef-owner Rita Sodi tried serving lunch before, just after she opened the restaurant in 2008. “It didn’t work out,” she says. What happened? “Nobody came.” For anyone who has tried for the past six, seven, or eight years to get into I Sodi for a bite of dinner, or for anyone who has tried to get into dinner or lunch at Sodi’s other restaurant, Via Carota, which she runs with Jody Williams, you know how baffling this is. It would be as if Mike Bloomberg announced he was going to hand out free money at his Upper East Side townhouse and no one showed up. That is how absurdly popular Sodi’s restaurants are (even if they’re not free).

Anyway, lunch starts this Friday and is weekends only, at least for now. The menu is the same as at dinner, which means you can tuck into Sodi’s signature lasagna al sugo di carne, pictured, and sleep it off the rest of the weekend. Why lunch instead of brunch, you ask? “Because I’ve been very Italian up until now,” says Sodi. “And I want to keep it that way.”