Lusardi's tonight. Recommendations as to what to order?
re: small h
Lusardi's seems to be one of those places that coddles its neighborhood regulars and keeps them loyal. I'm not likely to become one of them. My dinner there was pretty good, but nothing I had would bring me back, except maybe the service, which is excellent, and the negroni, which is also excellent. Also, the menu descriptions are very enticing. The menu definitely outperformed the actual food.
I shared an appetizer special of grilled octopus with peppers, which was very nice: tender, well-seasoned, definitely the best thing I ate that night. I also had the grilled artichoke appetizer. It was overdone, so it tasted mostly of char, and the leaves were tough rather than crispy. (A million years ago, I had deep fried artichokes at some random osteria near the Trevi Fountain; that's my gold standard, and I've never found its equal.) My main dish was the shrimp over couscous. The shrimp were a little tough, and the dish was quite bland overall.
So I wouldn't necessarily steer anyone away from Lusardi's, but it's one of those restaurants that you probably have to be predisposed to like, i.e., "this resembles other restaurants I enjoy, and therefore I will enjoy it."