From private dinner parties to one of the best finds in Soho

By Erik Mathes

Some restaurants offer a dish you see everywhere else in the city, but prepared in a way that’s so utterly exceptional, you just have to try it. Other places specialize in intriguing plates and interesting ingredients that you’ll have a hard time finding anywhere else. Comodo, a low-key, romantic date spot in the northwest corner of Soho, is the rare exception that manages to pull off not one, but both of these culinary feats—and with ease.

The first achievement is done via the pao de queijo sliders, featuring juicy lamb meatballs, studded with dried cranberries and served on dense, Brazilian-style cheese buns made with Pecorino and yucca starch, along with a side of chipotle cream sauce. The sliders are outstanding on their own, and the sauce is good enough to sip (or slurp), leaving you in quite the predicament (to dip, or not to dip?).

The second accomplishment comes with ajiaco soup, a Colombian classic made with three types of potatoes, sweet corn on the cob, and guascas, an Andean herb with notes of oregano that’s not widely known in the States. An entrée portion of the soup comes with ramekins of briny capers, creamy avocado, pulled chicken, and crema, so you can play around with your food and style it to your liking.

All of this kitchen magic began with an intimate supper club in the home of Felipe Donnelly and his wife, Tamy Rofe. After receiving a cease-and-desist order from the city, they decided to ditch their day jobs as ad execs and follow their dreams by opening a restaurant. Donnelly is now the chef, presiding over a menu that mixes Mexican with Colombian, Brazilian, and Spanish influences, while Rofe and her partners, including a former restaurant consultant and writer for Epicurious, handle the hospitality.

For the Fall, Comodo is offering a special three-course menu with Latin American wine pairings, so you can discover what’s cooking at this New York Times “Critics’ Pick,” which the paper described as “that little out-of-the-way place you search for the moment you move to New York, that you stumble upon one hazy night and make yours.” It starts with maitake mushroom arugula salad with pepitas, poached pear, Manchego cheese, and earthy cumin vinaigrette. For the entrée, you get to savor a dish of tender rosemary-braised short rib, accompanied by fried tomatillos, guajillo-plantain puree and sorrel.

To finish it all off on a sweet note, there’s the naranja almendrada, a flourless almond cake topped with sweet saffron yogurt and slices of candied orange. With the warm atmosphere at Comodo inviting you to linger over this final course, you can soak up the buzzing energy of the newest incarnation of Donnelly and Rofe’s dinner party. Too bad you can’t spend the night.

Exclusive 3-course prix fixe dinner

first course
Maitake mushroom salad

second course
Short rib entrée

third course
Almond orange cake


Dinner: Mon–Sat 6 PM–11 PM
Brunch: Sat–Sun 11 AM–4 PM

price range

$20 (poblano pepper pasta) to $32 (Hudson Valley seared duck breast)