La Lanterna di Vittorio Offers Excellent Italian in Greenwich Village
I love spending time with Aish - we met in a class we had together last semester with our mutual friend Michelle.
We all caught up briefly at beer blast (the weekly happy hour Stern hosts in the building basement) and then Aish & I headed to dinner. I am currently reading a great book (Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan) and two of the main characters are professors at NYU! In the book, they were set up by a mutual friend and had their first date at La Lanterna di Vittorio (http://lalanternacaffe.com/), an Italian restaurant with an enclosed garden right near campus.
I am a huge fan of reading (especially guilty pleasure books such as this one) and even a bigger fan of exploring new restaurants - I knew I had to check this spot out! We each ordered a glass of red wine: the Carmenere Cab. It was delicious and under $10.
We decided to split two items: pizza and lasagna. Since Aish is a vegetarian, we stuck to items both of us could enjoy and ethically enjoy :)
For our pizza, we ordered the Pizza con Cipolla e Caprino (topped with goat cheese, caramelized onions, walnuts and extra virgin olive oil).
Do not be deceived - those slices that LOOK like sausage are caramelized onion! The pizza was super delicious EVEN without meat! It was thin-crust and made to order. I'm glad we split it so we could try two different items.
The other entrée we split was the Lasagna Quattro Formaggi with Black Truffle Paste! NOM! It was like a cheese explosion accented with truffle yumminess
The lasagna was delicious! I took a bite and burned my mouth off - so be cautioned food is served HOT here. Also, I didn't realize this had no tomato in it so when compared to the pizza dish, there wasn't much contrast (cheese vs. more cheese). Next time, I would order the pesto one or meat sauce (damn vegetarians! hehe).
The garden were we sat is beautiful - the rest of the dining space seems a bit dark/cramped, so the outside area is wonderful.
I highly recommend this spot: the prices are right (most pizzas are $12-$14 depending on toppings) and the ambiance is awesome.