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Lavagna. Yay or nay

sophie Jun 28, 2005 12:07 PM

Hey there,

I am taking my fun-loving, chowhound folks out to dinner tonight. My mother was a caterer for many years and likes to try something special when in the big city.

I'm thinking lavagna. If you agree, can you recommend dishes.

If you are thinking that we should stay away, any other suggestions? I've also considered L'impero, Otto, or even mermaid inn.

thank you!

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  1. a
    a320 RE: sophie Jun 28, 2005 12:14 PM

    I've only been to Lavagna once (beginning of last summer), but remember having an enjoyable meal. I think I had the tagliatelle with rabbit ragu and remember being surprised by the generous portion and quantity of meat in the dish. The service was friendly and the atmosphere was laid-back.

    1. d
      Dave RE: sophie Jun 28, 2005 12:54 PM

      Of those choices, L'impero is by far and away the most "special". I'd take that.

      1. s
        Spencer Chang RE: sophie Jun 28, 2005 03:36 PM

        Everything we had at Lavagna was consistently good and I definitely recommend it. I'm very picky about pasta dishes and theirs were excellent in my opinion. We went for the early bird prix-fixe which is a great deal, but the normal prices are not too unreasonable.

        1. l
          Lucia RE: sophie Jun 28, 2005 04:07 PM

          I might be in the minority, but I was disappointed by my dinner at Lavagna last fall. I had a fish dish (bass?) and just found it uninspired. For the same kind of feel and better food, I'd recommend Apizz.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Lucia
            Lucia RE: Lucia Jun 28, 2005 04:09 PM

            Or go to Hearth.

          2. c
            cab RE: sophie Jun 28, 2005 07:26 PM

            I love Lavagna and I think it is much better than either Heath or Apizz. I haven't been to L'Impero so I can't comment.
            Lavagna makes a sausage rigatoni that is truly addictive.

            1. c
              Cara RE: sophie Jun 28, 2005 08:04 PM

              Lavagna: One of my favorite Manhattan restaurants. Not terribly formal or fancy, and even a bit noisy sometimes. But comfortable, good service, and excellent food.

              1. g
                gleamr1 RE: sophie Jan 4, 2007 03:22 PM

                I had the whole fish for 2 at Lavagna and it was wonderful. Generous portion and great flavor.

                1. n
                  nychowgirl RE: sophie Jan 4, 2007 03:26 PM

                  Yay on Lavagna in my book. I also love Hearth but it's a little pricier and more upscale so I guess it depends on what you're looking for.

                  1. m
                    mitsy4400 RE: sophie Jan 4, 2007 05:09 PM

                    I have only good things to say about my experiences at Lavagna. Never been disappointed. I've dined there with large groups and dined alone and its always a good experience.

                    1. r
                      randymac88 RE: sophie Jan 4, 2007 05:13 PM

                      I had only a marginal experience at Lavagna after relatively high expectations. I am a huge fan of Mermaid Inn, but I wouldn't necessarily call it "special".

                      I agree with the Hearth reco, but would also consider Assenzio, where there is not only solid food but a fun, East Village atmosphere. Also, E.U. is a consideration.

                      1. nyufoodie RE: sophie Jan 4, 2007 07:58 PM

                        I'd go for Hearth, as it also has a very good wine list with the smaller tasting portions...so, you can probably get a different wine to go with every dish.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: nyufoodie
                          Bob Martinez RE: nyufoodie Jan 4, 2007 08:28 PM

                          Hearth is fine but it will cost 40%-50% more than Lavagna.

                        2. p
                          Peter Cherches RE: sophie Jan 4, 2007 10:13 PM

                          One of my favorite desserts in NY is the warm semolina pudding with lemon curd and dried cherries at Lavagna.

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