I had a fabulous meal at Lavagna (5th between A and B) last night!
I started witht the artichoke hearts with mushrooms and white bean puree. This dish was EXCELLENT; buttery and flavorful. My companion had the grilled asparagus with oyster mushrooms - also a delicious.
For my entree, I chose the black pepper crusted tuna with lentils & fennel celery green olive salad. It was wonderful! and came with a very sour compote that complimented the fish perfectly. My companion had one of the specials: trout atop a bed of spinach and braised cabbage.
For dessert we shared the Warm Fruit Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream. It came with a smokey caramel sauce and almost melted in your mouth. Yum!
The only real problem with the place was the lack of light. I normally wouldnt mind this, but in this case, it affected the way I looked at my food. When my Tuna arrived, it looked like it came with four fairly large slices and then one huge portion in the center. I at the four slices and then discovered that the portion in the middle wasn't tuna at all, it was the lentils! So, I had this huge pile of lentils that I really didn't eat much of, since I was full from the Tuna. (yes, I realize that lentils do look fairly different than tuna, but keep in mind that the tuna was almost black because of the peppercorns).
Other than that, the meal was a winner. Lavagna is a true east village gem and I can't wait to go back!
Lavagna is one of my favorite restaurants in the city. I've gone on a romantic dinner date, with parents, and even hosted a dinner party for 15 there. I always ALWAYS get their pasta dish so truth be told I haven't really experienced the rest of the menu. The pasta is THAT good. As far as hosting a party there - I wouldn't recommend it. The owner was pretty rude and made my life difficult for the three wks leading up to the dinner. I think you're better off enjoying Lavagna with a small group!