La Lanterna Caffe

Name of Restaurant: La Lanterna di Vittorio
Location: 129 MacDougal Street, New York, NY 10012

Cuisine: Italian
Date: 12/26/2010
Time: 7:00 pm

What we ordered:
1. Mozzarella Pomodoro E Basilico (a panini)
2. Rossette De Lyon Con Gorgonzola, Spruzzato Di Grappa (another panini)
3. Pizza Prosciutto Arrostito
4. Mulled wine, for the ladies. (I don’t think my man – eeeks, I hate to call him that even though he is – will ever succumb to the temptation that is alcohol. Sigh!)

We paid:

1. Ambience: 10/10
2. Service: 9/10
3. Food: 8/10

1. Several tweets, a few text messages, a couple of voice mails and a phone call having been exchanged, I finally met @GeekyInaneTwit over a cozy supper in NYC. NYC in a snow blizzard is as nasty as nasty gets. But there’s nothing like great conversation and awesome wine to make the numbness go away. I had a wonderful evening, as did G and @GeekyInaneTwit, I’m guessing. I’d love to see her again someday. Too bad she’s not going to be in NY the next time I’m there.
2. There are children who study at NYU and go to absolutely delightful places on MacDougal Street. And there are children who study at NYU and major in Computer Science. Sigh. But I like my boy.
3. La Lanterna seems like one of her regular hang outs. I just discovered it’s open until 4 am on most days! Which is fabulous, methinks! Just imagine sitting at a cozy lounge-ish place into the wee hours of the morning with your favourite friends… a Moochchi-man, may be… throw in a Miss Singh… maybe some LaunchPad… Man! I wish they were my side of the world. This post really IS making me sigh too much. 🙂 Moving on, the restaurant looks like it has been built in what used to be a house. The lower level is in the basement and is all dingy (not in a creepy way but more in a lets-get-tipsy-in-here-and-make-out-all-night way.) and warm. A fligth of stairs leads you up to the bar and some outside seating: their Winter Garden. And much as I had stepped in from streets with snow almost 2 feet deep and an extreme blizzard, to a comfortable little joint, with dim yellow lights and a fireplace… the Winter Garden seemed too enticing to give up. Obviously, they had us covered, with a glass top and vines all over and an extremely proficient heating system. There’s something about metal furniture laid out in gardens that I adore. Rohit and I had been out in the snow all day, the nastiest I’ve seen in my two and a half years in this country, shopping and visiting memorials and museums and I was only too thrilled to be at this place. And then Ri walked in. And it didn’t even feel like this was the first time I met her. I’ll call her that because I think she might appreciate non-revelation of her identity. This blog IS public, you know. But no, I don’t really want to talk about our conversation because that’s not the point of a Food-For-Thought post. So I’ll leave that for good memories.
4. Mulled wine is SOOO good. Thank you, Shazmeister, for putting Gluhwein in my list of things to make. I’ll upload a recipe soon enough. I’ve been living on mulled wine/Gluhwein/blue wine (as Shonit likes to call it) for 3 weekends in a row. Christmas. New Years’. Suresh’s Farewell (of sorts!)
5. We ordered our paninis on ciabatta bread (we could pick from ciabatta or focaccia, and somehow, I think focaccia would have tasted pretty good too). My mozza panini was decent. Lots of basil, lots of molten cheese and tomatoes. Nothing can go wrong with that. The only thing that DID go wrong is that we yapped for too long and my panini got all cold and chewy towards the end.
6. She ordered the gorgonzola panini, she claims she’s a sucker for gorgonzola. It was served with some salami, her panini.
7. We got side salads, which were essentially three or four kinds of lettuce and vinaigrette.
8. G’s pizza looked pretty tasty. Only, both ladies have had a no-pizza policy for a few months now. It’s not like we crave pizza either. Long story. Also, point of dicussion that evening. Moving on, G’s pizza had tomato sauce, mozzarella, roasted ham and a few other things on it. When I asked him about it later, he said it was good, like any other good pizza he’s had – which is fair enough, I’d say.
9. She got us cookies and brownies, stuff she’d baked. And I thought that was so cute!!! G and I fought over the last piece of brownie the next evening because it was so good. A slight crunch on the outside. Moist (and not sticky, mind you!!) on the inside. Delectable pleasure!!!! The cookies were really cute. She gave us about a half dozen, prettily tied up with ribbon in some cellophane: a tiny Christmas tree and a star, among other shapes.
10. With an evening like that, bring on the tweet-ups, I’d say! Or well, only select tweeple, if you ask me. 🙂


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