Owned by Vittorio Antonini, La Lanterna di Vittorio has been one of the restaurants I’ve wanted to visit for years.
I’ve walked by it countless times, but I was “saving” this adorable restaurant for someone special since it is rated one of New York City’s most romantic restaurants.
Nestled in Greenwich Village on the famous Macdougal street, La Lanterna is a cozy, charming restaurant with a lot of character.
The Garden Room is situated in the back of the restaurants and is ideal for a romantic evening, or a nice evening for a girls night out. Adored by French garden furniture, spotlighted fountain, jewel-toned shaded trees, plants in jardinières, and a glass roof created an Italian countryside oasis evoking the owner’s ancestral home in Genoa.
The Café in the front of the restaurant offers a plethora of desserts to choose from, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a casual dessert and cappuccino.
Downstairs you’ll find a romantic, cozy Jazz Lounge with a bar where you can enjoy a drink and Live Jazz which is offered 7 days a week. Keep in mind there is a small cover charge for sitting in the lounge. This is definitely a Jazz gem.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Estancia, ‘12-13, Paso Robles, CA: Mid-Palate silky tannins; blackberry & chocolate with lingering finish. To me the wine tasted slightly fruity and medium bodied. Just the way I like it.
Pomodoro e Basilico: Traditional Bruschetta prepared with fresh tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, red onion, garlic, fresh basil, black pepper and salt. The green olives on top added a nice touch. The grilled peasant bread was slightly overdone, however it was still perfectly crisp. The Bruschetta was flavorsome with a hint of sweetness from the basil. Delicious!
Mesclun con Pollo Affumicato: Smoked Chicken Breast with Mixed Greens in Balsamic Vinaigrette. The salad itself was perfectly, lightly dressed with Balsamic Vinaigrette. The thinly sliced smoked chicken breast was tender and moist with an intense smoky flavor. This was by far one of the best salads I have ever had. It was flavorful, healthy and light.
Lasagna al Pesto: Eight layers of lasagna with creamy pesto in between each layer, and then finished off with Mozzarella cheese. It arrived steaming hot to the table with the pesto and cheese bubbling away in the dish. The Pesto Lasagna was bold in flavor and seasoned perfectly. The first bite of the soft lasagna and creamy pesto sauce took me back to Amalfi, Italy, which was the last time I had the best Pesto Lasagna. My favorite dish of the night… totally melts in your mouth, authentic, creamy and rich, yet light. Don’t let the size fool you.
Pizza Arrabiata (left half of pizza): A thin crust pizza topped with mozzarella and a spicy garlic and tomato sauce. I liked how the Pizza Arrabiata was spicy, but it wasn’t garlicky enough.
Pizza Margherita con Rucola (right half of pizza): A thin crust pizza topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, Rucola, basil, and extra virgin olive oil. This side of the pizza had a slight kick, in addition to being light and flavorful. The peppery arugula which was a nice touch.
Coffee & Desserts:
Coffee: Very interesting, but the coffee had a slight taste of bacon. It was good coffee, and I did enjoy it.
Tiramisu: Of course, I had to try the Tiramisu since it is an Italian classic and one of their homemade specialties. Layered with lady fingers and mascarpone, this dessert was perfectly flavored with just the right amount of coffee liqueur and finished off with a dusting of cocoa powder. Creamy, light, and airy, and one of the best Tiramisus I’ve ever eaten. This is a must-do.
Pecan Pie with Whipped Cream: At La Lanterna, I love that you can opt for hot or cold pie, and naturally I had to go with a hot Pecan Pie. Additionally, you can opt for whipped cream or ice-cream, and I chose whipped cream. The pie was perfection with just the right amount of sweetness. The pecans were well roasted, the crust was not too buttery, just right. My favorite dessert of the night.
RESTAURANT REVIEW: La Lanterna di Vittorio
CUISINE: Italian, Dessert Shop, Wine Bar
FAVORITES: Pomodoro e Basilico | Mesclun con Pollo Affumicato | Lasagna al Pesto | Tiramisu | Pecan Pie
VERDICT: 4.75 / 5
Where do I begin? I loved everything about La Lanterna di Vittorio. The food here is exceptional, the desserts are ambrosial, the ambience is intimate, and the service is stellar. The Pesto Lasagna here is extraordinary. Despite being quite rich, there is an element of lightness to it. One thing in particular that stood out about La Lanterna was that all the items tasted fresh, and it was like being back in Italy. Even though I indulged in everything mentioned above, I didn’t feel overly stuffed. La Lanterna is the perfect date spot and the prices are incredibly reasonable. It is one of those restaurants you could spend hours at chitchatting over a cup of coffee, or simply listening to jazz over a glass of wine. A romantic gem in Greenwich Village and one that will forever remain close to my heart.
Food: Outstanding | Drinks: Excellent | Décor: Romantic/Cozy | Service: Attentive/Friendly | Value: Excellent
129 Macdougal Street, New York, NY