Monday, May 14, 2012


On Friday night Traivor and I planned to explore one of my favorite areas of New York, the East Village (or Alphabet City, whichever you prefer).  We started off with drinks at The Summit, a really cool bar on Avenue C that has artisanl cocktails, a great space, and lots of room.  We arrived around 8pm and were happy to see that it wasn't overly crowded.  If we had walked a few avenues west we would have been in the middle of friday night revelry; being over on Avenue C gave us a nice respite in which to leisurely enjoy our drinks.  We sat overlooking the street and people watching as we had a few rounds before dinner.

Walking over to Lavagna I was reminded of why I love New York so much: nowhere else that I have been has such an amazing pedestrian culture.  Whether it was walking through Tompkins Square Park earlier in the night or seeing all of the great new restaurants on Avenues B and C, it was a terrific night to explore a new area while visiting some of Traivor's old favorites.  When we arrived to Lavagna the maitre'd promptly seated us at a great table which took advantage of the beautiful New York weather; behind Traivor the large windows had been opened to allow plenty of air into the restaurant.  When I I first looked down at the menu I glanced briefly at it, thinking that I already knew what I would order from perusing it previously online.  In that quick glance, however, I saw that there was a note that said the restaurant offers gluten free pasta!  Traivor had been talking about his favorite dish, rigatoni with sweet fennel and spicy sausage, peas, and tomato cream, so I was excited to see that I could order it.  The gluten free pasta the restaurant uses is Spaghetti but our waiter still recommended going with the rigatoni dish.  With two recommendations in its court I couldn't say no and opted for the rigatoni.  We also split the scallops as an appetizer after confirming that they are gluten free. 

Everything was great.  The scallops came with deliciously creamy potatoes underneath and were served in a large portion.  When our pasta came out I was thrilled, as I haven't been to a great gluten free Italian place in some time.  I was even more thrilled when, upon first bite, I experienced the amazing flavors that Traivor had been telling me about.  The sausage wasn't chunky as I had feared when ordering and instead was in miniscule pieces spread throughout the spaghetti dish.  The peas and tomato cream were excellent additions as well.  My only complaint was that the spaghetti was a bit tough and undercooked, although this is likely owing to the fact that I was initially brought an incorrect (and gluten filled) ravioli as Traivor was served his correct order.  I'm assuming that, because of the mix-up, my dish was rushed to be prepared and wasn't given the proper cooking time.

Regardless of that snafu I would definitely check out Lavagna again.  The flavors were great, the waiter was knowledgeable about gluten free items, and the ambience was terrific especially in the warm weather.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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545 E. 5th Street
New York, NY 10009 (Map)
(212) 979-1005

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