Sun-Thu, 10am-2am; Fri-Sat, 10am-3am
A, B, C, D, E, F, V at W. 4th St.-Washington Sq.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
La Lanterna is unlikely to inspire the fierce devotion enjoyed by its neighbor Café Reggio, but this unassuming Italian café delivers enough of its own quirky character to make it a solid second choice. Sure, the menu is limited in range—primarily 10-inch pizzas topped with everything from bacon to egg and a modest selection of paninis—but the upstairs dining area, with its small marble tables and candy cane-backed chairs tucked tight, incites immediate intimacy. (Mix-and-match artwork and excellent views of MacDougal Street must suffice should romance not be in the air.) Downstairs, the mood gets even cozier: Under a ceiling so low you can touch it, a working fireplace casts atmospheric shadows countered by the glow from the dessert case adjoining the staircase. Dessert is the café's forte. And items such as the dulce de leche gelato won't find a better setting than the garden out back.Note
Reservations are only accepted for groups of four or more.