Italian always seems like a safe choice when it comes to eating out, and lasagna in particular is the most basic of pasta dishes. It’s for the unadventurous person who never quite progressed beyond the comforts of eating from a Stouffer’s lasagna box. But at Don Angie, the new Italian restaurant in the West Village run by the team behind Quality Italian, the familiar lasagna has been given a fantastic face lift that would make it unrecognizable to many of its devotees. This lasagna’s also upgraded to fancier digs, trading in the checkered table cloth and humble wood tables of a red sauce joint for fancy blue banquettes, a chic marble bar and an overall upscale nautical bistro look and feel. Which means, like Anna Kournikova, you may not be able to afford it–expect to shell out $64 for the two of you.
This isn’t the sloppy stack of heavy cheese, sauce, meat and noodles that we’ve come to expect from a lasagna. The noodles, which are extremely thin and phyllo dough like, have been rolled up into circular coils and then baked until their edges are golden and crisp like a pastry. The underlying red sauce is bright and lemony, leaving you feeling light rather than weighed down after eating it. And instead of being slathered in sheets of melted mozzarella and ricotta, the lasagna is accompanied by fluffy balls of robiola cheese that look and taste like clouds, and, in fact, you’ll feel like you’re on cloud nine after eating one.
The lasagna for two is pretty sizeable and comes with several slices of buttery garlic toast, so you won’t have much room for appetizers other than a light salad if you’re splitting it with one other person. If you have to choose, go for the chrysanthemum salad, a refreshing change from the standard caesar or garden variety, and which looks and tastes like the ephemeral flower that it’s named for. It’s perfect as an opening act for the meal–pleasant and lighthearted, getting you excited for but not overshadowing the main attraction, which is clearly the lasagna.
103 Greenwich Ave. (between Jane and W. 12th St)
New York, NY 10014