My family and I went to have dinner at Da Legna since it recently reopened after a devastating fire (Amato's for all you New Haveners). We walked into the take-out area as it was brightly lit. We were met by one of the owners who promptly took us on a tour. They have a brand-new wood-fired stove (hence the name Da Legna) that adds the best flavor to the most amazing crust; but more on that later.
He led us through the beautiful bar area which was stocked with all top-shelf liquors and INFUSED VODKAS! They are very proud of the SVEDKA infused with mango and habanero, cantelope and ginger and others they create there. They also have apineapple infused rum. I can only speak for the mango and cantelope infusions as those were the ones I had. THEY WERE FANTASTIC! The flavors jumped all around in my mouth and were so tasty! Sorry, I got sidetracked with the vodka happiness; back to our experience!
We were led into the dining room--the decor is like distressed classy--that is not the best way to describe it, but let me try to be more clear....it is warm and comfortable and very classy but in a relaxed way. The waitress will bring you Mason jars for your water with a big bottle on the table for refilling (so cool). Most of the walls are paint and brick but the wall we sat next to was painted with the name and to look like the brick was coming through the paint--but NO--the bricks were painted on by hand!!! I had to get up and touch them to see that they were not real bricks! The painting inside and outside of Da Legna is amazing! You can easily tell that a great deal of craftsmanship was put into this place.
FOOD: One word: FANTASTIC! They have many "small plates" of very interesting dishes all under $10. We tried the Crispy Mac and Cheese Wedge. YES this was absolutely as good as its name implies. Heavenly macaroni in a tasty cheese sauce, coated and fried (I think) to perfection! Then we had the Cheesy Baked Cauliflower. The cauliflower was cooked to perfection and the cheesy sauce was so flavorful. I should have eaten a whole dish of this but knew I had to have pizza! They also offer very interesting salads and VEGAN OPTIONS!
THE PIZZA IS A THIN CRUST HEAVEN! With the wood stove the flavor of the wood makes the crust taste so good and it is cooked to perfection. This was NOT the place where everyone leaves the crust--they were all eaten!!! From traditional toppings of tomato sauce and all the regular toppings, to 18 artisinal pies, there is something for everyone! We chose 5 12" pies so we could sample different types. I chose the Patate (because we love potato pie and HAD to compare). It has Mashed potato, spinach, bacon, mozzarella, smoked gouda and corn! This pie beat out all the other potato pies I have ever had by far! Everything tasted so fresh and the flavors all mixed perfectly. My husband chose Capricciossa (even though he couldn't pronounce it!) Large slices of Proscuitto, wild mushroom, artichoke hearts, Gaeta olives and Mozzarella. This was so tasty! Our kids chose white with onions and peppers (those veggies were so fresh and had so much flavor--my second favorite); a red pie with chicken and bacon and a red pie with pepperoni, sausage and meatballs. Every pie had fresh or handmade ingredients and was a palate-pleasing treat! We brought home pieces of all the pies and they tasted just as good the next day as when they were fresh!
One of the owners was walking around greeting customers and giving out information on the restaurant. I was very impressed with all the little touches that they used to make the place feel really relaxing. Later on the chef (and genius), Dan, came over to our table to talk and I told him just how much I loved all of his creations. He seemed very appreciative of the praise and was happy we enjoyed our meal. This kind of personal service makes me want to eat her whenever I go out to eat.
MY FAVORITE PART OF EATING OUT IS DESSERT--one time I want to eat dessert for dinner. When I do, I am coming back here for that because all desserts are made fresh on-site and are perfect in size, presentation and flavor. They have six dessert items and we ordered five of them and each took a taste of them all. The phyllo dough shell with lemon curd and whipped cream was so crispy and creamy and lemony that one bite wasn't enough. The white chocolate mousse crepe was light and sinfully delicious. The apple walnut rangoons with butter brandy sauce and sweet cream ice cream was a delicious cold-weather treat and the cheesecake was creamy with a fantastic crust. By far the best dessert was the S'mores creme brulee. Your mouth is watering, right? Well it was just like you'd think, but the presentation was EPIC! Little wood shavings on the plate next to the bowl of creme brulee with chocolate and a big dollop of marshmallow that the waitress takes a blowtorch to so it lights on fire to finish it off! It was, by far, the winner of the evening--the presentation had all the nearby tables talking about it.
I have lived in the New Haven area all of my life, so I know pizza! I can truly say that this is the best place around for fresh pizza, great salads, fantastic desserts and a welcoming atmosphere! The other places had better watch out---this place just blows them away!!!
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.