Posted a couple weeks back for ideas for a small bday dinner in the E Village... after some heated discussion with the friends we decided to hit the WEST village for dinner and then drinks at White Horse Tavern. So I appreciate all the rec's and have saved them for future dinners... but I wanted to post a mini-review of Da Andrea, which I had heard about a long time ago on this board but haven't seen any postings about lately.
In short: a great neighborhood italian place, perfect for a rainy night and a tight budget.
Got an 8 pm reso for 4ppl on a Thursday night without any problems; we were seated immediately, and water & bread basket arrived quickly. Foccaccia (homemade, I'm told) was good and the bowl of olives/olive oil was to die for. We started with the tigelle appetizer (based on the NY Times review from last year): about 7 hot biscuits, a bowl of grated parmesan, and piles of prosciutto. You split the biscuit, sprinkle with olive oil and cheese, and top with meat. Heaven. And a ton of food (one friend even commented on how MUCH prosciutto we were given); especially for the $6 price tag.
Entrees: Lamb shank, pork chop with grilled corn, pasta with pesto, shrimp and salmon; and pasta bolognese. Plates everywhere were cleared. Lamb was most expensive entree at $16; bolognese was like $9. Excellent, rib-sticking food. Washed it down with 2 large carafes of $20 house wine (a decent red).
Waiters were excellent - one friend commented that she hadn't even noticed that her wine and water glasses kept filling up - they were efficient and friendly and unobtrusive. They also brought out a bday dessert (chocolate cake w/ hazelnut ice cream = it was just ok, nothing to be ordered again) and sang... and it was the type of place where the other customers joined in.
A neighborhood joint filled with happy folks just looking for a good cheap meal and good attitudes. I'd go back for sure.