Ever wonder what a bar would look like at the center of the Earth or on, say, the Flintstones? This subterranean spot on the Lower East Side is decked out completely in faux-stone and dramatic red lighting, almost as if it was an elaborate set from a movie. At least one thing is real: the booze.
Cocktails like lychee martinis and caipirinhas are available alongside around 20 different wines and beers by the bottle. Several draped tables surround the stone bar, filled with people indulging in classic Italian dishes. While most diners nibble casual fare like Panini, a wide variety of bruschetta and simple pastas, there are also a few entrees for serious appetites, such as the grilled steak with mushrooms and shrimp sautéed with garlic, butter and white wine. La Caverna is also a good place to get ready for a night of partying, as its $4 drink happy hour lasts until 10pm Tuesday through Sunday.—Keith Wagstaff