The final restaurant I visited while in New York was Lavo. Lavo is the new club/restaurant in Midtown from the owners of Tao and the Stanton Social. Lavo was a huge success in Las Vegas so they brought it over to New York and hoped that it will be just as big of a hit. Right from the launch Lavo was used for private parties for Fashion Week and on the Friday that I wanted to go to Lavo originally, but Mariah Carey rented out the entire restaurant for Nick Cannon‘s birthday. Lavo is across the street from Tao (another hugely successful restaurant in Manhattan) so both Midtown powerhouses are right on the same street as one another. The interior of Lavo is like an Italian Pastis…or Pulino’s. The discolored mirrors, giant fans and tiled walls help create the feeling that you are in Europe for the evening. The restaurant and club are separate, like Abe & Arthur’s and SL, so don’t expect that just because you scored a reservation at the restaurant means you can go to the club downstairs.
The menu was actually a bit disappointing. It consisted mainly of Americanized Italian dishes such as Penne Alla Vodka and Chicken Parmigano which aren’t Italian at all actually but rather dishes with Italian influence made for the American palate. To start I had the Pizza Margerita which was average, and largely portioned which somewhat justified the $18 price tag. The pizzas come out in large 18 inch rectangles as opposed to the traditional circle or square pies found at other restaurants. I then had the Spaghetti Carbonara which was actually very good. The pasta was generously portioned and all the ingredients in the dish blended very well and it wasn’t overly spicy which is sometimes how it is prepared.
Though the food at Lavo might be too simple for people looking for a great dinner those focusing more on the scene than the food will have a fantastic dinner. The restaurant is fun, the service is good and the food is good enough for a restaurant who’s focus isn’t on the food. Also be sure to check out Lavo’s Saturday brunches…especially if you’re having difficulty getting into the club at Lavo!