Lavo at Palazzo
I went to Lavo back when it first opened in September of last year, and here is what I can remember.
-Food is pretty good, but portions are pretty small since its a tapas-like/sharing type of meal.
-It is pretty expensive if you plan on making that your dinner.
If I were to return there, I would have an early dinner (6pm-ish) some place with normal sized portions, the have a later, pre-party meal (9-10pm-ish) there with drinks, desserts, and tapas because the atmosphere is very good and lively.
it is still open. a review i did a few months back ( btw - they have a new chef )
I'm a fan of Chef Lefebvre - 1st tried his food at the L'orangerie and then i thought he really took it to a new level at Bastide ( though i preferred Chef Giraud's food at Bastide - why can't any restaurant succeed on Melrose Place ?!?! )
I figured his creativity would blossom in Vegas - hmmm, after tonight's meal i'm not sure.
The roomie and I enjoyed the restaurant design - nice to see the fireworks across the street at TI , too.
Tried a pomegranate lemonade at the bar ( $13 ) - waaay too sweet !
ordered baked clams, caprese salad, the crudo plate ( a Mediterranean sashimi plate ? ) to start. The clams had too much breading and salt, the broth was tasty. The caprese salad - the tomatoes were delicious, the cheese did little to improve the dish and the basil ? what basil - a lone fried leaf in the center of the plate - why ? The crudo -ok, did not care for the salmon but the filet was nice.
main entree - roomie had the paella. i went with the sliders, the lamb quesadilla and we shared the wild mushroom pizette.
The paella - loved the rice, the seafood was a little dry, the chicken tasted old and the chorizo ? it actually tasted more like pepperoni !
the lamb quesadilla's ? Are you sure it was lamb ? The sliders - bread a little old and way too much sauce. The pizette - the mushrooms were great , a tad too much salt, but overall, full of flavor.
We shared the chocolate bread pudding with the leche sauce ( caramel ) and vanilla bean ice cream. the ice cream and sauce were very good. The chocolate bread pudding - looked like two french toast sticks with chocolate chips in them - decent taste but i had a hard time calling it "bread pudding . "
I came in with high expectations. Left a little disappointed since i've had some amazing meals created by this Chef. I feel obligated to try this place again.
I've been to Lavo a few times and have always been pretty happy with the food. It's not the most spectacular food, but the atmosphere makes up for it. It's a really fun place to go with a group of friends. I probably wouldn't recommend it if you are looking for something intimate, since it can be fairly loud. The food is Mediterranean and has a lot of small plates and variety. For starters/tapas, I've had the trio of dips (hummus, baba ganoush and something else I can't quite remember), tuna tartare, duck quesadilla, bruschetta, margherita flatbread and mushroom flatbread. I was pretty happy with all of those, but my faves were the mushroom flatbread, bruschetta and trio of dips. For entrees we've had the chicken paillard with string beans, salmon, eggplant parmesan, paella and a roast chicken dish. I didn't love any of the entrees, but they weren't bad at all. I would stick with the tapas next time I go, and I'll definitely be sampling some desserts!
I also had trouble finding a menu online. I went in February 2009 and it is indeed Mediterranean. They are moving to add more Italian items (though they do have yummy looking pizzas). Also paella, octopus appetizers, sweet potato fries, fish, etc.
As for our food:
Hits: I loved the steak with fois gras and mushroom duxelle (and I rarely eat red meat or fois gras). The beef melted in my mouth and even one of my companions (a vegetarian) couldn’t help herself from picking at the sauce and mushrooms. My companions loved the sea bass marinated in a soy/miso glaze, served with sliced fennel and fried lemons. The plate was licked clean.
The desserts were also fabulous, especially the poached pear, served with honeycomb, panna cotta topped with arugula and olive oil. Yes, that’s one dessert. The other was the chocolate LAVO obsession, a chocolate cake with molten middle, with a vanilla (and lavender or citrus?) gelato and raspberry sauce. It also had a blob of pistachio sauce which looked like…puke. Admittedly it tasted fine. Last, the coffees were a treat in themselves. Our hands-down favorite was a shot-glass size Turkish coffee flavored with condensed milk and cardamom syrup. Yummy.
Misses: The cocktails were not spectacular. The white wine sangria was fine, as was the pink pomegranate lemonade. One companion had the house specialty drink in a martini glass – she liked it. The sweet potato fries were greasy, and not in a good way.
There's more (atmosphere, background, decor etc) here: