I have been to Lavo before for drinks, but I have never had the opportunity to sit down for dinner. One such opportunity presented itself last week with the addition of two words to their menu: Samoa Zeppoles. The Girl Scout cookie-craze has hit Lavo, and they ran with it…right to the deep fryer.
I will make this short because not much of the meal requires such intent focus and passion. The appetizers were delish, the entrees were way overseasoned and too salty, and the dessert was…pure bliss. Samoas dunked in batter and deep fried to golden perfection, then dusted with powdered sugar. Yea I salivated right now. So what?
I will say that the kobe beef meatballs with fresh whipped ricotta are worth the hefty price tag ($20). Meant for sharing, this gargantuan meatball served in a cast iron skillet is so flavorful and juicy, it doesn't need the tomato sauce it comes with, but Lavo happens to make a nice tomato sauce as well. The cool ricotta on top adds a creamy dimension that was just delicious. It almost made me angry that I had to share with people…
The pizza was another great choice for sharing: an 18 inch rectangular pie with ramps and burrata cheese. Mmmm. Nice and crispy thin crust topped with ramps (a member of the green onion family) and large globs of cheese. Don't take the word "globs" with a negative connotation. In fact, I think cheese is the one thing that can be described in "globs" and not be associated with an infection.
As I mentioned previously, the mains were nothing to write home about. Unless of course you live in a town that has been deprived of salt for a few years, then I would tell you that this is the place to find some. I had the shrimp scampi, and for $29, I expected way better. The upside came from the creamed spinach I ordered separately – this was like half creamed spinach and half spinach and cheese dip. Either way…YUM. Not overly salty and very rich.
Ok, back to the main event. Is it funny that I consider the dessert the main event? Or is it just standard at this point? This was the sole reason we came here, so when I asked the waiter about them (since they're not on the menu) he paused and looked concerned. I was hanging on his every word of "ummm" and "maybeeee" until he went to check with the chef and a few short minutes later arrived with a serving platter of the golden, puffed deliciousness. Gooey cookie inside with the sweet scent of chocolate oozing out…this made the $245 bill for three people seem worth it.