Lavo Italian Restaurant & Nightclub - New York
Lavo is unlike any other steak house in New York City. Billed as both an “Italian restaurant” and a “night club,” Lavo’s vibe is decidedly upbeat and happening, with none of the time-honored trappings of old line places like Luger’s and Keens. This is a place you go for excellent red meat upstairs and a riotous good time downstairs. Plan accordingly.
Lavo is a steak house and a nightclub, two entertainment zones in one, though both parts of the place are on separate floors, so you can chow down before you get down, or vice-versa, and never the twain.
The menu, as at so many steak houses, leans Italian. Meals can start with baked clams, eggplant Parm, fried calamari, many of the greatest hits from the Italian-American playbook. There’s a whole menu section devoted to pastas, including spaghetti carbonara, truffle gnocchi and, of course, penne alla vodka. If you’re feeling famished, a 16-ounce Wagyu meatball, with fresh whipped ricotta, is getting lots of praise.
The steak is USDA prime, of course, aged 28 days. Sam Sifton writing in the “New York Times” was pleased with the “aged prime beef, grilled on the bone, with a wide selection of classic sauces and infused butters…you won’t regret a beefy ribeye with green peppercorn sauce, served beside a cone of russet fries and a plate of sweetly bitter broccoli rabe. This is an expense-account meal, right? All in that will run a player more than $60.”
The dining room itself is outfitted with a floor of subway tiles and big mirrors, contributing to a high-volume, high-energy space, and the furnishings, like the bentwood chairs, are un-fancy and functional. It is not intended to be elegant but rather a place you go for fantastic fuel either before or after you hit the dance floor. And about that dance floor, it’s billed as “the ultimate subterranean playground…designed with a multi-layer voyeuristic approach.” If you’re going down to the Lavo nightclub, you’d best look good and be ready to boogie.