BranzinoI recently caught up with a college bud who was in town on biz and wanted to hit  Lavo… which is another one of those spots that I was told I needed to check out  and never got around to going. Even on a hot humid Summer evening the place was happening, full of suits and good looking dressed to thrill women. The staff is not only good looking but more importantly their service was top notch. The menu is rather large and broken up into appetizers, meatballs, sides, entrees, pizza, pasta, salads and specials. We were starving and my bud wanted to order up the appetizers as soon as we sat down. I heard that their meatball was supposed to be great and it more then lived up to the hype. We also asked for some bread for the table and it turned out to be a taste of things to come. It was a warm delicious garlic bread with a side of red sauce to dip it in. Then the Meatball with Sausage Ragu topped with fresh ricotta arrived. It was the size of a softball. We devoured it.

From there I ordered up a Palm beer and shared some of my recent misadventures while going over the menu which led to me being lectured throughout the night. I decided on the Grilled Branzino with Panzanella Salad. My bud was trying to decide between the Seafood Fra Diavlo and the Spaghetti Carbonara…I suggested the Penne Alfredo with Seafood, which he then ordered…then continued with his pontificating in between telling me about his kids. Considering how fast he wolfed down his dish I guess he liked it. My Branzino was a great piece of fish that was cooked perfectly and tasted fresh out if the sea. The salad consisted of ciabatta bread and sweet red and yellow tomatoes. After the ginormous meatball, it was nice, light and hit the spot. We also had some very good and garlicky Broccoli Rabe for our side dish. Actually, I think I ate it all…

The desert menu did look good but we were full, so we ordered up coffee and cappuccino while we lamented over our respective football teams and talked about how great Paul Weller and Depeche Mode are still live in concert. I was expecting a trendy place with OK food, yet Lavo pleasantly surprised me with great food and service to go with their rather lively atmosphere.

Lavo Meatball Broccoli Rabe

Lavo is located at 39 East 58th Street

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