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A Misnamer: It should have been called Lavolicious

7 years, 7 months ago 0

Lavo's Roasted Chilean Sea Bass.

Lavo's Roasted Chilean Sea Bass in a fresh Heirloom Tomato Butter with Crispy Portabella.

Although a Moroccan-inspired decor with an ambiance of waterfalls in the entry and a screen of twinkling wall candles is prominent, the food at The Palazzo’s Lavo is most certainly Italian. Chef Ralph Scamardella has created a menu specializing in Southern Italian cuisine and executed it using light tomato sauces, grilled vegetables and seafood.

We started our Lavo experience by imbibing in an Uva Bianco cocktail of Smirnoff White Grape and St. Germain with muddled grapes, it was a refreshing way to begin. We also had a Lavolini made with Prosecco, Passion Fruit and St. Germain for a more fizzy libation.

A wondrously buttery, cheesy and garlicky loaf of bread arrived first and after one bite we knew we were in for a delightful evening of Italian fare. The garlic bread was accompanied by a Marinara sauce which you didn’t even need. My Italian dining companion commented that it might have been the best garlic bread he had ever had.

From there we decided to indulge in all things Carpaccio. We had the Kobe Beef Carpaccio served in a Black Truffle Vinaigrette with Rocket Lettuce. It was a lovely way to get a carnivorous fix without the less healthy side of beef. The Yellow Fin Carpaccio was topped with Lemon Oil, Watermelon Radish, Fennel and Fresh Cracked Pepper. The lemon added freshness while the radish offered a nice crunch to the dish and a scattering of delicate fried onion rings left a sweet touch. We then dove into Lavo’s Caesar Salad which had a very creamy and thick dressing with a big shot of tangy garlic and fresh chunks of parmesan.

With a menu full of pizza, pasta, steak and signature dishes, we opted for entrees of both fish and steak. We had the Roasted Chilean Sea Bass with fresh Heirloom Tomato Butter and Crispy Portabella. The sea bass was prepared in a way that allowed the flavor of the fish to be undisturbed and enhanced with the assistance of the fresh Heirloom Tomato Butter which was a thick broth offering a hint of lemon. With such nice light flavors, it seemed almost ashamed to bread and fry the portabella although it was a light breading.

My dining companion went for the 14 oz. New York Prime Rib with Lobster Oscar as a topping. Other available toppings include the Passini which is Foie Gras, Mushrooms and Truffle Sauce. It was an excellent cut of meat that was prepared perfectly.

Our sides included cubed Contadina Potatoes basking in a sea of onions, and red and green peppers, along with Grilled Asparagus which was fresh and lemony.

Now for the dessert. We went for the choice that is the most popular with Lavo diners according to our server. Oreo Zeppole is a sinful treat of deep fried Oreos in all their fluffy donut-like goodness served with a Malted Milkshake. We wondered who had the idea to deep fry an Oreo, but then after we tasted one we thought “Who cares, let’s just be glad they did.”

Truly Scrumptious can think of many Italian spots in Las Vegas who could take a lesson from the light hand utilized by Chef Scamardella in his kitchen which goes against the very meaning of Lavo – which is Latin for “to bathe.”

Lavo is located in The Palazzo and is open Sunday thru Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Contact: (702) 791-1800.

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