LDNReview

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

A spread of dishes at a booth at Lavo.
7.8

Lavo

Italian

Marylebone

$$$$Perfect For:Date NightBig GroupsSee And Be SeenFeeling HotSpecial OccasionsBirthdays
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At Lavo, it’s essential to leave space for dessert. Because you shouldn’t come to this sprawling Italian restaurant behind Oxford Street and leave without trying the 20-layer peanut butter cake. Yes, there’s also a giant £30 meatball on the menu, and a cacio e pepe pizza that sounds gimmicky and is very much on the salty side. But if you focus on the fish dishes, you can’t go wrong for a fun date night or a special occasion. 

The downstairs dining area at Lavo.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

A person squeezes a lemon over the scampi.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

The cacio e pepe pizza from Lavo.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

The dover sole from Lavo.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

The downstairs dining area at Lavo.
A person squeezes a lemon over the scampi.
The cacio e pepe pizza from Lavo.
The dover sole from Lavo.

The downstairs dining room is the place to be. With warm orange lighting and a playlist of funky jazz and R&B, there’s a buzzy atmosphere even if it’s 5pm and you’re the only diner in the room. But you shouldn’t be, because this place is best with the person you fancy, or with a couple of people you really like. Intimate booths line the edges and low-key birthdays are celebrated over excellent scampi and rich, sometimes dry cannelloni. 

The downstairs dining room at Lavo.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

The downstairs dining room at Lavo.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

The bar at Lavo.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

A spread of dishes on a wooden table at Lavo.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

The downstairs dining room at Lavo.
The downstairs dining room at Lavo.
The bar at Lavo.
A spread of dishes on a wooden table at Lavo.

OTT, but completely appreciated, touches like bringing a plate of sliced citrus fruits for your water, or a tasteful candle in a macaron if it's your birthday make this ideal for a dinner when you want to feel looked after. Just don’t forget to end it on the rich and salty peanut butter chocolate cake.

Food Rundown

The scampi ai ferri from Lavo.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Scampi Ai Ferri

If you only like the deep-fried, onion ring-looking type of scampi, then this grown-up, served in its shell dish might throw you off. But scoop out the soft meat, give it a stir in the garlic butter, and you might even prefer it.
The cacio e pepe pizza from Lavo.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Cacio E Pepe Pizza

We were excited when we saw this on the menu. Partly because we’ve never seen it before, but mostly because, cheese. But this pizza was far too salty.

Margherita

A nice enough pizza: the marinara is rich and the crusts are chewy, but it’s not the reason you’re here.

Cannelloni Al Forno

We tried this twice: the first time it was perfectly rich, with nice airy ricotta, but the second time it was too dry and in desperate need of some more sauce.

Pumpkin Tortelloni

We love these little pockets of sweet pumpkin-filled pasta. Creamy, light, and served in a simple butter and crispy sage sauce.
The dover sole from Lavo.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Dover Sole

Delicate and citrussy, this is an excellent piece of fish and our favourite savoury dish. The little capers add a nice tang.

Salt-Baked Mediterranean Seabass For Two

This takes 60 minutes to prepare and arrives on a little trolley where it's cracked open tableside. Shards of salt and the scales are removed to reveal a tender, buttery white fish. It’s rearranged on a plate, topped with rocket and parmesan, and is big enough for a small group.
The 20-layer peanut butter and chocolate cake from Lavo.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

20-Layer Peanut Butter Cake

A 30cm-high dessert, this perfectly layered slice has equal layers of rich devil’s chocolate cake and thick, nutty peanut butter mascarpone. We’d come back to Lavo just for one of these gargantuan slices that’s sweet, rich, and salty.

FOOD RUNDOWN

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