Lavo, the Vegas transplant restaurant-nightclub that descended upon Midtown earlier this year, has generated a substantial amount of criticism in 2010. Sam Sifton, at The New York Times, resorted to crafting an imagined Q&A with a stereotypical bottle-service male, so brotastic were this head-spinning eatery’s clientele. When we descended to the subterranean catacombs of the Lavo nightclub and took stock of the place for ourselves, a Victoria’s Secret model played Virgil to our Dante — but even in that bewildering scenario we couldn’t ignore the suffocating sheen and the unrelenting assault of the $1000 bottles.
And now, as the year ends, we have another less-than-enthused take on this little piece of Sin City excess deep in the heart of Midtown. Writing for Bloomberg, Ryan Sutton doesnt waste any time in slamming the place — out of the gate he shitkicks the ostentatious, expensive and average-tasting meatballs, then accuses the shrimp scampi of being frozen and the veal of being nuked out of a can.
“Lavo’s forte isn’t making food,” Sutton writes. “It’s making money.”
Ah, you want to make money, Lavo. Well, in that regard you’re cleaning up. Sutton reports that the line at the bar was perpetually eight deep and felt so encroached by the packed-in crowd that he compared moving around the 180-seat room to “a game of chess.”
Unable to equate how faux-glitzy digs and mediocre food could pull in boatloads of cash, Sutton cut his losses and asked his server for the answer. Her response says it all: “We have really good PR.”