Lavo Restaurant New York

On a beautiful Saturday in May, I had the opportunity to sit down with Lavo’s Executive Chef, John Deloach and Luxurious PROTOTYPE’s Founder, Phaon K. Spurlock for a conversation on food and nightlife, and how the two intersect. I sat with John in the lounge area at Lavo and watched the preparation for their famous champagne brunch in progress and started to get excited for the interview—also, the staff’s energy was infectious.

Executive Chef John Deloach Lavo NYC

Photo Credit: Edward Menashy

As a native New Yorker (Brooklyn born and bred), John credits his love for food and cooking to his grandmother and her garden and his grandfather and uncles who worked at Fulton Street Fish Market. In his early years, John went into the Navy for four years and expanded his knowledge while working in roles related to cooking and baking. After his stint in the Navy, John became an apprentice at a NY restaurant and the rest is history. Previously, John worked in Las Vegas at Tao Las Vegas and was focused on bringing the NY style Italian experience to diners on the strip. In his role as the Executive Chef, John is responsible for payroll, all building related-issues, running the back-of-house and ensuring profitability. All of those responsibilities are in addition to his most important role, making sure that kitchen sends out the delicious dishes that Lavo is known for.

Lavo NYC Review

During the course of our conversation I asked John about some of the most popular menu items (be forewarned, the menu is huge) and behold the list of Lavo favorites:

  • Classic Caesar: romaine lettuce, parmigiano cheese, garlic croutons

Lavo NYC Review

  • Tuna Tartare:  diced tuna, avocado, crispy garlic, black olive dressing, only sushi grade tuna is used
  • Baked Clams Oreganato: littleneck clams, toasted bread crumbs, garlic butter
  • Penne A la Vodka: onions, prosciutto, light cream, peas

Lavo NYC Review

  • 16oz. Kobe Meatball with fresh whipped ricotta
  • Chopped “Louie”: lobster, shrimp, assorted vegetables, house vinaigrette
  • Spaghetti Fresh Tomato and Basil with light tomato, garlic, oil
  • Spaghetti With Kobe Meatballs with fresh ricotta and parmesan cheese

Lavo NYC Review

During the latter part of the day, John sent out a few dishes for us to try and I must say, they were all delicious and perfectly executed, but the stars of the show were unquestionably the scallops with cannellini beans and pancetta and the 16 oz Kobe Meatball.

Lavo NYC

We had our feast in the midst of Can-Can dancers passing out bottles of champagne with sparklers attached, super heroes and patrons cavorting on the tops of tables and whistles being blown, signaling more bottles were coming out–all while wearing our “I Love Lavo” sunglasses. Be prepared to be in the midst of rocking party all with flashing club lights, millionaires, billionaires and celebrities. We spotted basketball player Kris Humphries amongst others partying like it was 1999 when we were there. There were magnums, jeroboams and Methuselah bottles of Dom Perignon bottles everywhere. Brunch at Lavo is like nowhere else and you don’t just attend it, you survive it.

Lavo NYC Review

15-liter Veuve Clicquot

*The priciest item on the champagne menu was at 15-liter bottle of Armand de Brignac (Ace of Spades) for a whopping $75,000! What recession? Not here!

Lavo NYC

However, let’s get back to the man of the hour and his perfectly executed old style NY Italian comfort food.

Executive Chef John Deloach Lavo NYC

Here are five fun facts about John:

  • He loves Mexican food, like hole-in-the-wall taco stand food
  • His family traces their lineage to Sicily
  • His kitchen goes through 75-100 lbs of lobster, daily
  • He believes the true test of good beef is being able to taste the layers and flavors of the meat
  • He wants people to visit Lavo to experience the great food, quality service and music

LAVO New York

39 East 58th Street

New York, NY 10022

-Gemma Thomas


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