Relaxed Italian Dining At LAVO, London

By Charlie Colville

3 weeks ago

Fall out of Bond Street station and into the arms of this buzzy eatery

One of London’s best qualities is its ability to bring cultures far and wide into the fold of its thriving culinary scene, creating a melting pot of flavours and cuisines like no other. And while the city is no stranger to good Italian fare, there’s something to be said for restaurant that can make you feel like you’re sat in the Mediterranean – especially when it is, in fact, located just a five minute walk from Bond Street station. Charlie Colville gets her fill of la dolce vita at London restaurant LAVO.

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Review: LAVO, London

Having opened its doors less than a year ago, you’d be forgiven for not knowing about LAVO. The latest culinary venture from Tao Group Hospitality – the name behind other popular London haunts Hakkasan and Yauatcha – LAVO is an Italian restaurant that has already made a name for itself across the pond, with flagship venues in Mexico City, LA, Las Vegas and (a little further afield in) Singapore.

Seating area in restaurant at LAVO London

And, following its stellar international reputation, the announcement LAVO would be coming to the UK was met with nothing but excitement. Its London outpost opened its doors back in September 2023 – with a star-studded launch party involving Jared Leto, Winnie Harlow and Poppy Delevingne, no less – and has since become a staple eatery with a coveted spot between Marylebone and Mayfair.

Stepping out of Bond Street station, you don’t have far to go to get your destination. LAVO is just a few steps away down a side road, tucked into the impressive facade of The BoTree hotel. While the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s the latter that draws our attention – and so, making the short (yet drizzly) walk to the restaurant after a day in the office it is.

Burrata dish on plate, being drizzled with basil oil

LAVO itself is set across two floors: a ground floor, where you’ll find a generously stocked bar, and the lower ground floor, which is where diners settle in for the evening. Everything sits in a golden-bronze hue that’s reminiscent of terracotta tiles and hazy evenings in warmer climes, brought to the forefront with metallic finishings, warm-toned wooden tables and cushy bench seating in shades of cream and tan. This is offset by a number of biophilic features, which include floor-to-ceiling vines across one wall as well as trees, potted plants and shrubs scattered across the restaurant floor. (It’s also one to way to make diners feel less like they’re sat on the same level as the Elizabeth Line.)

Once we’d found our seats, we turned our attention to the (drinks) menu. A quick look on Google and its review summary will tell you that LAVO ‘serves great cocktails’ – and we’d have to agree. Highlights include the fruity LAVO-lini, a sweet concoction comprised of Belvedere vodka, Pomelo, peach, lime, aloe vera, raspberry and hibiscus caviar, as well as the Champagne Colada, a bubbly blend of Bacardi Superior rum, Trois Rivieres rhum, coconut, pineapple juice and champagne (although you wouldn’t find yourself at fault picking any of the drinks on the menu). All cocktails can also be made ‘zero-proof’ – aka, alcohol-free – so you can still indulge without worry.


And then there’s the food itself. The first thing we notice is that it’s unfussy; LAVO’s menu is comprised of a fairly small selection of dishes created by Chief Culinary Officer Ralph Scamardella and Head Chef Stefano Lorenzini (Cecconi’s, Shoreditch House, ME London Hotel), with a focus on simple, sophisticated Italian flavours.

Starting with antipasti, we were immediately drawn to the handmade burrata – and were not disappointed. Rich and creamy, this burrata was pillow-soft and served with heirloom tomatoes, aubergine caponata and basil oil, and was quickly scarfed up before we knew it. We also tried the fritto misto, a selection of deep-fried courgettes, calamari, prawn and hot cherry pepper; be warned, LAVO is very generous in its serving of this dish, so you might want a partner to help you finish it if you want room for dessert.

One of the highlights on the menu is ‘The Meatball’, a rather ginormous Wagyu meatball topped with marinara sauce and whipped ricotta. It’s also probably one to share, rather than tackle alone, but well worth ordering just for a juicy taste. When it came to choosing a main, however, we stuck with LAVO’s fresh homemade pasta: a rich, tomato-y serving of cannelloni al forno, stuffed with fresh ricotta and fontina cheese and drizzled in pomodoro sauce, and a squid ink tagliolini served with lobster, baby plum tomatoes and prosecco.

Chocolate cake

With a small, pocket-sized space in our stomachs left over, we prepared for dessert. LAVO’s hero dish is a 20 layer cake comprised of layers of chocolate devil’s cake, peanut butter and mascarpone – and it’s as rich as it sounds. Craving something light after our recent feast, we settled on the New York style cheesecake; featuring a brulée finish and served with strawberries and whipped cream, it was the perfect light bite to round off the evening.

The Final Word

If you’re craving elevated Italian classics in the heart of the city, you won’t be disappointed by LAVO. This restaurant sits on the line between tradition and modernity, and delivers city dining with a friendly flair.


For bookings, please visit

Details: LAVO London is open everyday; 6.30am to 10.45pm Monday and Tuesday, 6.30am to 8.45pm Wednesday to Friday, 7am to 10.45pm Saturday and Sunday | LAVO at The BoTree, 30 Marylebone Lane, London W1U 2DR

Images courtesy of LAVO