Get Full with Memphis’ Most Eclectic Supper Club

Posted by Holly Whitfield | October 27th 2010 1330 0

By the time the server set the dish of portobello mushroom ravioli on the table at last night’s Foodie Memphis gathering at Lavoro’s Italian restaurant, I was starting to regret wearing pants with a belt.

It’s wasn’t that the ravioli was too rich (it wasn’t), it was that it was the eighth dish on a 10 dish tasting menu that also included eggplant parmesean, stuffed red peppers, fried zucchini, chicken marsala, spicy meatballs and white chocolate bread pudding.

Stuffed red pepper from Lavoro's Italian Restaurant

Stuffed red pepper from Lavoro's Italian Restaurant

The menu sounds a little extreme, but trying a little bit of everything is a key part of the Foodie Memphis experience. The group, which was founded in 2003, meets for monthly family-style dinners. The restaurant picks are eclectic (last month’s dinner was at Fuel Cafe). Chefs at each restaurant create the menus, which have a set price (usually between $16 and $20).

I had never heard of Lavoro’s before last night’s dinner. It’s located on Summer Ave., out past the drive-in theater. The space is very clearly a former fast food joint, but they’ve turned off the lights in the dining area and piped in some soft jazz flute to make it more like a sit-down restaurant.

But while the atmosphere is questionable at best, there’s no question that Lavoro’s strength is their incredible food. The dishes weren’t terribly complicated, but they were rich, fresh and authentic. I didn’t think it was possible to love bread more, but their white chocolate bread pudding created whole new layers for my love.

Foodie Memphis is an open group – anyone can join in, as long as they RSVP. To get on their events list, check out their Facebook page.

Go There:


5849 Summer Ave
Memphis, TN 38134
(901) 377-2141

Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

Show Comments


  1. if you want to receive an “official invite,” like foodie memphis on facebook and wait to receive a friend request from christopher mcrae. we are also on twitter with the same name.

  2. Better By Design says:

    Love Lavoro’s! They have the best mozzarella sticks in the world… mainly because they hand cut and hand bread the cheese themselves.

  3. Hooper Troopers says:

    oooh! Lavoro’s is one of my favorite places to eat! Friendly staff and the food is excellent. 🙂 I could go on so I’ll just leave it at this.

  4. […] and blogger (who also has a great sense of style). She’s one of the organizers of Foodie Memphis, a tasting dinner that happens at a different local restaurant every […]

  5. 38134 girl says:

    Lavoro’s used to be a KFC, but then Churches built a place right next door, destroying the Mrs. Winners and KFC business. I’ve been extremely curious about Lavoro’s and I love Italian food. After reading this, I think I’ll try it out!

    FYI: That area is not actually Bartlett. 😀

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