By: Stephanie Childers
Lovoy’s Italian American Cuisine
1830 29th Avenue South
Many Birmingham residents are familiar with the family owned Italian-American restaurant, Lovoy’s. Located in Greensprings for over 40 years they have recently moved to a swanky new location in the heart of Homewood. SoHo square is where you will find this old Birmingham favorite. What you won’t find is the dark “Godfather-ish” interior. What you will find are beautiful large windows (that look out over bistro tables and SoHo square), high ceilings and an open dining area. You will also find attention to details such as elegant table settings complete with fresh flowers. Something you might not notice is the original stove which was brought from the old location. They have also extended their hours and menu to include lunch.
So, what is the food like? In my humble opinion, Lovoy’s has a classic Italian menu with a creative twist. The chicken panini that I ordered was a tasty combination of grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, mozzarella cheese and a blend of spices that send it over the top, all placed between 2 slices of grilled bread. If the taste hadn’t thoroughly impressed me, the size did. The thing was huge! As good as it was, the Italian slaw that came with it was simply divine. I’m not a slaw person because I can never find the happy balance between cream and vinegar- Lovoy’s slaw has found that happy balance- I’ve never had better, not even Moma’s.
Though Lovoy’s offers a children’s menu, complete with everything from spaghetti to chicken fingers, my kids have a slightly more sophisticated palate than most children’s menus afford them. In our efforts to broaden their food horizons we typically offer them whatever they want on the menu. Within reason. They selected fettuccine with alfredo sauce and a small pizza. These items are not on the children’s menu, they are on the lunch menu. My thoughts are that it must have been good because not only did they not want to offer mom a sample bite, they practically licked the bowls clean. (They didn’t of course. If there is one thing I like less than the monotonous chicken finger children’s lunch, it’s bad table manners).
You don’t stay in the restaurant business for 40 years with just good food. If the food gets you to first base with the customer, the service will be what gets you to second. We were greeted with a warm smile from our hostesses and waited on by our waitress who was friendly and attentive. You know, the kind of waitress who is preemptive and delivers what you need before you realize you need it as is usually the case when you have children eating with you. That was our waitress.
Third base here we come. When we arrived there was a little chill in the air. My daughter casually mentioned she was cold and I agreed. At that moment, one of the owners was walking by and noticed. He immediately asked the hostess to adjust the thermostat in order to make the area more comfortable. How common is that? Apparently, very common at Lovoy’s. We witnessed both owners as they walked around and greeted the lunch crowd, saying hello to new arrivals and waving goodbye as customers left.
We didn’t visit the restrooms, for the sake of our reviews I will do that in the future. If they are anything like the dining room I’m sure I won’t be disappointed. It was well lit by the large windows but not too bright due to the warm dark tones on the walls, ceiling and floor. Although the lunch crowd began to fill the spaces, the noise level was such that it still allowed for conversation without straining to hear. I don’t remember the music that played in the background other than it didn’t annoy me.
My rating: Homerun. All the way.
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