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Avanti Restaurant (Jesmond)

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5 Reviews

52-54 Brentwood Ave, Jesmond Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 3DH, Tel: 0191 2814240.

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    5 Reviews
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      25.07.2012 16:48

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      loved it, a pleasant surprise - will definitely be visiting again soon

      My husband and I decided to try Avanti recently having exhausted several other italian restaurants in the area and finding them to be less than impressive. We were surprised to find the place so busy for a wednesday night, the weather wasnt great and it seemed many others had the same idea as us and had ducked in to the restaurant to get away from the rain. We arrived toward the end of happy hour which finished at 7:30 mid-week. My husband decided to order from the happy hour -course menu and I chose something from the a la carte.

      We ordered a bottle of house red wine and a bottle of San Pellegrino which was promptly brought to the table and poured for us by a pleasant young man. The house wine was a merlot and for £10.95 I was pleasantly surprised! It was flavourful and yet easy to drink - the perfect choice for a mid-week meal when trying to avoid the early morning headache at work.

      I ordered the mussels cooked in chilli and tomato to start whilst my husband chose pate from the happy hour starters. They arrived promptly on warmed plates; the mussels were served in a little pot with some bread on the side. The mussels were delicious; the sauce had a nice kick without being too much and the mussels were juicy and well cooked. My husband had finished his pate before I had a chance to ask if he enjoyed it but he assured me after he had swallowed that it was 'great'. the Pate oft the day was chicken liver, and considering it was a happy hour option there was a considerable portion served with a caremalised onion chutney.

      For main course I ordered a chicken dish with vegetables (im trying to be healthy) and chose the Pollo Diavola - a tomato based sauce with peppers, onions, garlic, chilli etc. The vegetables included broccoli, swede potato and carrots. There was also a choice of chips or salad. The chicken was moist and tender and too much; Io couldnt finish my portion of two large chicken breasts. My huband ordered a calzone from the happy hour menu which again, he promptly demolished. I have never been a fan of calzones but again, he assured me it was 'great' and with some coaxing elaborated to say that it was 'really tasty', 'well filled' and 'the dough was perfect'. I took his word for it.

      We opted out of desserts, but my husband was reminded by the waiter that he was on the 5 course happy hour special so was entitles to a coffe, cake or ice cream so he chose the coffee and I had an espresso.

      We caught a taxi home and both agreed that it was one of the best experiences of an italian restaurant wed had since moving to newcastle. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, it was great value (we paid less than £40) and we both really enjoyed our food.... we'll definitely be going again soon

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      06.06.2011 11:05
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      Order with care!

      On a recent visit to Newcastle, we wanted to take our son out for a meal and decided to find an Italian restaurant in the Jesmond area, close to where he lives. Avanti was highly recommended by all of his flatmates as a place that offers good pasta and pizza, so we set out to find it.

      The restaurant itself is situated in a quiet street and has a fairly large terrace outside for warm weather dining. When we entered, I was pleased to see that it is laid out in the traditional trattoria style that I am used to seeing in central London; a wooden bar by the door and lots of small tables with red and white tablecloths. The look is very cluttered and traditional, with postcards pinned all around the bar, fake vines and bunches of grapes from the ceiling, and lots of photographs and paintings on the exposed brick walls. I was impressed by the décor - it felt very familiar and cosy. Avanti boasts that it has been running successfully for over 10 years, and is a family run business rather than a chain.

      We visited on a Sunday, and were surprised to see that the restaurant was already very full. We were eventually found a table, and I soon realised that we had arrived during the 'Happy Hour' - Avanti's special discounts on food that operate during the quieter opening hours. It certainly seemed to be working, as the place was packed. A little too packed for my liking, as the tables were crammed uncomfortably close together and I was almost sitting in a strangers lap.

      ~~The Menu~~

      Looking at the menu, I was pleased to see a nice mixture of pastas and pizzas, with a 'Posh' option on both which contained more expensive ingredients and were a little luxurious. Pasta, pizza and risottos were all £6.50, whist the posh alternatives were about £1 more expensive. There was a large selection of fish and meat dishes for around £14.

      It quickly became obvious that the majority of the clientele were enjoying the Happy Hour deals. Avanti's Happy Hour runs Monday to Saturday lunchtimes, early evenings during the weekdays, and from 5pm until 9pm on a Saturday. All ordinary pizzas and pastas are reduced to £4.90 during this time, and in addition, Avanti offer a set menu - 3 courses with pizza/pasta for £7.90 or 2 courses with chicken for £8.90. We saw a lot of young people ordering the 3 course deal with a large bottle of tap water - an excellent option for hard-up students!

      ~~The Food~~

      I opted for the £7.90 menu. For starters I had potato skins with a dip, which I had never tried before. I had always imagined that these were crisp and crunchy, so I was disappointed to see a huge mass of greasy brown flaccid skins arrive on my plate. I could only eat a few, but my son helped me out. For main, I ordered Pasta Pesto, which was very nicely cooked. The deal included a desert, and I rejected the coffee or ice cream and opted for the third choice; hot chocolate fudge cake. Sadly I found this another poor choice and was barely able to eat the stodgy flavourless lump of cake. The Happy Hour Menu sounds like a good deal, but I would not recommend it to anybody. I would rather have chosen a simple pasta dish with a side salad - I would still have paid the same amount.

      My husband and son both chose from the ordinary menu. My son's calzone was very tasty and filling (he claimed), and my husband's Chicken Funghetto (with mushrooms, wine and cream) was equally satisfying. For starters, my husband had a mozzarella and tomato salad, which was nice, but overpriced at £4.50. My son had garlic bread which came in the pizza form.

      We had a bottle of house red between us, which I found really nasty. It tasted like the cheapest wine made; very acidic and made me feel quite ill the next day. My son also had a couple of bottled Perroni beers, which was a good choice.

      We paid £49.15 for 3 two course meals with one desert, a bottle of wine and two bottled beers.

      ~~Conclusion~~

      The ambience of this restaurant is nice, and the service was good. I would happily go again, but would never be tempted to save money on the discounted food. If I had ordered a more expensive bottle of wine and a Posh Pasta, I think it would have been a very enjoyable meal, despite the overcrowded nature of the seating.
      I think that Avanti has to cater for a diverse market. It is located right in the middle of an area of Newcastle that is thronging with students; student houses have literally taken over the Jesmond area. Avanti obviously does very good business by offering the students a reasonable deal, but if you can afford it, I would suggest that you do not give into the temptation of saving money.

      ~~~

      Avanti Restaurant can be found on Brentwood Avenue in Jesmond, a suburb of Newcastle just under a mile away from the city centre.

      It is about 1 minutes walk away from west Jesmond Metro.

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        09.09.2009 14:54
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        Excellent Restaurant

        A quirky little restaurant full of charm that we stumbled across last Thursday evening. When we arrived we were greeted by a waiter who showed us to table and gave us copy of the menu and the weekly chefs specials. For our meal we opted to share a garlic bread with tomato and my husband also chose to have the king prawns. When the starters arrived wish i had also ordered my own portion of the king prawns as they were delicious (and my husband begrudgingly only offered me one from his plate!) the prawns themselves were served with rice not thankfully too garlic but full of flavour. The garlic bread was just as tasty- crispy and not greasy but full of flavour. For our mains I had a matriciana pasta (pasta with tomato, bacon and onions and garlic and chilli) and a side salad. Not being a fan of spicy foods, I asked the waiter for if i could have mine without chill and was told that as each dish was made freshly to order this would not be a problem. When the pasta came it was simply divine. Although it was served in a huge bowl I quickly finished the lot. My only complaint was that my side salad and took a minute or 2 to come after but when it did arrive it was lovely and the dressing was on the table so i could dress it as much or as little as i wanted. My Husband had a bolognaise pizza. I thought it a but strange at first to have bolognaise on a pizza but definatly worked. It looked and tasted delicious. Again I had to fight to get him to give me a slice but I could see why- the bolognaise was juicy but not greasy and again full of flavour- I would defiantly recommend this pizza. Finally there was desserts. My only complaint about the desserts was that i couldn't choose what to have! My husband opted for the chocolate fudge cake- (i don't know how he fit it in after the 2 courses he'd already had) and after swaying between whether to have a chocolate fondue or a "Heaton mess" i chose the latter because i simply couldn't manage the fondue alone! However i was not at all disappointed. I'm guessing its supposed to be a twist on an Eton mess (which they also sell but i'm not a big fan of cream personally so I didn't go for it). Basically a heaton mess is a heavenly mix of ice cream, meringue and strawberries. Piled high the dessert looked most impressive and ( ashamedly despite saying i'd have the light option as i was already full) i ate the lot. My husbands chocolate cake also got high praise. It came melted and oozing with chocolate gorgeousness- it usually comes with cream apparently but him not being a cream fan either, asked for it to come with ice cream instead, again, we were told this would not be a problem. That was another thing about the place, nothing was a problem, no matter what we asked for we met with a smile and a warm answer, the door was even opened for us as we left the restaurant- a rare quality in restaurants nowadays. Anyway back to the meal itself we ordered a bottle of the house white- very pleasant but again a slight complaint, because the drinks are in the back of the menu i didn't see that they do Italian champage and Italian rose champagne by the glass. It wasn't until the 2 womne on the next table ordered a glass each that I realised this and although our wine was nice next time I think I'd go for the glass of champagne next time as its something a bit different. Although it wasn't expensive, i had already ordered my wine by then so i decided to stick to that. In summary then would i go back to Avanti again- most defiantly yes- again and again and again!

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          04.11.2007 13:26

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          The Ivy House behind is much nicer

          It was ok but nothing flash. The place had a family feel about it but I was not impressed with the attention to detail. Place was very busy but lacks atmosphere, music too loud and tables too squashed together, you had to lose weight to navigate your way to the toilet.

          I ordered a chilli pasta dish with Broccoli, peas and mangetout, it was cooked using chilli powder and my partners pesto pasta was bland and unappealing.

          Worse thing, water served in a half pint glass. Invest in some new more attractive tableware

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          11.06.2007 17:59
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          A lovely place for an Italian Meal!

          I first went to this restaurant with a mentor from university along with the other students that were being mentored. I liked it so much that I asked my parents to take me again. We have since been on several occasions the most recent being for my 18th Birthday.

          My mam, dad, my best friend Emma and I, met my older sister, Joanne and her husband Craig, at Avanti on Friday 18th May. We booked a table for 7pm ready for my birthday celebration! Joanne and Craig arrived a little earlier than us (6.40pm) and were already at our table when we arrived.

          I love Italian food and I always have the same whenever I go (Minestrone Soup followed by Spaghetti Bolognese!)

          When translated into English, Avanti means welcome or come in. Avanti opened in 1999 and it has established itself as one of the best restaurants in Newcastle. It is a family run business and provides something for everyone.

          Previously, we have struggled to find Avanti (its located next to West Jesmond Metro Station) but we managed to find it after only one wrong turn last night! Joanne and Craig found it easily using a map they got off the internet (why didn't we think of that! lol)

          When we were placing our order the waiter wished me a happy birthday (it was obvious it was my birthday we were celebrating as I had a present and a giant 18 badge in front of me!). He wished me a happy birthday again on my way out. When we were there the whole restaurant sang happy birthday to someone but unfortunately we didn’t ask them to sing to me! However, my family and Emma did sing to me :-)

          ~ Menu ~

          The Menus were already on the table when we arrived. The dishes are named in Italian but are described in English (thank goodness as my Italian is virtually non-existent!) The menus are quite large and took up a lot space on the table!

          There is a good selection of dishes and I think it is reasonably priced. Luckily for me my parents were paying though!

          ~ Starters ~

          There is a selection of hot and cold starters. There is a larger selection of hot starters than cold. Hot starters include, Minestrone Soup (yum!), mussels, potato skins, and prawns. You can also have a pasta or pizza starter. The cold starters include, prawns, melon and ham, and avocado. I have not listed all the starters here but just thought I’d select a few to give you an idea of the starters available.

          The starters are priced between £1.70 (for mixed olives) and £5.50 (for King Prawns in garlic butter). Most of the starters are priced at around £3-£4.

          ~ Main Courses ~

          *Pizza*
          There is a choice of 13 pizzas on the menu. These are all £5.90 apart from the Margherita, which is £5.50. Our party ordered 3 pizzas last night and they were all enjoyed. My mam had a margherita pizza but it was too large for her to eat, so we brought home half a pizza in a box. We didn’t realise but you can actually get a half pizza with chips or a side salad (£5.90). The children’s pizzas are £3.90. There is a good selection of pizzas here. I haven’t had them personally but my parents often have pizza when they go here so they must be nice!

          *Pasta*
          There is a choice of 14 sauces to accompany spaghetti, penne or tagliatelle. I had spaghetti with the Bolognese sauce (absolutely gorgeous!) and Joanne had Cremolino (chicken, mushroom, onion and garlic in a cream and tomato sauce) with penne pasta, which she enjoyed!

          We only had two pasta dishes last night but we have had lasagne in the past. I don’t like lasagne in Italian restaurants because I think they are a bit too cheesy but my mam sometimes has it and says it is nice.

          Other pasta dishes include, Matriciana (Smokey bacon, onions, fresh chilli, garlic and tomato sauce), Zafferano (Peas, broccoli, mange tout, chilli and a touch of garlic and saffron cooked in cream) and Carbonara (Bacon, cream and parmesan cheese)

          All of the pasta dishes are £5.90. There is the option of having a half portion of pasta with chips and there is a vegetarian lasagne.

          *Chicken*
          There are six choices on the chicken part of the menu, all of which are £8.90. Craig had the Pollo Diavola (Tender chicken beast cooked in garlic, fresh chilli, mixed peppers, mushroom, onions and tomato sauce) and he said it was nice.

          Other Chicken dishes include, Pollo d'Angelo (Tender chicken breast cooked in white wine, bacon, mushroom and garlic) and Pollo Arrabiata (Tender chicken beast cooked in tomato, fresh chilli, garlic and olives)

          I don’t think we have ever had any dishes from the following at Avanti so I don’t know what they are like. Judging by the quality of the other dishes we have had I would expect these to be of a high quality.

          *Fish*
          There are 5 fish dishes, priced between £11.90 and £13.60. Fish dishes include, Tortelle Ferri (Grilled trout) Halibut (Cooked in white wine and lemon juice)

          *Steak*
          There are 5 choices of fillet steak. Filletto Ferri (Grilled fillet steak served with onion rings, mushrooms and tomato) is £13.50 and all the other steaks are £14.50.

          *Cold Dishes*
          There are two cold dishes, tuna salad or Caesars salad. Both priced at £6.90.

          *Side Dishes*
          These include Garlic Bread, Onion Rings, chips and olives. Craig had a side order of chips to go with his chicken. The side orders are priced between £1.70 and £2.90.

          ~ Deserts ~

          The deserts menu had quite a good selection. The printed menu had deserts such as banana split, apple pie or chocolate fudge cake. There was a desert menu on the wall and we ordered four portions of strawberry and ice-cream from this!

          ~ Drinks ~

          There is a large selection of drinks. We ordered a bottle of wine and the rest of us had soft drinks. Despite being legally able to drink alcohol now I am not really bothered about it so I was drinking orange juice.

          ~ Happy Hour ~

          I’ve never been during happy hour but the times are as follows.

          Mondays to Thursdays
          12.00 to 2.00pm 5.00 to 7.30pm
          Fridays & Saturdays 12.00 to 2.00pm
          Sundays 5.00 to 7.00pm

          Any Pizza or Pasta £4.50
          3 Course meal with any Pizza or Pasta £6.90
          3 Course meal with Chicken dishes £7.90

          There is a choice of three starters, three main courses and three deserts at happy hour.

          ~ Prices ~

          As I have previously stated I think the prices are quite reasonable, especially considering the quality of the food. It cost about £95 for the six of us. This was for 6 starters, 6 main courses, 4 deserts, 2 coffees, a bottle of wine, a pint of lager and about 6 soft drinks.

          ~ Atmosphere ~

          I really like the atmosphere here. It is just a little restaurant and as it family run it has character. All the staff are very friendly and they are happy to help. We were sitting near one of the speakers so the music was loud and we had to shout to talk to the people on the opposite site of the table. This spoilt the evening slightly but not much.

          There are candles in wine bottles on the table, which I think add to the atmosphere. There are lots of Italian decorations on the walls, which adds to the character of the place.

          ~ Service ~

          We were served very quickly after placing our order. The main courses were served quite quickly after the starters. We ordered four portions of strawberries and ice-cream for desert and two arrived quite quickly but the other two took nearly 5 minutes longer.

          ~ Disadvantages ~

          Apart from the noise and the slight delay in getting the deserts the only other disadvantage was, where the tables joined they were not level which made it uneven for my mams plate where she was sitting. The restaurant is small so it is quite cramped and difficult to move between the tables.

          ~ Booking ~

          We chose to go here as the local Italian restaurant doesn't take bookings under 8 people and we wanted to book a table for 6. This was a simple process, my dad phoned and had to leave his name and telephone number. We booked the table for 7pm but as we arrived early we were able to get the table earlier, which was good.

          ~ Where is it? ~

          54 Brentwood Avenue,
          Jesmond,
          Newcastle upon Tyne.
          Tyne and Wear.
          NE2 3DH.

          ~ Opening Hours ~
          Mondays - Thursdays 12.00-2.00pm 5.00-10.00pm
          Fridays and Saturdays 12.00-2.00pm 5.30-10.30pm
          Sundays 5.00-10.00pm

          ~ Overall Opinion ~

          I love this restaurant, it has a friendly atmosphere, lovely food and is reasonably priced. It was a very enjoyable 18th birthday celebration! I would recommend this restaurant if you are in the area :-)

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