Dining with the Family

My sister was down visiting from Ireland last week, so as a treat we decided to go out for dinner. Adriano’s choice was Ristoranti Avanti, which is located just off Ottawa Street on a cozy little side street. We had a little one with us so it was great that their was loads of parking there and we didn’t have to circle around looking for a spot.

None of us had ever been, so we didn’t have any preconceived ideas of what to expect. And since our last experience taking little Evan out to dinner, we were a little hesitant about taking this 9 month old out in public again.

The last time we took him out he had a screaming fit as soon as we walked into the restaurant. We thought he was just cranky, being that he was only 3 months old after all. So one of us would take him outside and he would settle down. But as soon as he went anywhere near the building he would wail and scream. Luckily, the staff let us sit outside on the patio (even though they had closed it up for the summer) but that little guy still wasn’t happy. We took turns standing in the parking lot with him (far, far away from the restaurant) while the others ate.

I’m glad to say Ristoranti Avanti was Evan-approved. But I digress. Back to Avanti!

The inside of Avanti was rustic, warm and inviting. There is an open kitchen where we watched chef Anthony Ferriolo prepare our meals and one of those wood burning ovens that made the place smell soooooo good.

Dan Ferriolo, co-owner, started us off with warm bread crisps and a homemade olive tapenade which we managed to devour in minutes. For appetizers we ordered Spinach Insalate Caprese, grilled calamari and an antipasto of prosciutto, soppressata and marinated vegetables. I have to tell you that when I order grilled calamari I am very particular as to how it’s prepared. Most times it is overcooked which gives it that rubbery texture. I give this one two calamari thumbs up. It was grilled to perfection and had a delicious smoky taste to it.

Anthony and Dan are brothers and just opened Ristoranti Avanti in January.

We all ordered something different from Salmone alla Griglia, Vitello Aglio Olio Fettucine and Involtini di Pollo to Veal Scallopini and Gamberi Primavera Risotto. There were definitely no complaints. We all had a bit off each others plates and everything was delicious.

At the end of the night Dan treated us to a pizza version of a Sicilian cannoli. Woot!! Just imagine ricotta spread over a grilled flat bread and drizzled over with melted chocolate and chocolate bits. Mmm…mmmm good.

We had a great time and all agreed that it was a place worth coming back to. Anthony and Dan made us feel at home and for an big, Italian family like ours, thats super important!

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