Avalon – Scottsdale

Posted on 12 July 2009

By Phil Freedom

A stand alone building on McDowell road, overlooking Scottsdale’s largest greenbelt and park, sits Avalon Scottsdale a unique coastal cuisine. An oasis of salt water specialties, this modern space celebrates its link to the sea with a perpetual water fountain in front. I glanced at its perimeter admiring the structure as the water seemed to gently cover the surface of the rocks. It had the feeling of a contemporary spa; soothing, open, and comfortable. Upon entering, Morgan, the friendly and attractive hostess checked our reservations and offered us a booth. Martin, the manager also greeted us, as well as some of the other patrons.

The place is Spacious, spotless, and gorgeous. Pearly white beaded curtains divide up the room without sacrificing continuity. The music mixed genres easy enough to listen to, yet not too tame to bother. Our waiter John brought waters with the dinner and drink menus. Bubbly?!! Something about champagne with dinner makes me want to start giggling like a kid up late on caffeine. I opted for the Veuve Du Vernay Brut, or the “Rose” which had a light fruity sweetness and my lady chose the Quail Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, a nice balanced red from Napa Valley. I’m kind of a pushover when it comes to sharing food so I reluctantly agreed to try the Grilled Shrimp Bruschetta. I am glad I did, because unlike many places, this bruschetta was lightly crisped rather than crunchy, and layered with roasted corn and topped with plump juicy shrimp. The spices and smells worked together harmoniously enhancing the inherent flavors of the balsamic, garlic, shrimp. Between the appetizers and the main course, John brought out a small, soft, warm loaf of wheat bread and butter.
For the entree I ordered the Halibut with the carrot ginger puree and fingerling potatoes. Say that to yourself once, carrot ginger puree. It just sounds brilliant. The halibut itself was so soft and tender that it crumbled with the greatest of ease and there was enough puree so that I could share. Again, here the dominate flavors were carefully manipulated to pull out the seasoning subtly, yet comprehensively. My date had the Butter Poached Maine Lobster with ricotta gnocchi, tomato confit, and saffron lobster ‘Demi.’ She seldom eats anything but Salmon, so I was shocked she took on the lobster. I demanded a taste (after she offered, of coarse) letting the butter absorb into my tongue before gently chewing the thoroughly and consistently saturated meat.
Delighted with our experience we both grinned ear to ear over desserts. She ordered both the Hazelnut Creme de Brulee and the Chocolate Seduction. I took on the Avalon Brownie Sundae which was composed of strawberry gelatto, a chocolate brownie, and toffee popcorn with sprinkles. It looked more like an amusement park ride or an art sculpture. While toffee and popcorn may sound out of place, they definitely tasted right. Sweet caramel toffee and popcorn surrounding a spongy brownie topped with strawberry and cream…MMMM…who would have thought of something this splendid? The Executive Chef Travis Watson, thats who.
Inviting atmosphere, friendly staff, and fantastic food, Avalon Scottsdale is a great experience. Wednesday nights wine bottles are half price – so drink something nice.

Avalon Restaurant
7707 E Mcdowell Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85257-3743
(480) 656-0010
www.avalon-scottsdale.com

Categorized | Eat & Drink

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