Restaurant Review: Avo | New Orleans
Thank heavens for Coolinary! Had it not been for me browsing the Coolinary website for a new restaurant to try, I may not have ever come across Avo! No one that I know had ever mentioned it and its a bit off the beaten path that I normally travel or frequent. Nonetheless, I am grateful to have discovered it!
Per the website: Avo is a regional Italian restaurant from New Orleans-born chef, Nick Lama, a third-generation Sicilian. “Avo” is an Italian word that translates as “grandfather” or “ancestor“. The name is both deliberate and meaningful. Chef Nick grew up watching his mother and grandmother prepare recipes from the family’s home country. And as a child, he accompanied his father and grandfather to work at St. Roch Market, the historic seafood market his family owned and operated in the Ninth Ward. Both experiences inspired him to open Avo.
Chef Nick has competed on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters series, “Battle of the Sous Chefs“, Top Chef New Orleans series,”Padma’s Picks” and won Gambit’s Emerging Chefs Challenge in 2013. Most recently, he appeared on The Today Show with Hoda & Kathie Lee. Avo has won numerous awards in the short time it’s been open, including Italian Restaurant of the Year from New Orleans Magazine.
The first thing that caught my eye was the menu, as a vegetarian, many times I’m limited in the selection - not at Avo! The second thing that caught my eye was the outdoor seating area! Ambiance is so important for the full dining experience and AVO nails it here. Absolutely gorgeous!
I ordered from the exclusive Coolinary menu and wine pairing. Every course was delicious! I started with the watermelon + beet salad (two of my favorite things), which was delightfully refreshing and tasty! For my main course I had the cheese ravioli - AH-maz-ING! So simple, yet so tasty and filing (even though the portion size looks small. For dessert I had the peach financier. It was tasty, but my mom was dining with me and she ordered off the regular menu and got a peanut butter and toffee dessert that was soooooo good! (And I don’t normally like peanut butter) It was the perfect blend of peanut butter balanced with the toffee. But everything was so tasty! The service was also impeccable - very attentive and welcoming, but not overbearing. My only complaint is that the menu is seasonal and when I went back to get that peanut butter dessert again, the menu had already changed and it was gone. :-(