1314 Bardstown Road Louisville, KY 40204
Reviewing Avalon became a priority as soon as we realized the number of specials that they offer. The only question was which one to attend. We opted to try two. Since it’s rare to find an establishment that holds a happy hour on Friday or Saturday night, we decided to hit up their half off drinks special, and by drinks we mean Martinis, last weekend. Our next step was to try out Thursday night’s “Date Night” special.
Our two separate experiences have convinced us that Avalon attracts an older, more upscale crowd with younger folks speckled throughout. As we entered the spacious restaurant for dinner, our short walk past the bar reminded us of our last visit where the good ol’ boys packed the stools “looking for some tail” (or so they told our friend Nate). This time, mostly middle-aged to older couples and groups of ladies in addition to a few younger couples flooded the dimly lit dining rooms.
Immediately after being seated, our server pointed out that the two drinks, appetizers, and entrees for $30 would be a good deal if we liked the options available. We didn’t even have to ask about any deals! Noticing Dirty Dancing projected silently on the wall behind us, our server informed us that they show a different film every night as additional wall decor. Back to the task at hand: choosing between cheap beer, well drinks, and house wine. The wine trumped the wells and obviously Miller Lite wasn’t in the running.
As for the apps, there were a variety of great dishes listed. Entrees, on the other hand, proved more difficult. We’ve made a habit of checking out restaurant menus online prior to visiting, so we were prepared for the limited and lackluster selection of traditional American fare—naturally with Avalon’s unique spin.
Having both served before, we understand that the server knows more than they, or the menu, reveals at first. As customers now, we like to let our servers guide our meal choices: they become a navigator of sorts. In this case she confirmed our suspicions that the flatbreads’ savory morsels were just that—morsels. Since they took up half the menu, and we were looking for something more filling, we were left with a mere three options. For both courses we took her recommendations.
It’s hard not to enjoy high quality ingredients and ample portions. Megan found the French Onion soup to be a delicious meal within itself. Luckily, we declined our server’s bread offer. Even for it being the tail end of winter, Jasmine felt that her summery salad, with strawberries, candied pecans, mixed greens, and a thick but refreshing honey balsamic vinaigrette dressing, tasted as fresh as if it were June.
Our entrees dwarfed the appetizers and we both had to request to-go boxes. While the Bourbon-Q chicken sandwich was tasty overall, Megan craved the gouda cheese, bacon, and fried onions that were listed as ingredients. These extras didn’t reach her taste buds due to the overpowering flavor of the sauce. Jasmine felt that while there were some interesting attempts at creative additions to Megan’s sandwich, they didn’t try anything out-of-the-box for hers. Just another run of the mill burger.
A breakdown of our 4-star rating: Avalon carries itself like a fine-dining establishment, but even the regular prices aren’t as outrageous as the atmosphere might initially convey. Both the daily drink specials and the Thursday night deal are a great bang for your buck. In addition to their ongoing happy hour incentives, they don’t just provide an intimate environment for your table, each server extends that atmosphere with their genuine friendliness and attentive service. Our only disappointment lie in the menu selection which was too carb-heavy and an inaccurate portrayal of the depth of their actual menu.
Jasmine Ashton & Megan Feil, March 2, 2012
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