Saturday, August 2, 2014


We eat at the Charbroil a lot.  It's like going back in time--sitting in those booths, ordering foods like chicken pot pie, Swiss steak, broiled fish.  So comforting.  One night, looking across the street through the big front window of Charbroil, I realized we had never tried Avvino.  So, we set about to fix that.

It was a night when my son had a sleepover, so as the remaining three, we decided to do dinner and a movie.  My daughter loves Italian: hence, Avvino.  The two of us beat my husband there, were seated straightaway, and--being us--ordered arancini for our appetizer.  (Fried balls of risotto are always us.)

The atmosphere of the restaurant leaves something to be desired. The dining room is a clubhouse green, and 70s classic rock was playing as background music.  The artwork struck me as being a bit 70s, too: darkly jewel toned paintings of city scenes.  Having said that, the service was great and unobtrusively attentive.

My daughter ordered her special: pasta with garlic and olive oil.  It was perfectly al dente, but lacked a bit of seasoning.  Easily fixed by me at the table (she finds my ability to make olive oil salty with heat magical--let it always be so!).  I ordered roasted organic chicken over buckwheat lasagna.  The lasagna was fine, but the chicken was divine!  Moist with crispy skin and a delicious chicken-ness that is all too rare with the typical flavor free birds served at restaurants.  Yum!  My husband was running late, and I ordered him a fish special.  He enjoyed it, but liked my chicken better.

We needed to run to the movies, so skipped dessert.

Avvino was fine, but seemed to need to figure out what it wants to be.  The menu, service and food quality say "fine dining," but the atmosphere does not--which is too bad.

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