DINING OUT: Fine Italian food with flair at Avalon

January 30, 2012 Helen Klein
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Italian specialties prepared with love and care please thepalate at Avalon Pizza and Restaurante.

The eatery’s menu reads like a greatest hits list for Italianfood. Pizza, pasta with an array of sauces and generously portionedmain dishes ranging from Chicken Parmigiana ($12) to Shrimp Scampi($15) to Eggplant Rollatini $12.95) tantalize the palate, andencourage diners to work up healthy appetites.

On my visit, I tasted some of Avalon’s best sellers.

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The Chicken Francese ($13) – a plate composed of twobatter-fried cutlets garnished with fresh broccoli – wasdeliciously lemony.

The Chicken Marsala ($13) was enhanced by sliced mushrooms in arich, wine-spiked brown sauce, the sort of comfort food thatprovides sustenance for both body and soul on cold winter days. Theprice for all entrées includes a choice of salad or pasta as a sidedish.

Among the pastas, the Penne with Vodka Sauce ($9.95) wasperfectly cooked, the hearty tomato-cream sauce providing depth offlavor and appealing richness.

Penne with Broccoli, Garlic & Oil ($9.50) was a perfectchoice for a garlic lover like me, studded with gently brownedslices of the fragrant and flavorful bulb, and long stalks ofbright green broccoli.

One house specialty – the Buffalo wings ($6.50 for six, $11.50for 12) – is not Italian. But, they are incredibly good,simultaneously sweet and spicy, meaty and saucy as they are gnawedoff the bone, dipped in blue cheese dressing or straight up.

I tasted both the mild and the hot varieties and enjoyed themboth. The mild had a gentle kick; the hot were spicier, but notoverwhelmingly so. Either way, they are definitely addictive.

The pizza ($12.50 for a 16-inch round pie, $13.75 for an 18-inchpie) – which is available by the pie or by the slice, or as apersonal pan pizza – was a symphony of classic Italian flavors,with a thin, crispy crust providing the base for brightly flavoredtomato sauce and cheese.

That’s just one of the numerous pizza varieties served atAvalon. Others include Margarita ($16.50) made with freshmozzarella, Grandma ($16), Grilled Chicken Caesar Pie ($21) andAvalon Vodka Pie ($19.99). But, the menu offerings are just thebeginning, said owner Val Duka.

Whatever kind of pizza you want, we will make it, heexplained, even if it isn’t on the menu. It’s build your ownpizza.

How was the menu developed? We picked the things we do reallywell, said Duka

I also enjoyed the atmosphere. The relatively new eatery – whichopened its doors on a quiet stretch of Bath Avenue in November -charms not just with its culinary options but with itsambience.

Brick walls provide warmth. Sleek wooden chairs with slattedbacks and a dramatic bar where the restaurant’s wine offerings aredisplayed provide modern flair, making the restaurant the perfectspot for a date or a family meal, Duka stresses.

It’s also a great place to watch the big game, Duka said, notingthat he already has lots of reservations for Super Bowl Sunday fromfans who want to enjoy good food while they root for the hometeam.

Avalon is open for lunch and dinner, and offers daily lunchspecials (call to find out what is on special on any given day).The restaurant also does Happy Hour, said Duka, so people can comein and have a couple of beers and appetizers.

Avalon Pizza & Restaurante

2611 Bath Avenue

Brooklyn NY 11214

718-266-1234 or 718-266-1222

Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sunday noon to 10 p.m.

Free delivery within two miles

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