Monday, October 20, 2008

Avenue 805

Friday nite found the hubs and I out at Avenue 805. I have to say, I immediately liked the comfortable ambience and atmosphere upon entering this establishment. Dim lighting, original art on the walls, votives flickering everywhere, pale blue & green, pleather booths, stacks of wine stashed all over and a little Jack Johnson playing in the background......(and hubs plugging his ears in protest). Whomever designed the decor, obviously put a lot of thought into it.

We were greeted and seated immediately. The restaurant was about 3/4 full when we arrived around 7:30, seemingly doing a brisk business. We took a table at the very back of the restaurant, far from the chilly breeze blowing through the front door. Warm bread was immediately brought to the table, which we promptly tucked into.

For apps, we ordered the evening's special of smoked zucchini ravioli in a cream sauce topped with house made duck proscuitto as well as the white bean hummus platter w/fresh veggies and toasted foccacia. Both were excellent and I would easily order them again.

For drinks, I ordered a glass of the house Malbec. It should be noted that Avenue 805 favors their patrons selecting bottles of wine for the table and does very few wines by the glass. And mine had been sitting around too long in an opened bottle, teetering on the edge of undrinkable. I would love to have ordered a bottle of a full bodied cabernet, but the hubs doesn't drink wine and I can't finish a whole bottle by myself. And if I could, I'm not confessing it here! LOL! ;)

For entrees, we stuck to the basic pasta menu. The hubs ordering fettucini alfredo with shrimp. The alfredo sauce was creamy deliciousness, but the shrimp was rubbery. Which to me is an unforgivable sin. My gnocchi were soft potato pillows of delight, smothered in a bolognese sauce that was too sweet and not seasoned enough for my taste. I would love to see a gnocchi option with a tomato cream sauce and lardons added to the menu. Actually, that is my perpetual search in this city anytime I'm eating gnocchi.

For dessert, the hubs tried the carrot cake and it got an enthusiastic two thumbs up. Which is rare praise from him! The cake was moist, fragrant with spice, lacked raisins (which is a plus for the hubs) and had a rich cream cheese icing. I had the standard creme brulee, which fit the bill in texture as well as taste. I also ordered a post-meal coffee which arrived in a "Barryshnicow" mug. And as silly as it sounds, this sealed the deal for me to come back. I love a comfortably elegant restaurant that serves great food, but doesn't take itself too seriously.

I'd also like to note the service- friendly, responsive and every course was to the table, piping hot within minutes. Top notch and unbeaten in my experiences dining around Richmond. This is obviously a restaurant that cares about it's patronage and I, for one, will be back even though our entrees fell a little flat this first visit. B/c overall, Avenue 805 has all the characteristics of what I look for in a "regular" place. :)

Avenue 805
805 N Davis Ave
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 353-2505

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