The Spot: Avalon
7707 East McDowell Road, Scottsdale
The Hours: Happy Hour Daily 3 - 7pm
Lunch & Dinner Mon - Sun 11am - 10pm
Brunch Sat & Sun 9am -3pm
The Details: Five appetizers for $8 and under.
1/2 price Specialty Cocktails and Martinis
Domestic Brews $2 & Imported Brews $3
Champagne Cocktails $5
Avalon's Happy Hour menu includes 7 Specialty Cocktails and 4 Signature Martinis
The Interior: Upon entering you get that it's a restaurant with a bar, not the other way around. And you immediately get the understated swank of the place: white linens, a fork for every reason and a trendy young staff in black. When we arrived, the small bar area was packed with Los Suns fans who were focused on the game. Since we're not bb fans, and since our nice weather days are waning, we opted for the outdoor patio that faces theparking lot and the front of the building, where the infinity edge water feature is located. The place carries an air of grace and a slightly hilly civility. It's a nice place. We almost weren't sure if we belonged here, being that we came for Happy Hour (half-priced liquor and
The Conclusion: The drinks are nothing if not imaginative...Lady of the Lake, made with Absolut Citron / Blue Curacao / Chambord sweet & sour / cranberry juice / Sprite. Why the Chambord AND cranberry juice, plus Sprite? We asked, our waiter didn't know. Okay, we're game, we'll try it. When it arrives, it's a visual treat, appearing red white and blue, very impressive. Then the waiter and we agreed that it reminds us of those red white and blue popsicles - the firecracker. Ugh. Why did we go there? First sip and we knew were doomed to a sickly sweet concoction that immediately went back to the bar.
We then opted for something more predictable, the Champagne Cocktail. Unlike the traditional (a sugar cube in the bottom of the glass touched with several drops of bitters, then poured to the rim with Champagne), their take on it came with too much Chambord, but it was pretty and drinkable.
The menu reads so seductively, we were tempted to try all the offerings. To start, we chose the shrimp and roasted garlic fondue. We were expecting, you know, fondue. A pot of melted fat to dip bread into. We got a half full (or is that half-empty?) ramekin cup instead. Turns out, it was a bit of heaven with its subtle cucumber coolness, a melange of roasted garlic and small chunks of shrimp. The only problem was there wasn't more of it.
Next we moved onto the Italian meatball sliders with a pomodoro sauce on supposedly grilled potato buns. Delicious, but not quite right. Where we come from, potato buns are delicately soft with a generous dusting of white flour.
Third time's the charm, right? We moved on to the warm fried mozzarella with creamy tomato soup and basil with a side of toast. The creamy tomato soup was the best
and yet unfortunately the smallest portion of the entire thing. The mozzarella had nearly no flavor and there was something not right about the toast covered in what we suspected was cheese. We figured it came premade and lived its short life in a freezer. We doused everything in salt to trigger some kind of reaction.
Perhaps it's the name, Avalon
...that conjured up mythical expectations before we even set foot in the place. Some of the food was damn good, but then some was just plain confusing for its lack of flavor. We just wanted more of what was so good and less of what wasn't.
Overall Grade = B-
7707 E. McDowell Road, Scottsdale, AZ