Avalon’s dining room has chic, minimalist décor and a neutral color palette.
Photos: Avalon Restaurant-Scottsdale AZ
With its modern twist on an ancient legend, Avalon can be found on an unassuming stretch of McDowell Road. The Scottsdale restaurant has an almost whimsical presence and enchanting appeal that is first noted by the serene and placid pool that leads to the entrance while soothing music drifts through the air.
Inside, the chic, minimalist décor and neutral color palette continue the feeling of serenity. The calm ambiance is adorned with touches of nature, such as white tree branches and dark wood accents.
In contrast to its decor, Avalon’s food is an eclectic combination of seafood and contemporary American cuisine prepared and presented with a passionate eye for aesthetic detail. And in a nod to its namesake, a sweet concoction called the Lady of the Lake can be found on the cocktail menu.
My dinner companions and I began our night with several starters. The crispy calamari and polenta-stuffed jumbo prawns were very well received. But the top prizes went to the lobster bisque and the steamed Prince Edward Isle mussels. A special that day, the bisque was creamy with a surprisingly tasty tang. The mussels were swimming in a delicious lobster bouillabaisse loaded with smoked white fish and shrimp. The bouillabaisse struck the perfect balance of piquant and mild flavors. It was my first experience with mussels and — if they’re all this good — it certainly won’t be my last.
Next up was the soup-and-salad course. The Avalon Caesar and roasted beet salads were delicious, but the clear favorite was the organic baby field greens with candied walnuts and fresh strawberries. I also couldn’t resist the French sweet onion soup. With just the right amount of sweet it definitely lived up to its name.
Entrees came next and we chose carefully to keep a balance of appetizing dishes that hailed from land and sea. The shrimp fettuccine carbonara was a rich combination of flavors topped with crispy pancetta, English peas and lemon crema. The seared Maine diver scallops also received rave reviews from our table.
Although the seafood dishes were palate pleasing, it was the lamb and steak dinners that tantalized our taste buds. The Provimi farms lamb dish was made up of a roasted rack of lamb and seared lamb T-bone, topped with a green peppercorn sauce that we all agreed was scrumptious. The aged prime rib-eye steak satisfied even the most devout meat lover, and coupled with a potato pancetta hash, onions and a bordelaise sauce, it was a meal to end all meals.
I didn’t think I had any room left for dessert, but when I saw an item on the menu called Avalon’s Chocolate Decadence I couldn’t say no. Our server informed us that the treat had won an award for best dessert in the Valley for the past five years. One taste and I knew why.
Alas, our time at Avalon had come to an end and the verdict was in: For delicious and innovative fare, a visit to Avalon won’t disappoint. This casually classy establishment is truly an indulgence for the senses — invigorating your taste buds in a serene setting while awakening you to the sights, sounds and flavors of fine cuisine.
If You Go:
7707 E McDowell Road, Scottsdale