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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Avanti Trattoria

Visited: Dinner on Friday May 10, 2013
Company: Party of 5 ladies grabbing dinner before seeing The Great Gatsby

In an effort to try out some of the local restaurants in my hometown, some friends and I decided to have dinner at Avanti Trattoria, an Italian place situated in downtown Oshawa. I am always worried about parking downtown but finding a spot wasn't that bad the last few times I had been, definitely not as bad as being in downtown Toronto. Parking is free after 6PM in Oshawa and usually you can get close enough to your destination that the walk isn't dreadful. I got a place right in front but realized that the restaurant has their own parking spots after. I hadn't heard about the locally-owned restaurants in Oshawa until recently and this place was one of them, apparently with great Italian food and stone-oven pizza.
Upon entering, I was really surprised on how big the place is, with two main dining areas, huge bar, and kitchen area. There was also tons of staff available just hanging out, they were fully-stacked for the night. After the party had all arrived, we decided to start with some classic Bruschetta. We were also given bread for the table to start, and most of us had decided on pizza, so we were going to get our fair share of carbs that day. The bruschetta wasn't spectacular but still good. I'm always skeptical on bruschetta now because I had the best one earlier this year and I don't think any other one can top it. The bruschetta bread was a bit too soft all the way through and didn't have that thin crispy outer layer. Each table also had random oils to have with the bread which was nice to try.

We decided to all trade a slice of pizza to try other types and by the time we were done switching, only half the pizza was what I got! I wasn't worried though because the portion was more than enough, so much larger than a personal pizza. For my order of pizza, I got the Salsiccia. I love Italian sausage and it's usually the only meat I'd want on pizza so what's why I was compelled to have it. The overall combination of toppings on this was excellent, the red onions and green peppers complemented the sausage so well. The make of the pizza was excellent too, the dough was the right thickness and had a good amount of cheese. I was so full after three pieces which I was so disappointed because it was so good and I wanted to eat it all.
The other slices I tried were the Vegetarian, Cacciatore, and Polpette. I had debated getting some of these so I was pretty happy that my friends had gotten them instead. The Vegetarian was loaded with various veggies but I'm not a fan of olives which turned me off of getting it (yes, I understand you can ask for 'no olives'). But the broccoli was a very prominent flavour overall which took away from the other flavours. 

I had almost gotten the Cacciatore but I didn't think I had goat cheese before (but then I remembered that I did and I was a huge fan). Good thing, because it was overloaded with it! Probably because there was no mozzarella, but it was an awesome alternative. I love how thick the cheese in comparison but you can still taste the other flavours, especially the sun-dried tomatoes (which I didn't hate like I usually do), which was nice and soft like the other veggies and didn't stand out in texture.

Lastly, I tried the Polpette, which was quite similar looking to the Salsiccia but with mushrooms, Italian ham and meatballs instead of peppers and sausage. I wasn't a huge fan of the meatballs as they added an odd flavour to the pizza. The ham and mushrooms are an excellent addition but I think they were ignored among the other flavours. I don't think it was a great combination of toppings. 

Overall, I was a huge fan of the restaurant, from the food to the atmosphere, it's a nice little gem in downtown Oshawa I'm glad I know about now. 

Food: 3.5/5 - Pizza was excellent!
Decor: 4.5/5 - Brilliant Italian decor and excellent use of space.
Service: 3/5 - Pretty good, but not outstanding.
Likeliness to come back: 4.5/5 - Want to try some pasta :)
Overall: 4/5
Website: http://www.avantifood.com/


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