Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Day Five At Avenue5

Diver Sea Scallops
And on the fifth day, the media descended.

Avenue5, the newest restaurant to open on Naples' trendy 5th Avenue South, is ready for the pubic and the press. Not even open a week yet, last night I got to tour the newly renovated space and taste the creations of Chef John Welch.

Avenue5 occupies the old McCabe's Irish Pub space. As we relived stories from the party pub days, we discovered our table was in the spot where the men's restroom used to be.

The dark old pub has been completely transformed into a contemporary, light space, with glass doors opening onto the plaza and the street. The wine wall holds 3500 bottles

Chef's specialty is lobster so we had to try the lobster sliders on fried green tomatoes. The parsnip slaw they were served with helped offset the richness of the dish.

Another favorite appetizer was the 100% Heritage Berkshire Pork Belly. The chunk of meat was generous for an appetizer and came with a three bean salad that included celery, apple and pickled rhubarb. The flavors were bright and addicting.

The entrees we sampled included a perfectly cooked Colorado Rack of lamb that melted in your mouth. One diner said she liked it better than the New Zealand variety. The diver sea scallops were a tad bit salty but the oysters and sweet corn stew helped to off-set this and gave some nice layers of flavors.

The Sea Bass was a big hit, served in a bowl with boo chou, mushrooms and noodles; a perfect accompaniment to the creamy fish.

ginab2u's Avenue5 album on Photobucket

Prices at Avenue5 range from $9 appetizers to $56 entrees.

It never hurts to remind diners who arrive at restaurants within the first few weeks of opening, that the chef and staff are still finding their groove and working out the kinks. Try not to be too critical if things aren't  exactly what you expect, and let the managers know in a constructive way, so they can make the necessary adjustments.

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