Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Avanti - Heaton Moor, Stockport

There’s one thing Italian’s do well and that’s style; from the matching all in ones of the ski slope, to the famous fashion house of Milan. Thinking of stylish eateries they have cool, airy rooms full of white tablecloths and glistening silverware, wafts of lemon and fig float in through the billowing white curtains and men stand in stylishly cut suits, smoking on the terrace overlooking the vibrant blue sea.

Avanti exterior - with thanks to dineavanti.co.uk

So when an Italian restaurant markets itself as ‘vibrant,’ ‘stylish’ and ‘Stockport’s finest,’ I go expecting Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni sipping espressos and discussing the finer points of tailoring.

Avanti, Heaton Moor, is none of the above and if it’s the best Italian in Stockport then I don’t want even want to consider eating at the others.

Initially the evening looked good. Staff were friendly and fetched drinks whilst we waited for latecomers. Starters arrived and were decent enough: my king prawn crostini was full of loud punchy flavours finished off with a decent helping of lemon. Meatballs were soft, tender and enrobed in a garlicky sauce redolent of something homemade.

King prawn crostini

Just as we were pootling along on this not-very-adventurous-but-alright-for-a-high-street meal, the mains arrived and the evening’s gastronomic happiness took a turn for the worse.

I’ve eaten in Brewers Fayres and pubs with carveries, so I know food can be crap; but I pay £5.95 for that pleasure and not what I was paying at Avanti. The chicken wrapped in parma ham was very dry, lamb shanks tasted of an overly sweet mint sauce, seemed like they had been bought in, plus were chewy and dry (how you get a shank to be dry I’m not sure). My main of seabass was terribly overcooked – the fish dry and flaky, dumped on some poorly seasoned mash with a raggle taggle of greasy sundried tomatoes and olives. All dishes apart from some vegetarian pancakes were poorly constructed, poorly presented and poorly executed.

Over cooked seabass

And do I really need to bother describing the puddings? Let’s just say they were bought in and awful.

Very cakey, obviously bought in: the boy's sticky toffee pudding (in an Italian? Indeed!)

Avanti in Heaton Moor is not ‘stylish,’ the décor is boring to say the least; rather like a high street coffee chain. It’s not ‘vibrant’ either – yes the atmosphere was ok, but there was no buzzing fug emanating from the place. And I will probably guess its not the best in Stockport either - I'd go as far as to say the Pizza Hut would probably be better than this.

To sum up I’m not going to go back to Avanti, there are plenty of better places serving much better food across the city and the North West. And there probably are in Heaton Moor as well.

Price for a starter, main and pudding – £25

Food – 4/10
Atmosphere – 6/10
Service – 5/10
Value for money – 5/10

Total – 20/40

Go again? No, rather go to the chippy up the street!

Avanti Restaurant and Grill, 1 Moorside Road, Heaton Moor, Stockport SK4 4DT - 0161 443 3123
info@dineavanti.co.uk

http://www.dineatavanti.co.uk/home/index.php

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