TEST KITCHEN

Ava
718 South Howard Avenue
Tampa, FL 33606

11.26.14 blog 2

Last weekend, Billy and I checked out the much anticipated new restaurant Ava and it did not disappoint. The restaurant is currently running their “Test Kitchen” menu which is a sampling of their full menu that will launch this Friday. Located on the popular stretch of South Howard Avenue in South Tampa, the restaurant has a rustic meets hipster look (probably because of the staff in plaid shirts). We thoroughly enjoyed our food and the service was good as well. Our server was attentive and friendly even with my embarrassing photo taking 😛 If the Test Kitchen is an accurate representation of what’s in store, make your reservations now!

11.26.14 blog 3Secret Handshake – This was Billy’s drink. It was an unusual, but tasty combination of Rye and White Zinfandel. I had the Navarro Fizz which was a gin based drink that reminded me of a sherbet float.

11.26.14 blog 4Warm Ricotta – grilled bread, sicilian oregano. When I have ricotta, it’s usually combined with other ingredients. It was nice to enjoy the flavor and texture of ricotta on its own. Maybe it was the oregano, but we both thought it tasted a little like pepperoni which we didn’t mind.

11.26.14 blog 5Mussels – grilled bread, nduja, fennel seed. The nduja added just the right amount of kick. I would come back just for these mussels. I wanted to drink the leftover broth at the end.

11.26.14 blog 6Pork chop – polenta, slow apples, fennel pollen, mustard greens. The pork chop was juicy and not shy on portion size. The addition of polenta and apples made the dish sweet and savory, perfect for the fall weather. I also liked the fact that the greens on top stayed crispy until the last bite.

11.26.14 blog 7Caramel budino – sea salt, crème fraiche, rosemary cookie. I’m not usually someone that drools at the thought of salted caramel, but this dessert hit the spot. It was rich and creamy, but didn’t put me over the top.

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