We had reservations for 9pm Friday night for the Eight Days of Eats. Me, my girlfriend, my friend and his Wife. I have never been to Ava and was looking forward to sampling the food I heard was so good. Well...of course we just happened to be there when there was a wedding rehearsal party of 25 or so people,we didn't get off to a good start service-wise when it took one hour to go from our salad selection to the next course which was our pasta. I truly hate to complain and I am not one to give bad reviews unless I am really displeased. However, Ava did not fit the bill tonight, literally. I actually got up at 10:25pm, after sitting for an hour with no service, except our order taken and our salad served and told our waiter that we would like to pay for the salad and bread we ate and end the meal on that. I wasn't rude and I expressed to him it just wasn't up to our liking and we would simply call it even with some compensation for the food they already did serve us. At this point we were sweating, annoyed, and hungry. Of course no later than one minute after he assured me our pasta would be right out, the pasta came out. My friend and myself ordered the tagliatelle with summer squash, roasted tomatoes in a sage lemon sauce. My girlfriend got the pesto pasta dish, while my friend's wife had the fusilli in red gravy. Pesto was good, tagliatelle was good, and the fusilli was very average. Back tracking a bit...we had 2 ceaser's and 2 lemon sage vinagerette salads. The ceasar's with polenta croutons was very good and the other two were very bland.
On to the entree (now one and and 45 mins. later with no water service or clearance of our pasta dishes). We ordered 3 chicken dishes and a veal dish. The chicken was good, salty and small but tasty, however, I was stunned when my friends' wife called out something which I couldn't believe at first. The sauce that accompanied the chicken tasted exactly like Lipton's french onion packets. I couldn't believe it until I tasted it, she was right. I hate to admit it because I made the reservations, I did the research, I invited them from Jersey for this meal gone horrible, and this wasn't helping the cause. The veal was good as were the potatoes it came with. I also ordered a side of parsnip pureee which was very good, the perfect amount of sweetness. Onto dessert. We got two cannolli crepes, they were horrible, and two pistachio gelatos which were good but very small, understandable.
All in all I am so embarassed and dissapointed in Ava it really is a shame. I hyped this place up through reviews I've read on here and other places but it just wasn't worth the bill, even on this $30 price fix menu. The service was horrible, not mean or anything like that, just wasn't there, at all, period! The place was so hot I was using my napkin as a sweat rag, as were a few other people in the restaurant. I want to stress I am not out to bash Ava as I understand many of these problems stemmed from the huge dinner party we were sharing the dining room with. However, it was just an all around doozie, not much else could have went wrong for us tonight. Ava was a restaurant I wanted to try for a while now and figured this would be a good opportunity to do so. I was wrong, I am not speaking for their regular service but I am speaking for their 8 Days of Eats promotion. My rec. is that you go somewhere else. I had a much better meal at Bistro Romano last restaurant week.