On this season’s first truly blustery night, me, LC, and his family visited Avalon on one of its opening week events. Little T and her cousin B wanted to see Kellie Pickler in concert, while us grownups evaded the cold with cocktails at Ford Fry’s newest venture, The El Felix.
Although not officially open at the time, they were serving complimentary chips, salsa, and a few tastes of dishes, like mini chicken enchiladas. But the bar was in full swing! LC ordered a skinny margarita while I tried a cocktail made with rum and horchata, a traditional sweet Mexican drink made from rice.
We finished our drinks and made a run for the door at Oak Steakhouse. We had put our names on the waiting list an hour before, but the crowds were lingering so we had to wait a bit longer, which turned out to be perfect timing for our very tardy friend TH.
Booths in the center of the space separate the bar from the main dining room whose only source of light emanates from the open kitchen. With a name like Oak Steakhouse, it isn’t a surprise that wood dominates the decor, from tables and chairs, to the walls and bar. It’s a masculine setting for designed for eating meat.
Finally seated at a large round table in the center of a separate dining room, our server delivered a cutting board with freshly baked white rolls, brushed with butter and decorated with chunky sea salt. The menu recalls the days of unlimited expense accounts, featuring a 24 oz. bone-in ribeye for $85, and delicacies like foie gras and lobster.
Our hunger fading with the night, LC and I decided to forego entrees, ordering the luxurious small plates mentioned above; foie gras for me and the lobster cocktail for him. We also shared a starter of pork shoulder ravioli and a side of pan-roasted cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
My foie gras was expertly seared and served over two johnny cakes with a surprise of rich mascarpone filling and a generous swirl of sweet and tart cherry gastrique. Years back, when I ate foie gras rather regularly, I would request a handful of undressed greens to cut the richness of the goose liver. Here, I resurrected this old habit with great success. Nauseatingly decadent.
Chunks of lobster meat and whole claws were poached and served chilled on bibb lettuce with lemon and remoulade for LC’s deconstructed lobster cocktail. We devoured the pork shoulder ravioli, a few large pasta pockets filled with the pork and resting in a decadent, creamy leek sauce with toasted hazelnuts and crispy pancetta on top.
The only disappointment was the side of roasted cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, since the dish contained about half broccoli, which wasn’t mentioned in the description. Otherwise, however, flavor was nice and smoky.
Avalon is a mythical paradise…an ironic name for a cluster of mall shops and successful Atlanta restaurateurs’ attempts to cash in on the otherwise nonexistent dining scene in Alpharetta. At least the locals won’t have to drive to Buckhead to drop $500 on a steak dinner.
950 Third Street, Alpharetta 678-722-8333