ave 5 / banker’s hill – san diego, ca
I had been hanging onto a LivingSocial deal for Ave 5 for quite awhile and I figured out that it was about to expire on me. I tried to find someone to join me for dinner that night, but it just didn’t work out and I ended up taking myself out to dinner. I’ve dined alone many times for lunch so it didn’t feel too different to me to end up doing it for dinner as well. I had my Kindle at hand to entertain me in between courses and had a lovely night out by myself. I like to think that I’m pretty good company, even if it’s just myself.
View from the back of the restaurant.
I sat in the back up against one of their cushy bench seats. It was very cozy back there.
Since I had $45 dollars to spend, I decided to start off with a drink. This was a blueberry infused drink with (I believe) vodka. There were also a few blueberries bobbing around in my drink. It had a nice, sweet taste of the blueberry and the alcohol was hard to detect – which is how I like my drinks. I had to drink this very slowly since but it was delicious and a nice way to start off my meal.
I got a little basket of sliced french bread to start with a cup of pretty swirled butter. I used this bread along with my appetizer below.
[Ravioli with Grapes – corn, mushrooms, arugula, Madeira cream – $9]
My waiter recommended this appetizer to me. I got to say, it sounded really weird to me at first. Ravioli… with grapes?
I asked if the grapes were inside the ravioli but he explained that they were on sprinkled on top of the dish and that the ravioli were filled with mushrooms. Well, damn. You had me at “mushroom”.
This turned out to my favorite dish of the night. You get three oversized ravioli with this appetizer dish.
The mushrooms are chopped finely inside of the ravioli and the Madeira cream sauce paired so nicely with the dish. It gave the dish a nice creamy and rich element. The ravioli were tender and cooked to a perfect al dente and the grapes actually gave a sweetness to the dish that I really enjoyed. It’s almost a sweet and savory play on tastes since you’ll bit a bit of the rich, creamy mushrooms and then get a pop of sweetness from a grape bursting inside of your mouth. I used the french bread slices to soak up and eat the remaining sauce at the bottom of my dish. Can’t let that wonderful sauce go to waste!
[Pork Milanese with sweet potato gratin, baby greens, capers, lemon – $21]
I decided to go with the Pork Milanese for my main dish. Thin, crispy pork sounded really good to me, even if I’m not a huge fan of capers. I pretty much just scrapped those right off my pork. There were two large, long breaded pork chops with a bed of greens on top and a little square piece of sweet potato gratin.
I haven’t had Pork Milanese very often so I’m not sure what the standard is or what it’s “supposed” to be like, but I felt like the pork was very under seasoned. It tasted kind of bland, even with the lemon flavor peeking through and I added a sprinkling of salt, but it just seemed dry and bland to me. It was very crisp though and I enjoyed that crunchy texture but a crunch without flavor isn’t that exciting.
The gratin was different though – instead of a usual potato grain on this night they mixed it up and did it with sweet potatoes. It was very smooth and creamy and the sweet potato added an extra note of sweetness to the dish.
[Ave 5 “S’mores” – $7]
Time for dessert! I tried out the newest thing on their menu – their deconstructed S’mores dessert.
This came with a graham cracker cake (far left), chocolate ice cream rolled in peanuts and peanut butter powder with another little fudgy bit of chocolate and a homemade marshmallow that was slightly torched. It sort of looks like a big, gloppy mess, but when you ate all of the elements together it just worked really well.
The graham cracker “cake” was very crumbly and drenched in chocolate. It wasn’t that great by itself, but when you dipped it in with some of the chocolate, ice cream, and marshmallow, it all melded together in your mouth to create the same flavors as a s’more but in a completely different texture (perfectly smooth and creamy).
The marshmallow was at the perfect consistently – torched and slightly melted to lend an additional sweetness and softness to the whole dessert. Overall I was impressed they were able to get the flavors of the s’mores in a totally different way.
And yeah. I ate every last bite.
All in all a good experience since I loved my appetizer and my dessert. I’d definitely return just for the ravioli alone and to maybe try one of their other entrees for a meal. Or hey, I could just eat appetizer for dinner. That would be okay with me!
Ave 5 Restaurant and Bar
2760 5th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
Ph: (619) 542-0394