Avanti’s: Authentic Italian at the Arboretum
For years, I’ve seen Avanti’s lovely canopies while driving through the Arboretum, but I always assumed it was fine dining and not a place that welcomed children. I could not have been more mistaken! With its vivid colors, playful tomato art ceiling and spacious booths, Avanti is the perfect casual family spot if you are searching for delicious Italian food.
Upon entering, the aroma of garlic, basil and tomatoes is intoxicating. We quickly ordered drinks and calamari as we looked over the menu, which includes all the classics, such as lasagna, baked ziti, stuffed shells, chicken parmigiana and shrimp scampi.
At Avanti, the pizza is New Jersey-style with a crisp, yet chewy, crust. There are a number of house specialty pizzas from which to choose, but you can build your own, as well. To accommodate kids who only like cheese, pizza also is served by the slice.
Calzones, strombolis, and hot and cold heroes round out the menu. While Italian restaurants are not where you might expect healthy options, Avanti offers salads and some low-carb options. The children’s menu features various pasta choices, pizza and chicken tenders.
My husband opted to try the pizza, and said it was terrific. The chicken parmigiana I ordered was very good and very hot. Our son ordered the tortellini alfredo with a side of meatballs, and when his meal arrived, we couldn’t believe our eyes! The homemade meatballs at Avanti are the size of a fist and wonderful. We watched in disbelief as he ate almost every bite. From the red sauce to the cheese to the Italian bread baked daily, everything at Avanti is fresh and flavorful.
We almost didn’t have room for dessert, but we made way for some key lime pie and cheesecake, and neither disappointed.
THE CHOW DOWN
Avanti at the Arboretum, 8128 Providence Road, Suite 100, Charlotte
Dollar Deal: $7-$15
Décor/Atmosphere: Casual, neighborhood pizzeria
Kids’ Menu: $2.25-$6.75
Amenities: High chairs/booster seats available
Got Milk/Juice: Yes
Charlotte Parent contributor.