Once I heard that The Avant was open for business, I couldn’t wait to get over to check out the in-house restaurant. The restaurant is called Della Terra, and from the looks of it I bet that this is going to become the ideal place for the business lunch crowd. First of all, the layout is completely different from any other eatery in the city. The views out onto Delaware are sweet because the buildings in the district have so much character. Then there’s the elevated patio (coming soon) where diners can sit and take in the vista. Either way, indoors or out, the view is delightful.
The interior of the Della Terra is not too shabby either. I’ve seen the restaurant during lunch hours and later in the evening during dinner time. At noon the natural light streams in from three directions, while the towering ceiling offers a dramatic interior landscape. As evening approaches the soft lighting transforms the space into an elegant setting, perfect for those looking for a cosmopolitan atmosphere.
So you would think that the Northern Italian cuisine food prices would match the surroundings? Fortunately that is not the case. Della Terra’s prices are very reasonable. For lunch I had the penne alla panna con prosiutto e esparagi (penne pasta with fontina cheese, parma ham and fresh asparagus sauce). I asked our waiter, Henry, to leave off the parma ham. The price came to ten bucks. My dad ordered the Panino Italiano (proscuttio ham, sopressata, grilled apple, arugula and fontina chees served croissant). His dish was nine bucks. For the quality of the food, the presentation, the portions served, the service and the surroundings, I think those are very fair prices. I took a look at the dinner menu and the prices ranged from $13 for the linguine to $30 for the farm-raised rack of lamb.
There is an extensive wine list and General Manager John Gurren tells me that one entire wall will soon be dedicated to the bottles. He also clued me in that most customers will appreciate the $5 valet parking service offered at any given time. In addition to Della Terra, there is a café and sweets stand called Avant Beanery, a breakfast room, and a bar and lounge area (with a separate bar menu).
It’s always fun to check out new places to eat… especially when it’s in a location that is so new and different. I was hoping that the eatery would be on the top floor… alas we still need a restaurant in this city with 360 degree elevated views. That aside, the Della Terra really works well on the first floor.
My dad is still raving about the sandwich that he had for lunch. Since then I’ve stopped back to enjoy a Labatt Blue at the bar. While I was there I asked John Gurren about the occupancy. He told me that on that particular night the Embassy Suites was 80% full. I found that stat to be quite impressive. Two of the cocktail waitresses concurred that the business was picking up more and more each day. No doubt – if I was looking for a place to stay in the city, this would certainly be my pick as far as amentities go.
*Robert J Rizzo Jr – C.E.C Executive Chef | Klaus Schaupensteiner – Director of Food and Beverage