Avenue’s Bistro had been on my list to try for months and I finally got the chance to get a sneak peak at their Restaurant Week menu this past January. I was quite impressed and you can read more about that here. I was thrilled when they invited me back try the new dinner menu that debuted February 6, 2012.
Just as it was with Restaurant Week, the new dinner menu at Avenues Bistro is impressive. It is refined, simple and elegant.  In addition to the Entrée’s and Unique Sides categories on the menu, the new menu features Bistro Plates; these small plates are the perfect size to share as an appetizer with the table or a small meal for an individual. I have to say this is actually my favorite way to dine.  I love getting small plates of a variety of things and then sharing them with the table.
If you have heard the saying we eat with our eyes first, then do I have a feast for you! Below are a few items off the new Avenues Bistro menu. The first four items are off Avenue’s Bistro Plates selections and the last dish is a dinner entrée featuring scallops.
Zucchini Sofrito – Braised Artichokes, Roasted Peppers, Onions, Lemon Herb Couscous. 
This dish is light but full of flavor.  The tangy artichoke pairs nicely with the sweet roasted red peppers and the couscous is light and fluffy. 
Mediterranean Platter – Marinated Artichoke Hearts, Genoa Salami, Sicilian Olives, Sun Dried Tomato, Goat Cheese Spread, Olive Tapenade and Pecorino Romano. Toasted Ciabatta , Flatbread. 
This dish screamed for a glass of wine and to me is the perfect appetizer type dish. I loved this! The goat cheese spread on the toasted Ciabatta was delicious! I am hoping I can sweet talk the chef out of the recipe for it.
Roasted Pork Belly – Asian Pear, Sweet Potato, Maple Balsamic Reduction. 
This dish was sticky, sweet and satisfying.   The pork belly was tender inside and perfectly glazed on the outside.  The accompaniment of the sweet potatoes gave the dish a real “comfort food” feel and is a perfect dish to enjoy in the colder months.

Pan Fried Oysters – Pork Confit, Raisin Honey Compote.
Seriously, how beautiful is the presentation of this dish.  Are you full yet? This dish is like three-in-one.  Layer one:  Toasted Ciabatta with Pork Confit, Layer two: Crispy Fried Oyster and Layer three: Pea Shoots Salad with Raisin, Honey Compote.  Even if you are at a table with someone who does not care for oysters, it could still be shared, as there are so many components to it.  

Pan Seared Scallops – Pea Shoots, Cherry Tomato, Beet Jam, Pistachio Gremolata, Lemon Butter.  
 I have to admit before starting this blog; I had never really tried a scallop. Well fast forward, a couple of years and I can say I have had a few.  From what I can tell, I do not think they have much flavor.  They are like blank little canvases waiting to soak up whatever the chef has in store. At Avenue’s this scallop dish shines.  The Lemon Butter is bright and the Pistacio Gremolata has hints of parsley and garlic. The Beet Jam adds a nice sweet component to the saltiness of the scallops and pistachios and the pea shoots add a touch of freshness.
Everything was so good and I am looking forward to trying many more dishes off Avenues Bistro’s new menu soon.  For more information or to view the new menu visit, avenuesbistro.com.
Also for Valentine’s Day, Avenues does offer up a great menu for the ‘big day’ priced nicely at $49 for four courses per person.  However, they are also offering a four course Valentine’s Eve special that is ten bucks less and includes wine pairings!  This is a great special especially for those that want to celebrate early. Call for reservations.
Brookside: 338 West 63rd Street , Kansas City, MO 64111
Leawood: 10681 Mission Road, Leawood, Kansas 66211