Those who deny that cooking is an art form either haven't been exposed to complex, sensuous fare or are simply jaded from the Museum of Modern Art's annual rejection of their grape jelly self-portraits. Indulge in aesthetic eats with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of fine dining and drinks at Avalon in Scottsdale.
Avalon appetizes eyes and tempts taste buds with a rich collection of confectionary canvases showcasing seafood sculptures, meaty steak-based masterpieces, and palate-enhancing sides. The scrumptiously streamlined lunch menu offers gourmet takes on culinary classics such as the steak sandwich crafted from aged prime beef, forest mushrooms, and cippolini onions ($13), and a salad featuring organic petite field greens arrayed in a dressing of goat cheese, candied walnuts, and poached pears, custom-tailored to suit its demure leaves ($8). Amidst the dining room's sleek symmetry, dinner guests sample standout seafood servings such as the butter-poached maine lobster served on a cushion of ricotta gnocchi alongside tomato confit and a rich saffron lobster demi-glace ($29). A grilled prime filet mignon is made all the more indulgent by the addition of foie gras, glazed root vegetables, and belgian salsify ($34), while the bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin makes good on the pig's own admission that even he tastes better when wrapped in himself ($22).
Keep mouth-gears smoothly turning with Avalon's selection of sweet treats awarded Best Desserts in 2009 by the Phoenix New Times, including the texturally transcendent roasted banana-bread pudding with walnut toffee, banana gelato, and salted caramel ($8). End the evening in one of the lounge's curvaceous and comfortable sofas with a cocktail ($8) or a glass of wine culled from an international roster of vintages ($7$13). Reservations, like wearing chain mail while wrestling a bear, are required.
The Phoenix New Times awarded Avalon Restaurant Best Desserts 2009. More than 70 Yelpers give it a four-star average, TripAdvisors give it a four owl-eye average, and Opentable reviewers give it a 3.8-star average.
-   - It surprised me that the restaurant wasn't more crowded, this place should be slammed every night for the excellent service and the fantastic food. I will definitely be back. Deb Y., Yelp, 9/24/10
-   - Everything seemed perfect. The atmosphere was refreshing, the service was outstanding, and the food was incredible. sleestaker, TripAdvisor
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