Avena Downtown is a charming restaurant in the West Village between Bleecker and West Houston Street. The Northern Italian restaurant has quite the patio for outdoor dining. At the moment, construction has taken over and made the charming spot hard to locate on 6th Avenue. The interior features exposed brick walls and a rustic-industrial decor. We opted to enjoy our brunch outdoors, after all it’s not like we can do this year round as New Yorkers!
We began promptly with pastries for the table. An assortment of croissants including butter and chocolate set the tone for a long, leisurely meal on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The croissants are just what we needed to kick off a delicious carb-filled meal.
Next up, cocktails were in order! I decided to go with a blood orange mimosa. It was delightfully prepared with Sicilian orange juice and Prosecco. My brunch date went with a “honey honey” cocktail, made with gin, lemon juice, honey, and thyme. We were both pleased with our beverage choices. The blood orange mimosa was a nice welcome change from a traditional mimosa.
I was eyeing the burrata caprese. Creamy burrata was served with the standard red and yellow tomatoes, basil, and olive oil. The tomatoes were so fresh and juicy. We couldn’t get enough.
A “lasagnetta croccante” came out next decked out with pesto and parmesan fondue. The texture was a bit crispier than I expected, but the red peppers, asparagus, and other veggies really pulled this dish together. It wasn’t my favorite item but still a decent option.
My brunch date couldn’t resist trying the carbonara. She was instantly in love with the pasta dish. The guanciale and egg yolk were served stylishly on top of the dish. It was packed with flavor and satisfying to the last bite.
Avena Downtown is worth the visit. The service is impeccable and the prices are reasonable. The food itself is fairly standard with a subtle twist. It’s still under the radar for the hip neighborhood it’s in, but we’re sure it will get the love it so deserves in time.
The Bitches say four Champagne flutes.
Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.