Avanti Ristorante Italiano
Avanti Ristorante Italiano

Avanti Ristorante Italiano

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.avantipennington.com/
  • Phone: 6097377174x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Tuesday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm

    Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm

    Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
  • Executive Chef: Vincenzo Severino
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, BYO Liquor, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access
  • Catering: Party trays are available for your event at home or work and requires 24 hours notice. Delivery is available for parties over 25. Avanti has offsite catering space at the Pennington fire house which can accommodate up to 100.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Main Street
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Off-street parking as well as a Municipal Lot available
A word from Avanti Ristorante Italiano
Avanti Ristorante Italiano was opened in 1993 by Chef Vincenzo Severino. Vincenzo’s cuisine is the encapsulation of his passion for food and of his obsession to please his patrons. His inspiration comes from his many trips back to his beloved Sicily, where he breathes in as much as he possibly can in order to translate his journeys into new and exciting dishes for his and Kathleen’s loyal customers. Indeed, many of their guests have been coming to Avanti Ristorante since they opened and some even maintain standing dinner reservations all year round. The attraction is definitely the food, but the pièce de résistance is clearly when Vincenzo comes out of the kitchen mid-evening to greet his patrons who have all become his friends. Dinner at Avanti Ristorante is like having dinner with a group of friends or even family, and this is what makes the experience a most memorable one.
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Avanti Ristorante Italiano reviews from OpenTable diners
40 reviews since May 24, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
91% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (24)fit for foodies (14)romantic (10)special occasion (9)great for lunch (8)great for outdoor dining (7)good for groups (6)hot spot (2)kid-friendly (2)great for brunch (1)scenic view (1)Show More
  • luv2eat
    luv2eat
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We have always loved Avanti but have not been there since new owner. Everything was fantastic. Food was excellent. Service was excellent. The new owner was very attentive. We will definitely return. So happy that everything is still so good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Subpar at best
    foodNdrinkQUEENVIP
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    Outside of the ambiance of this quaint little restaurant I was sorely disappointed. The food was mediocre and somewhat flavorless. Something you would expect from a typical Italian restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • As good as always
    NJFANS
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Avanti remains our favorite Italian restaurant in the Central Jersey area. We recently moved and had occasion to go back. The veal dishes are highly recommended; you can't go wrong with any you choose whether you want a rich sauce or a plainer dish. Everyone in our party ordered a different veal dinner, and each of us was thoroughly satisfied with our respective choices. The restaurant will modify dishes to satisfy special requests, and made my favorite dish that was no longer on their menu. We only wish that we lived closer so that we could eat here more often!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food
    Peachew
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    The food was very good but the room was very tight with tables on top of each other. Service was just ok.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service
    Great
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Went for lunch and really enjoyed a long birthday celebration. Amazing service!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Valuable Resource
    PntnNJonDelAvnu
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    The place provides a happy, relaxing environment for celebrating another cheerful day.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New owners with same good food
    AlanVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Avanti has obviously changed owners , the food was good and the service was also good. Few dishes have disappeared but new ones have been added. Will try this again and report back with next experience.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pleasurable lunch
    J3jm
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    I hadn't been to Avanti's for a few years. The food remains very good with a varied menu.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Avanti Enter here
    IBeatingsoon
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    My family and I went to Avanti for our anniversary dinner.We had a great experience service was great alway when we needed our waiter he was there. food was excellent our order came well timed we finished with Banana Foster mmm I love that stuff.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • disappointed
    SheriSVIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    This was my third time at Avanti but I was very disappointed in the food. The baked chicken dish with cheese and tomatoes was just ok. There was very little cheese and the chicken was pretty dry. The appetizer of shrimp and bruschetta was just so so and the bread in the basket was dry. I also found that the salad dressing was very watered down. We have been to Avanti where it is crowded but this time it was virtually empty. Maybe new owners and new chef? Won't be returning in the near future.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Menu Additions
    wineanddineVIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    I was glad to see some new entrees, especially the hazelnut-crusted rack of lamb from the owners other place (La Mezzaluna). Knowing how often I enjoyed it there, I had some anxiety they would be less than what I expected. Not So! While a little different to the taste, it was delicious in it's own way. All in all, a great dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • joeygVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We want the old owners back! It is not the same since they sold the place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 1234VIP
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    Small intimate dining. New owner and staff make you feel right at home. BYOB.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice Changes
    wineanddineVIP
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    After a month between visits, I can detect some positive changes in the quality of the food. This is still a 4+ star dining experience. This is pretty much what I say about Michael's restaurant, La Mezzaluna. There are some nice, distinctions between the two and both are wonderful places to dine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great local place
    mathguy
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    had the steak special, which was a porterhouse covered in a mushroom and bacon creme sauce. it was one of the best meals i have had in a very long time.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • MarcVIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Now under new management and it shows in the food and service. With Trenton losing all of its Italian restaurants, here is a place worthy of the 'Burg' of old. Finally a spot for good , reliable Italian food in a charming old house.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent new owner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    This has always been a very good restaurant, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it is now owned by Michael Moriello, who owns the excellent Mezzaluna restaurant in Princeton. Avanti has a more traditional menu than Mezzaluna, but the quality is exceptional.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious food
    Luv2eat
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    I took my husband here for his birthday dinner. We hadn't been in a long time. We both loved our dinner and our waiter was very nice. Would go again!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Quiet Lunch
    wineanddineVIP
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    Pretty much had the place to myself, today (so much different than at Dinner times) and found the food just as good (4 - 4 1/2 stars). I enjoyed my sausage and chicken Pelligrino, as well as the soup.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still The Best!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Still my favorite restaurant after 15 years! Everything is excellent, although I'm partial to the Vodka Rigatoni. If you're lucky, Vincenzo will be there to stop by and say hello.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 20 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.7
    • Food3.8
    • Ambiance3.6
    • Service3.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 36 reviews are from the Avanti Ristorante Italiano reviews archive.
  • Great Meal
    NetteSki
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    We truly enjoyed our meal - Chicken Lemone and Champagne Chicken.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Leslie
    Dined on 5/14/2014
    Avanti-still fantastic after 21 years. It just gets better and better!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Love for lunch
    rukiddingme
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    I love this place---the food, the service, the atmosphere. Lunch menu with specials is always great with fast service. The meatballs here are proof that God loves us. Dinner is another thing, though. Even in an empty dining room, we were seated elbow to elbow with other people (no kidding, 4 people in the restaurant & the woman at the next table kept bumping my chair with her elbow, not her fault). When crowded for dinner, it gets pretty loud but not unbearable. 1 complaint: there were 8, yes 8, specials for dinner. By the time the server got to the middle of the list, I couldn't remember the first 2 things...at all...and neither could my dining partners. I do love this place, though. The food is amazing.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Missed it this time
    NJFANS
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    Avanti is one of our favorite Italian restaurants. Normally, the wait staff are very attentive but not this last time. We were served well after other tables that had been filled after we had been seated. However, the food was very good as usual which saved the evening.
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Old Faithful
    kennettkritic
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    We have eaten at Avanti's scores of times over the past 15+ years and have never had a poor meal. Good ingredients, good cooking, and friendly service!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food with a very cozy feeling
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    The restaurant is a great find. It is tucked away behind the barbershop in downtown pennington. The food was unbelievable and so was the service. You will find specialty dishes that you will not find in most other Italian restaurants. The owners will greet you as you enter the restaurant and also check to make sure everything is great with your meal. Everyone is very knowledgable and helpful with the menu. It is decorated to give you a very comfortable feeling. The outside patio seating looks great and will be opening shortly and I look forward to eating outdoors. Reservations are recommended as there is limited seating but worth the trip.
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Thursday's Dinner
    wineanddineVIP
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    It was an excellent dinner on Vince's last evening, here. I lunched here when it was a brunch/bookstore, then it was an Indonesian restaurant, and for the past 21 years, I have dined here a few times a year. I never recall having a bad meal. Good luck to Michael who will be taking over. I eat at his Princeton restaurant frequently (always pleased with their food and service). I'd think there won't be too much difficulty in maintaining the very high standards that Chef Vince established many years ago.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Avantis always a pleasure
    Beth
    Dined on 4/22/2014
    I made reservations with 2 co-workers to celebrate her good health. We had a nice corner table as requested and were seated on time. I ordered something that was not on the menu (it was a special that I had once before) The waitress was very accommodating and quickly recalled the name of the dish after I described it. She said "we can certainly make that for you today". My friend also ordered it and she said it was delicious. My other friend asked for a dish to be modified and it came out exactly as she requested. We had a wonderful time and were not rushed out. Coffee was fresh and the service was outstanding. I highly recommend this restaurant for lunch! I have not been here for dinner yet but will definitely try it one night.
    Special Features:
    Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A hidden jem
    Time2eat
    Dined on 4/16/2014
    Great food and service vodka rigs simply recommended. A must try....
    Special Features:
    Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • AVANTI's: ONE OF THE BEST!
    VinceVIP
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    We have been enjoying Avanti's since it opened in the Pennington area. The owners , chef and staff have consistently delvered an outstanding experience over many years. It offers great ambience, friendly and knowledgeable service, and consistently great food. By far the best Italian restaurant in the area (Antimo's Kitchen in Hopewell is also great, but smaller and less formal) and is great either if you are there with a large group or if out for a quiet dinner for 2. Thanks to all: the owners, chef, and staff !
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    Great food, great service, love the coziness of Avante'! Absolutely wonderful!
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food and Service!
    Gomez
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    Avanti is our go to spot for whenever we get a chance to go out for dinner. The food is always excellent and the owners and staff are wonderful. You can't go wrong here!
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Andiamo Avanti!
    jerzeymon
    Dined on 3/20/2014
    Food was not only delicious but abundant. Nicely decorated interior. Excellent service. Will be back, next time with some friends.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We've been going to Avanti's
    MontyVIP
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    We've been going to Avanti's for years and are always satisfied. The staff acknowledges us when we arrive, even if we're not at their table. Kathleen always warmly welcomes us also. It's a great place for dinner and to see local folks we don't run into that often.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dinner
    wineanddineVIP
    Dined on 3/4/2014
    This was a very good dinner; soup, salad and a delicious pasta entee. It was all very high quality with the usual excellent, attentive service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Solid Classic Italian
    FormerFoodie
    Dined on 2/26/2014
    Offers a diverse menu of Italian classics. Carbonara was good, much better with more seasoning. Would definitely come back with my wife for another date night dinner, special occasion or otherwise.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Dinner Spot
    DinerRC
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    This place was BYOB and had great food. I had Veal Toscano and the appetizer I had was really good. I think the service could have been more attentive, specifically in regards to refilling my drink (water & ice tea), but other than that, the service was good.
    Special Features:
    romantic, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very good food & excellent service
    lynne65
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Food was delicious and our waiter was energetic and personable.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ready for Encore, Avanti!
    PenningtonRes
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    My husband and I enjoyed a lovely, delicious Valentine's Day lunch at Avanti's. It was our first time at the restaurant. The ambiance was wonderful, complete with elegant, delicate decorations for the special occasion day. My immediate thought was that I'd like to return to the restaurant at nighttime for a dinner date. The food was very flavorful and just right in portion size. We had an enjoyable lunch and I look forward to dining again at Avanti!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Spot
    Mercutio
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    Really enjoyed everything, my only complaint was that I asked twice to have my wine opened and the server never obliged. I came with a White and a Red, red was opened, but she did not open the white. After 2 inquiries, I gave up and just drank the red. Other than this, which was probably just an oversight, I would definitely go back. The food was great, romantic atmosphere, and great variety on the menu
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.