Words by Samantha Harman
Since the start of July, Third Avenue has been under new management, featuring a newly refurbished, beautiful interior and new menus.
Entering Third Avenue is like being transported to a by-gone era, there’s an immediate colonial vibe with high ceilings and wooden panelling. The artwork adorning every wall is an eclectic mix of classic and contemporary, making an interesting juxtaposition and talking point. The venue is old school glamour personified, with comfortable peach velvet clad seating, a gold centralised bar and candle lit tables, making it the perfect setting for a romantic tete-a-tete or special celebration.
The restaurant and late night bar also boasts a secret gold nightclub in the basement with a 2am weekend license (shh) . Overall, a relaxed and decadent space. To start I ordered a Lychee Rose Martini which was presented in an oversized coupe glass, garnished with edible flowers. The delicate flavours of the rose and lychee complimented each other perfectly, and the drink was ice cold. An extremely well balanced cocktail that went down rather too well (and quickly).
Moving on to the small plates menu which is broken down into fish, meat, veggie and vegan. My dining partner and I ordered a grand selection; Pan Roasted Scallops with Caramelised Cauliflower and Morcilla (that’s blood sausage to you and I), Grilled Gambas with Nduja Butter and Chive, Chicken Pintxos Morunos Skewers, Blistered Padron Peppers, Charred Hispi Cabbage and Flatbread. The food arrived with enough of a delay to get stuck into a bottle of the house white, a Vermentino Les Archeres, crisp and light with subtle apple flavours. The star of the show for me was the cabbage. As the menu suggested, it was charred just the right amount and came with a Tahini dressing, sprinkled with crispy cavolo (similar to seaweed) and toasted pine nuts. It had retained its crunch and was the first item we got stuck into. I must praise the chef for his ingenuity, such a simple dish but really well done and filling. Let’s say this is a vegetable with substance and class. Every plate was beautifully presented with the scallops winning first prize. They came with lattices of caramalised cauliflower which I have never seen before, a dish that is as easy on the eye as it is on the palate. The peppers were sprinkled with rock salt and tasted exactly the same as any you would find in a decent Tapas joint and all the meat and shellfish we ordered was cooked to an exemplary standard, no dry disappointments to be found here. The flatbread was homemade and made an excellent accompaniment to mop up all of the delicious sauces left on our empty plates.
Onto dessert, and I cannot ever resist creme brulee, for me it has everything you need from something sweet. Third Avenue’s version is orange and cardamom with two homemade shortbread biscuits. A delicate crack of caramalised sugar revealed a delicious, not too sweet creamy custard laced with the aforementioned flavours. A final note to thank our waitress Elva, who had great knowledge of the menu and was a delightful host. I will definitely return.