Yes, it was New Year's Eve but our dinner reservation was at 8:00 pm and our party of 9 was a patient group. As indicated in the title, it took us 3 hours to conclude our meal. We all had another stop to make before the strike of Midnight and we were getting concerned we wouldn't make it. The salads were mediocre; the romaine in my Caesar salad was limp. The usually good dinner items were lukewarm when served at 10:15 pm. Our total dinner tab was in the $350 range, plus tip. "So?" you say. "Who hasn't had bad food and service on a holiday?" We know that, but here was the unforgivable transgression of the night: One of our party was celebrating a 64th birthday. The waiter suggested a slice of "Torta di Cioccolata al Caffe" cake (a double chocolate torte with chocolate, caramel and raspberry sauce) for the table to share. It was served with a lighted candle and "Happy Birthday" written in a raspberry sauce swirl on the broad rim of the plate. (See Photo below) When the check came, there was an $8.95 CHARGE for the cake slice. We asked the waiter, Jason, if this was a mistake...usually a birthday guest is treated to a "free" slice of cake to share with the table. Jason assured us that it WAS the MANAGEMENT'S policy to charge for the slice of cake. Wow! Everyone at the table was creeped-out by this brazen admission by the waiter when we gave him the opportunity to correct the tab. It seems like we spent an acceptable amount for dinners and drinks to warrant a "free" piece of birthday cake. If we had known we would be charged for the cake, we would have ordered the Tiramisu or a Cannoli---an item we would have really enjoyed.
So, on future trips to Avalon, we may return for dinner or antipasto...but no large celebration parties again...we all agreed.