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“Uneven, Steven!”
Review of Aventura Ann Arbor

Aventura Ann Arbor
Ranked #11 of 621 Restaurants in Ann Arbor
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $25
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed May 3, 2014

This could be a great restaurant. Right now, it isn't.

The service is half very good, half average, and occasionally poor. The food is usually quite good, but pricey.

Start with the table you get...please. We got one cheek-by-jowl with the kitchen, and were forced to have waitstaff carrying brooms and a dustpan (not kidding) wedge their way among us, while we ate. Not at all what you expect for a $200+ dinner.

At the same time, we had an excellent sommelier. Wine was well recommended, but cost about $20 a bottle too much. Stick with Tempranillo and other Spanish wines and skip the occasional French one, and you will probably do well.

The tapas plates ranged from good to very good. I'd recommend the saffron-infused lobster bisque, which had a wonderful presentation and excellent taste. (Although "infused" might be an exaggeration; perhaps "inspired" or "graced" might be more accurate.)

All in all, my recommendation is to be ready to complain if you end up receiving a McDonald's dinner on a Chez Donald price.

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1  Thank PLAfromMichigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 22, 2014

The small plate menu's are now the rage in Ann Arbor. The place is packed and many of the dishes are great including the pork lamb, borcolli and thers. The sloppiness comes in the preparation and serving of the dishes with cheese, where the attention to detail is lost. The wine is a bit overpriced and their
coffee is mediocre

1  Thank pen1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2014

I agree with the other reviews that it is noisy, but it's fun noisy! Our waitstaff was well-trained and very helpful. There are oodles of good choices on the menu and most everything is meant to be shared. It's such a great way to try interesting new tastes. We had fun as a table of 4, but I would think this a great place for table of 6 or 8.

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Thank ens2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2014

This is the hottest place in A2 to eat right now. It's a large and open space and very successful, all of which adds up to noisy. But you should go. Start at the bar if you need to wait for a table (likely). The drinks are well made and the bar staff are friendly and knowledgeable. And with all the tapas choices, you can even start eating here without ruining dinner or ending up with a cold plate of something you didn't finish before your table was ready. There is white and red sangria at the ready, but I found the mixed cocktails to be better prepared.
Once you hit your table, it will be a chore to hear each other as you decide what to order, how many, if you want to share, etc. So many things are so good, just agree to share whatever comes and roll with it (assuming your dining companions are sensitive to any individual's food issues). If you order only one thing (unlikely), make it the PATATAS BRAVAS. Trust me on this.
If you go for the seafood paella, be warned that the shrimp are prepared whole in this dish.
Some people have complained that the food is not authentic Spanish tapas. An article in the local paper described how the owner went to Spain to research the menu and came to the realization that many authentic dishes would not please the American palate. Think of it as Spanish-inspired and you will not be disappointed.
Ask the wait staff about wine pairings. They will ask you the right questions about what you like, what you will be eating, and what pricepoint you want- and arrive with an excellent choice. My favorite so far was the White Rioja from Vina Gravonia (R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia) 2003.

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Thank A2Steph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2014

Spanish cuisine is my absolute favorite, so I was delighted when, after a long hiatus, Ann Arbor finally got what I expected to be a real tapas restaurant. We have tried the restaurant twice to give it a fair shake and to see if we could find enough items on the menu that we liked to make Aventura one of our go-to restaurants. Sadly, this will not be the case for us. But I'll start with the some pluses: the look of the restaurant with its exposed brick walls is beautiful. The wait staff is friendly, and several of the dishes are quite good. I recommend the gambas al ajillo, the spinach with raisins, the leek salad and the kale/chorizo soup. Now for the problems. Let's start with the food. Many of the salads and vegetable dishes, are swimming in oil -- in fact, when we ordered leek salad again on our second visit, it was so dripping in oil that we sent it back. The poached pear salad -- a great concept -- similarly suffered from a surfeit of oil. The almendras y pina (almonds with caramelized pineapple and goat cheese) was another good concept, poorly executed. You could hardly taste the pineapple. The texture of the lamb meatballs was way too hard. The sangria is too sweet. go for the regular Spanish wines instead. Of the desserts, we have tried only the coffee cake, and found that too dense. In addition to poorly executed food, the service is quite uneven. Our second evening there -- although it was not crowded, it took a long time for the waiter to take our order. Three of the four dishes came out right away. The fourth did not appear. As the waiter was nowhere in sight, I asked the maitre d' to look into it. Eventually the waiter came by and said that the kitchen would have our dish out soon. We waited another 15 minutes. It seemed clear to me that the order had never made it into the kitchen or that the kitchen had lost the order. Rather than admit that there had been a screwup and apologize for it, the waiter chose to pretend, that waiting 35 minutes for the last of 4 dishes on an uncrowded evening was just a normal occurrence. The biggest reason we are unlikely to return though is the acoustics. There joint is ear-splittingly loud, with music cranked up really loud. The music has no association to Spanish culture. I imagine its something from the current scene. When I told the waiter that we found the music problematic, he replied, "I've been hearing that a lot lately, but this is the music that the owner likes." I guess when the owner is twenty-something it's to be expected that the music will be geared to that generation. That leaves a lot of us older folks with nowhere to go. If Aventura doesn't change it's vibe, I will be hoping for another tapas bar to open up with authentic Spanish food and authentic Spanish music .

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Thank Kalindanya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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