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“Great chips”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of AGAVA Restaurant

AGAVA Restaurant
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Ranked #14 of 261 Restaurants in Ithaca
Price range: $5 - $25
Cuisines: American, Southwestern, Bar, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Special occasions, Large groups, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Kids
Dining options: Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: The AGAVA restaurant concept is rooted in local, farm-to-table cuisine, seasonal menu and a Southwest-Inspired palette. One of the central design and functional elements is a wood-fired oven with eating bar in the main dining space, serving up flatbreads and a range of other fire-roasted cuisine. Our bar is destination of its own; from the unique spirits & cocktails, to an environment and space you have to see for yourself. We feature one of the most unique interior spaces in the central NY region, drawing from both southwestern design elements like “latillas’ as well as local historical features like reclaimed barn wood. We’re based in the old East Ithaca Train Station, commissioned in 1876 by Ezra Cornell.
Upstate NY
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great chips”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 4, 2013 via mobile

We ate at Agave last night and were pleasantly surprised with the food. The restaurant was busy and we were obliged to sit at one of the high four tops, and would have preferred a regular booth or table. But the food helped overcome this disadvantage. The chips and salsa were great, and quite mild (thanks as I have a sensitive cheek problem). We had two flat breads, the winter salmon (very lightly blackened by request), the cauliflower, a hanger steak and the tacos with steak and onions. All were excellent, but this left no room for dessert. The margaritas were very good, as well. So all in all, a great meal. By the time we left the bar became quite crowded so eating early (5:30) was a good choice.

Thank wineconnoisseur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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346 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
46 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“No cookie cutter restaurant”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2013 via mobile

Went sat night, no reservation. Because of that we sat right in front if the wood oven and watched the chef/owner?? at work. Still don't know how the dough turns into a balloon but it was different and we all enjoyed it. I had Devils horse, again different and fresh, great app. Then the winter salmon. Well seasoned fresh seafood, great service, ambiance, had a great time. At first I thought the seats at the stove would suck, but I really didn't mind. I was getting tired just looking at how hard the kitchen worked . Like a well oiled machine they pushed some food out of there. My wife had the Agava burger. I usually get half the burger but this time I got nothing, as she ate it all. First time I saw her eat a while burger. She loved it! I tried my daughters chicken dish and it was great, very moist and with some reduction sauce that was tasty. Next time I don't have to drive three hours after dinner I'm going to come and pair some wine with great food. Can't wait!!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank travelCity60763
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
77 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Wish we could have gone for dinner”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2013

We wanted to do dinner here... but we ended up with lunch. I felt like there was soooooooo much more Agava could have done with their lunch. Being VEGAN, I had the salad. The salad was very good, delicious really. The combination of vegetables was noteworthy. My boyfriend had the ranchero breakfast taco and said it was alright. BUT, breads. I wanted to eat the black bean burger but when I asked for the bread options, there were none. Only white bread around those parts. This makes no sense to me. For such a fast track kind of place with live music and unique dishes, serving white bread has no place. The service was shaky, but it was completely packed. Aside from this review, I would try it again.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
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    • Food
Thank rollic88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ithaca, New York
Level Contributor
48 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Very noisy, crowded, poor service & ordinary food”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 12, 2013

I tried to go here 3 times before I finally succeeded in having dinner here with some friends. The first 3 times, I went in with a friend it was very crowded, and we couldn't get ANYONE on the staff to even speak to us during the 10 minutes that we tried to get their attention. It was like a zoo, with frustrated looking wait staff running all around, and a bar tender who would not even look up from what he was doing when we said excuse me a few times. I knew this was a bad sign. The night I had dinner here, it was the same crazy, mismanaged scene, and unbelievably loud. Haven't the owners ever heard of a manager on duty?? I could barely hear the person that was sitting right next to me because it was so loud.. We were at a regular table in the bar area, and it was so crowded that the person sitting behind me, kept pushing his chair into mine when he backed up. The bar area was packed with people, so some of them were standing up right against our backs and kept elbowing us by accident.Did I mention the heat. It must have been 85 in there. The service was REALLY slow. after we ordered, it took 45 minutes to get our dinners. There was nothing interesting or remarkable about the food at all. Very basic and disappointing. We couldn't wait to get out of there and will never go back. I don't understand the good reviews this place is getting. It's not worth your time or $.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Thank bluetrail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ithaca, New York
Level Contributor
42 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Hit or miss”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013

We've been going here since they opened in the first week of May 2012. Our very first experience was wonderful, which has kept us going back all this time. Every other time has been incredibly varied. The service tends towards inattentive. It's not that the waitstaff is rude, but they just haven't done a very good job. We have on separate occasions been served dishes or drinks that have come out to the table different than described on the menu and our waitresses have simply shrugged and said, "we ran out of this or that, so this is what you get instead." Only if we complain do they do anything about it. But we aren't the type who like to complain, so that always makes us feel weird. They also have forgotten about us for upwards of an hour or more. But it is a large place, and I'm sure they are very busy.
Also, portion sizes seem to change with incredible frequency.
BUT, we still go back every so often. And it's because they do have some very good food that is different than any other place in town. Their flatbreads are always delicious and fairly priced in our experience. My personal favorite thing on the menu is the Torta #1, which is a chicken mole sandwich with guacamole. It's filling, yummy, and at $9 it's a heck of a deal.
The atmosphere is also great for larger parties. It's a fun place to go with a group.
Overall, there are some really great dishes, different than anything else in town, and the group atmosphere is nice, but don't expect an attentive wait staff. Maybe don't have any expectations at all. And you may have to call them out on something...

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
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    • Food
3 Thank SingingOwl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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