Photo: Kevin Hunter Marple

Neighborhood Find: Avanti Euro Bistro

Grab a seat by the window at this cozy bistro in Addison Circle, and let the show begin. For where cattle once grazed this open prairie, you can now watch busy urban people doing busy urban things. Sip a soft Pinot Noir, dip some pita in heavenly hummus, and check out the dude jogging with the white Lab. Beemers and Volvos spin around the circle, and young mothers push baby strollers through yuppies balancing a pizza box in one hand and dry cleaning in the other. This planned community—restaurants, shops, offices, and apartments all jumbled together, surrounding a pretty little park—has grown into a thriving scene with a definite pulse. At the heart of this city within a city sits Avanti Euro Bistro, a pretty sophisticated bar and restaurant that, seven nights a week, morphs into a happening late-night spot featuring live music. Owner Jack Ekhtiar knows from experience—he’s been in the Dallas restaurant business for 30 years—what it takes to make his customers happy. We were, after a meze platter of hummus, tabbouleh, rotisserie chicken salad, and dolmas titillated our tongues with all of the pertinent tastes of the Mediterranean. Crab cakes and lump crab cocktail were less entertaining. The quarter-size cakes were gooey, and the huge mound of stringy crab was tasteless. Then the guitarist and the entrées appeared, and our mood soared. Black Angus filet mignon kebabs skewered with mushrooms and green peppers ordered medium-rare arrived medium-well, but the meat was still tender enough to cut with a fork. The chocolate mousse finale was as smooth as the jazz band that serenaded us deep into the night. 5001 Addison Circle Dr., Addison. 972-386-7800. $$-$$$. —Nancy Nichols

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