By ANDY HACHADORIAN
WAYNE – I can honestly say I have done tons of visits to restaurants and bars over the years and each has its own trademark something. Whether it’s a signature drink, dessert or main course, they each try and do something different.
On a recent visit to an eatery in Wayne, though, I discovered a place that does something unique and interesting and it has nothing to do with the food, which by the way, we will talk about here. No worries.
Avero Bar Italiano is located at 821 West Lancaster Avenue in Wayne. It’s visible to anyone driving on Lancaster Avenue.
Here’s something from their website: “The temptations are everywhere — wood-fired pizza topped with locally grown ingredients such as milk-fed veal, Kennett Square mushrooms, Grandma Norma’s meatballs, fra diavlo shrimp, creamy mozzarella and sharp pecorino; old-world entrees such as lamb cassoulet and Duroc pork chop Milanese; hand-crafted pasta filled, topped or tossed with Italian salumi, rich ragus, and cheese and eggs from local farmers… each forkful a judicious blend of rusticity and innovation, and well matched for our delicious selection of affordably priced wines, craft beer and specialty cocktails.”
So with that description, what is it that caught my eye? What is their special something? You would likely be stunned that it’s something this simple: after each course, appetizers, salad, whatever, the staff brings you fresh silverware. That’s it. Basic, simple, attention to a little detail like that.
The Avero food? Also very pleasing. And I had some picky eaters with me the night I paid Avero a visit. Consider that one guest is Italian and had never eaten eggplant or lots of other traditional Italian dishes along with my spouse who only lately has given such things as mussels a whirl.
Owner Scott Morrison was in residence the night I was there. We decided since he had such a wide variety on his menu that he would trot out a number of items to sample in small portions. I loved that idea — especially after meeting chef Chris DeFeo.
We gave a taste to the following: charred Spanish octopus, short rib ravioli, an eggplant finely chopped with ricotta cheese. Our main dishes included chicken saltimbocca, day boat scallops, a strip steak and for my picky eater, linguine and meatballs. The add-ons with the main dishes included mushrooms, fingerling potatoes and wild mushroom pastina. By the way, my picky eater is a baker by trade and raved about the bread which he claims tells patrons a lot about the restaurant.
We also asked some questions of owner Scott Morrison.
Q. Where did the name come from?
A. “A” means “to” and “vero” means “truth” in Italian. So, “to the truth” would be a loose translation — and we put the two words together to create one word: Avero. We wanted the name to represent the quality of ingredients we’re using/farm to table practices/no preservatives/all natural.
Q. Whose idea was it to replace silverware after each “course”?
A. Morrison’s team believe it’s important to apply four-star standard services to ALL restaurants, and therefore Avero servers have been taught the proper procedure to bus after each course and give new cutlery.
Q. What is your past experience?
A. Morrison’s past restaurant experience includes restaurants on the Main Line like Basil, Tango and Nectar. He also has numerous N.Y. city restaurants as well as two Wilmington restaurants: Chelsea Tavern; Ernest & Scott Taproom. Morrison’s partner has no prior restaurant experience.
Q. Why choose the Main Line?
A. Morrison: This is our immediate community. I live two miles away and Vince also lives nearby. Our kids’ schools are here, our friends…we know market well.
Q. What are the owners’ favorite dishes?
A. Wild mushroom & tartufo pizza, pappardelle bolognese (brilliant execution of simple dish)
Q. What do you think you offer that’s different from other places in the area since there are a lot of restaurants?
A. There’s not an abundance of Italian restaurants on the Main Line putting out truly authentic Italian dishes. Chef Chris DeFeo was trained in Italy and has experience at Michelin Star restaurants. Also, our concept is a bit more approachable; we’re doing four-star cuisine in a more casual, unassuming environment.