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It is always such a treat to visit a restaurant of this calibre. I can highly recommend the Fillet Marsala, they kick some serious butt in the preparation of this dish of tender beef fillet, wild mushrooms and potato dauphinoise. The waiters are professional and give such good advice with their suggestions. The wine list is great, and very well priced. Décor is tasteful and intimate, with a beautiful mosaic art piece.
Always remember to book in advance, as this restaurant is popular for all the right reasons!
The old Avanti was at the Waterfront. It was not bad for Bloemfontein - decent if not authentic Italian-style food and good service. The new Avanti is in an old house in Westdene. The service is non-existent and the food quality has gone right down. Food was slow to come, and when it did it was poor. I ordered a saltimbocca which in their incarnation has cheese (what did I say about authenticity), it certainly isn't veal, and my steak was chewy, leathery, sinewy and completely overcooked.
The waiter brought the bill without being asked for it - and we still wanted to order coffees. At one point the Italianate Mama owner came out to the front desk and proceeded to have multiple loud phone conversations. Awesome for the atmosphere.
In a nutshell, don't bother with Avanti. There's nowhere decent to eat out in Bloem - rather cook at home.