AVANT Restaurant


AVANT adjective \ˈä-ˌvän(t), ˈa-, -ˌvȯn(t), -ˌvōⁿ

Culturally or stylistically advanced

I am pretty positive that Executive Chef, Nicholas Bour and Chef de Cuisine, James Kozak, of the newly opened AVANT restaurant, had absolutely no idea they were about to serve the toughest critic of their careers last weekend. No, it was not a well known international food critic, or Padma Lakshmi host of Top Chef, or a feisty foodie blogger, it was 6 year old, JetSet Tot during our Kids Rule, Parents Drool weekend at Rancho Bernardo Inn.


Upon reviewing AVANT’s menu there was so much we wanted to order. From the Right Coast Cheeses vs. Left Coast Cheeses and Red Quinoa & Avocado Salad, to the Frenchie Flat Bread with duck confit, grilled pear, Shaft 3 year bleu, mache salad and a mustard vinaigrette, there was so much we were afraid to miss out on, but then I heard:

“Mom, I was BORN to eat oysters!”

OK, so maybe my child is not the norm, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t proud that I have a little one who will try everything once, but see, she eats with her eyes first. If something looks fun or appetizing, she’s all over it. That’s how she was introduced to oysters this summer, she loved the shells and asked me if we could order some. Same thing happened a few years back. Her favorite color was pink and now she loves tuna sushi. Not spicy tuna rolls, only bright Toro nigiri.

Then oysters it is! A half dozen assortment of Beausoleil, Malpeque, and Kushi oysters with champagne sauce and their house made Atomic Horseradish coming right up! JetSet Tot ate four without missing a beat and JetSet Dad spooned up the horseradish as if it was ice cream.

The JetSet Family Loves AVANT

As a parent, I was extremely impressed by the special menu for children. It was such a nice surprise to see a fine dining establishment creating fun and unique dishes for kid.  AVANT’s Kids Menu has a great selection for children to learn and experience how to appreciate flavors and foods. Instead of your typical macaroni and cheese, or chicken fingers and fries. AVANT’s Kids Menu boasts: Three Cheese Flatbread Pizza with San Marzano Tomatoes, Handmade Spaghetti, Angus Cheddar Burger with French Fries and Housemade Fish and Chips.

JetSet Tot ordered Mary’s Free Range Chicken with Potato Puree, and Seasonal Vegetables. It was fantastic! So juicy, so tender, and kiddo ate every last bite of lima beans, turnips, parsnips, baby carrots…everything! The only vegetable she was not a fan of were two tiny pearl onions, so JetSet Dad snatched those up.


:: Seared Ahi ::

Olive Tortellini, Shaved Artichokes, Preserved Lemon Puree

:: Sauteed Diver Scallops ::

Summer Bean Succotash, Eight Hour Tomato, Temecula Olive Oil  Company OO

:: Mary’s Free Range Chicken ::

Potato Puree and Seasonal Vegetables

:: Chocolate Fondue ::

Pink Peppercorn Marshmallows, Candied Bacon, Cinnamon Cayenne Pretzels, Strawberries and Almond Cake.


:: Classic Cocktails ::

Dutch Mule, Nolet’s Silver Gin, Ginger Beer, Grapefruit

Ward 8, Barrel Aged Hudson Bourbon, Fresh Squeezed Lemon & Orange, Pomegranate Juice

Watermelon Sparkle Martini with Agave Nectar

Shirley Temple (non-alcoholic)

If we lived closer, AVANT would be our weekly Saturday night ritual. The Seared Ahi was outstanding, but the Sauteed Diver Scallops were mind-blowingly delicious. And chocolate covered candied bacon? Well let’s just say it was the first time food made me cry happy tears. The JetSet Family actually played rock, paper, scissors to see who would get the last piece of bacon and Pink Peppercorn Marshmallow.

I went to AVANT restaurant in San Diego. I had bread, with a Shirley Temple and oysters. Then I had chicken with vegetables and for my dessert I had a fondue. It had chocolate covered marshmallows and bacon. Our waiter Robert was cool, but the fondue was the coolest food I have had in my whole life! – JetSet Tot

While the food was out of this world, the atmosphere was perfect, and, Robert, our server was the best we’ve ever had. In fact, JetSet Tot even mentioned him again the other night, “Mom, let’s go back and see Robert. He was really nice.” This made me smile, not only because she remembered his kindness, but it is rare that children are shown as much respect as their parents are given. And for this our evening was even more special.

Thank you, AVANT! We can’t wait to visit again.

AVANT Restaurant | 17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive, San Diego, CA 92128 | (858) 675 8400

Hugs & passports,

– Nicole

Photo credits: Nicole Standley


Promotional consideration has been furnished by AVANT at Rancho Bernardo Inn. On occasion, contributors of The JetSet Family receive products, compensation and/or services gratis or at discounted rates for review. This practice does not hinder the influencer’s point of view. All descriptions are factual and accurately reflect the overall experience.

Review overview
  • Motherhood on the Rocks July 17, 2013

    Wow! That food looks amazing!

  • Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) July 17, 2013

    What a beautiful meal! And a cute little critic! 🙂

  • Brynn @ MommyDigger.com July 17, 2013

    Oh my goodness does that food look good! I’m craving some seafood now 🙂

  • Sharon Garofalow July 18, 2013

    This place sounds sensational!!! Maybe we’ll have to have a Kids Rule Parents Drool weekend there!!!

  • Rachel hirst July 18, 2013

    Oh wow, the food looks so glorious a million miles away from what restaurants we have in the United kingdom. Rachel x

  • Mary Corbett July 18, 2013

    sounds absolutely fabulous and I wish I could visit but its a little difficult for a regular sat nigh tfrom Ireland. still i love to hear that the children are treated as the customers for the future that they are. and I love to see them exploring and trying new foods .

  • Alana (@RamblinGarden) July 18, 2013

    Refreshing to see a child brought up in the tradition of “trying everything once” and being introduced to fine dining at a young age. It’s good training for adulthood. Kudos, too, for a restaurant that encourages the child to experiment with new flavors yet manages to keep the children’s menu child-friendly..

  • Lianda July 18, 2013

    WOW! I was so excited to see your wonderful review of this restaurant practically in my backyard! And my Birthday is coming up! Sounds like a plan!

  • Jessica August 2, 2013

    Two of my three tots would love to try some of the foods featured here! Good for her on those oysters. I didn’t have my first try until I was well into my 20s.


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