Avanti - I think my in-laws have determined that this is "their place". At the moment, anyhow. This small Italian eatery has amazingly friendly and personal service, as well as a great menu. Windsor Eats has written an article about the restaurant and their new menu.
Smoke and Spice - This is the new venture of Ryan Odette, formerly of Mamo (one of my favourite places in Windsor). Hubby and I went in on a Saturday about 10 days after opening and were happy to see that the place was hopping. We wondered how the menu would be since it was in such contrast to the former bistro dishes at Mamo. We were mildy disappointed. Funnily enough, about 6 of our friends had been there that same week and felt the same way. We did compare them to Slows in Detroit and Dinosaur BBQ in New York, lofty goals but that was where our experiences laid. Here's how we felt things played out.
Things that were good: the barbeque sauces, the baby back ribs, the onion rings, the atmosphere, the pecan pie, the service, the chili, waffle fries.
Things that were great: the bbq beans
Things that could be worked on: the pulled pork (very dry!), pork spareribs (super salty), lack of Steamwhistle (keg was empty by 7 pm on Saturday?), the mac and cheese (too watery)
This does not mean that we won't be back. I am willing to give this place quite a few more chances because I believe in Ryan Odette and his team and know that they have the skill to improve.