Bet someone $5 that you’ll witness a marriage proposal tonight. Then book a table on the ultra-romantic, candle-lit patio at Avo. Even if you don’t witness The Big Moment, you’re a winner when you dine at this uptown beauty, considering chef-owner Nick Lama’s impressive and indisputable qualifications: deep Sicilian roots; experience in some of the city’s best kitchens; his family’s decades-long immersion in New Orleans’ food scene. When his talents met this tantalizing locale, lightning—and love—struck. We fell for the perfectly charred, tender octopus, and a just al dente pasta with crabmeat, Calabrian chili, and a creamy herb sauce. The delicious meatballs and lasagna don’t stray far from tradition; both are simultaneously hearty and delicate; pistachio-crusted halibut is divine. Everything is seasoned. Just. So. Skip the cocktail standards and go straight to the winning, almost all-Italian wine list. Service is prompt and perfunctory. If only the desserts were must-do’s (you’ll be too full anyway). We're excited to try the just-launched brunch.