boti eats | third avenue

The restaurant on the corner of Third Avenue has had many incarnations over the years but its latest, the geographically helpfully named Third Avenue, is by far our favourite. We visited on a rainy Thursday evening and were impressed by the warmth of our greeting – both by floor manager David and by the gorgeous interior and sensually low lighting.

Third Avenue’s Art Deco-inspired decor impressed us from the off. Its well-curated art is gorgeous and intriguing – which is more than can be said for a lot of places – and the booth seating set-up fits perfectly with the 1930s essence of the place. It has an opulent, decadent glamour that many places try in vain to emulate. 

We sat at the bar to enjoy a negroni and a margarita made by the delightful Tom, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. We love a cocktail bar in the centre of the room, and this one reminded us of an old train station – glamorous and lavish (if a bit low down on the bar stool front). We then moved on to a lovely corner table in the main restaurant for our food, overlooked over by a surprisingly tasteful giant Debbie Harry piece of art. 

hummous third avenue hove

We started with mixed olives and homemade flat bread with garlic hummus. The hummus was genuinely some of the best we’ve ever had. Infused with salsa macha, topped with crispy chickpeas and drizzled with delicious olive oil, we were blown away by it. The portion size was certainly generous, too. There’s not much that’s small about these small plates, so make sure you come hungry and beware of over-ordering.

squid third avenue hove

In our own take on the surf and turf, we ordered the crispy fried squid with black garlic aioli and the glazed pork belly skewers with burnt apple puree. Both dishes were flavoured to perfection. The aioli and charred lime paired with the squid was delicious, while the burnt apple puree actually slightly overshadowed the main event. We both agreed that the pork was slightly tough. I think that Bincho Yakitori’s pork belly skewers have set the bar so high that any other pork belly skewers may never compare! 

pork skewers third avenue hove

Moving on to our accompanying dishes, we were big fans of the charred asparagus with mojo rojo, manchego and almonds. The asparagus was perfectly al dente and delicately flavoured. The mojo rojo (red garlic sauce) was the perfect amount of tasty and fiery to really elevate the dish.

charred asparagus third avenue hove

And, as self-confessed mac and cheese connoisseurs, it would have been remiss of us not to order Third Avenue’s manchego and chive mac and cheese. It was the perfect dish for a cold winter’s evening. The sauce was excellent, managing to be light and rich at the same time. How they do that we’ll never know. The bread crumb topping was crispy and delicious and we both agreed it was the ultimate comfort food for this time of year. We’ve yet to eat a bad portion of truffle fries and, happily, tonight was no exception. These were sensationally seasoned and beautifully salty without the truffle being overpowering. 

mac n cheese third avenue hove

To wash down our delicious food, we sampled (two large glasses of) a Greek wine recommended to us by David. After some dodgy Greek wine and some terrible subsequent hangovers, we were skeptical, but the Assyrtiko from Macedonia was crisp and delicious and an especially good pairing for the citrusy asparagus and squid. Our faith in Greek wine has been restored!

Throughout our visit to Third Avenue, we couldn’t stop commenting on how much we loved the music. Amongst others, we heard songs by Relyae, Berus, Maya Delilah, Iyamah, Raquel Rodriquez and Kevin Ross. The playlist perfectly complemented the aesthetic of the restaurant and helped to set the relaxed, loungey atmosphere. It would be even better with a bit more buzz – it was quite quiet on the night we visited.

creme brulee third avenue hove

David took us for a sneak peak of Third Avenue’s partner restaurant – Catch and Grill – which opens in four weeks and offers a more traditional three-course menu while benefiting from Third Avenue’s well-stocked cocktail bar. We also had a look at the private room downstairs which holds seventy-five people. Entirely gold, it oozes exclusive, Soho vibes and is the perfect secret spot for a late-night cocktail. It’s definitely worth visiting if you’re looking to hire a space for a party, and if their music upstairs was anything to go by, the playlist won’t disappoint. 

Overall, we had a lovely evening at Third Avenue and would recommend it if you’re looking for a spot out of the way of the hustle and bustle of Brighton with a bit of glamour and 1930s opulence. We’ll certainly be going back to try the downstairs bar this winter. 

Mondays – Thursdays, 10am – 2pm; Fridays and Saturdays, 10am – 2am
70 – 72 Church Rd, Hove BN3 2FP

By Anna Burtt