Azie on Main, Villanova

789 E. Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085

Preview: On July 15th, we attended the “friends & family” opening night of Azie on Main, the newest member of the Win Signature Restaurants group (others include Teikoku, Azie in Media and Mikado ThaiPepper). Located on the old Maia 2nd floor, Azie is truly beautiful: warm earth tones, fresh flowers and wood accents make the space both spacious and inviting. The décor is more subtle than places like Nectar or Blush, but is no less suited to a romantic evening or need-to-impress business lunch. Especially lovely is the long table located in front of the sushi bar – a shining wooden table that, when we were there, was simply set and had a long row of potted grass running down the middle.

Since it was a soft opening, we were given limited (though still rather ambitious) drink and food menus. For cocktails, I was torn between the Green Street which consisted of green tea infused gin, lime juice, Midori, and muddled cucumbers, and the Mojito Lichito, a mojito with lychee puree, mint leaves, lime, brown sugar, sake and rum. After highly recommending the mojito, our sever explained that the cocktails were created by a mixologist specially brought in by the restaurant to make drinks that would be delicious, complementary to the food and truly memorable. The mojito did not disappoint – I wouldn’t be surprised if it became one of their signature drinks.

The food offerings were just as creative as their cocktails. Fish clearly dominated the menu, both as sushi and as cooked entrées. Familiar dishes like oysters, shrimp tempura and pan roasted sea bass were placed alongside more innovative fare such as pan roasted halibut with lobster & cheese risotto and miso beurre blanc and a “New Philly roll” (shrimp, kobe beef, gruyere cheese and eel sauce). Don’t eat fish? There is still plenty to choose from, including lo mein with chicken, vegetables and tofu, chicken teriyaki and a truly delicious foie gras with fuji apple confit and honey balsamic sauce. (One word of advice for people who want to try the foie gras: ask for a fork! It’s almost impossible to eat with chopsticks.) All told, the Azie on Main menu is so diverse that everyone should be able to find something appealing.

The evening was run very much like a dress rehearsal in a play: it was meant to prepare the kitchens, waiters/waitresses, other restaurant staff and diners for a real dinner service. Our server, though clearly nervous, was excellent. He was attentive, able to answer any questions we had about the food or drinks and was able to make quick and tasty recommendations. For example, they didn’t have a type of wine that my dining partner usually drinks, but he was able to recommend one that was very similar and just as enjoyable.

Overall, the night went very well: the food was beautifully presented and tasty, everyone was attentive and helpful and the atmosphere was lovely and comfortable. As can be expected on an opening night, there were a few small hiccups related to food execution and service — but these were minor issues that should be ironed out with time. Personally, I can’t wait to go back soon to see the “real thing”!

Meals served: Lunch (Monday – Friday), Dinner (Monday – Sunday), Brunch (Sunday)
Cards: Yes
Reservations: Yes via phone or on OpenTable

8 thoughts on “Azie on Main, Villanova”

  1. It seems that Azie is a lovely restaurant with a less than apt staff. For the money they charge for food and liquor, I feel that staff attentiveness and personal hygiene needs some approving. I agree with the sentiment written by “Chris”, above my post, in that there was a seemingly unprepared staff. The tall skinny Asian waiter, spoke so fast, we had no clue what he was saying. Another had long, sort of greasy hair, which doesn’t seem to go to with upscale dining, Courses did not come out as expected but the sushi chef’s do deserve high praise for presentation and taste. Overall, I was not that impressed. It seems that they try too hard to be a 4 star restaurant when they are obvious a 3 star establishment. And the noise coming in from downstairs was annoying and distracting. Is the place for fine dining or college kid clubbing? I do not get the sense that it is either—maybe an identity crisis!

  2. Several weeks ago my husband and I dined at Azie with a friend. It was the first visit for all of us. To make a long story short, what started out as a pleasant evening ended rather unpleasantly for us, and we left with a very negative impression of the restaurant.My first inclination was to share our experience on local review sites such as this, but thought it would be only fair to address my concerns to the Azie management first, to give them the opportunity to make amends. I took the time to write a detailed, constructively critical letter, and to date, I have not even received any acknowledgment from Azie whatsoever. Obviously they do not care about their customers – I believe anyone that takes the time to write about their experience deserves a response. Knowing that our business is not appreciated at Azie, we will remain customers of Nectar.

  3. just had a ladies lunch at Azie and while the food was tasty –the service was amateurish and VEEERRRY slow. It took 40 minutes to get our salads and miso soup. Coffee was served from a thermal carafe and the first cup was lukewarm. When the second cup, 20 minutes later was offered from the same carafe –of now cold coffee — we requested that they might think about replenishing the carafe with hot brew. I don’t eat sushi but had the honey chicken –standard chinese-food like fare. Those that ate the sushi liked it well enough. Friend had teriyaki salmon and said it was delish — but after trekking around to Azie’s hidden entrance at the back (with parking all reserved for Staples and the law firm in the building, not the restaurant) and spending close to 2 hours on a very modest lunch…. meh!

  4. Was highly recommended to Azie on Main Villanova and was very disappointed with the food. I
    ordered Sushi/Sashimi Sampler, the eel was gamey, the toro was chewy,and the yellow tail mushy.
    I also ordered an eel and avocado roll which also was gamey tasting. I am a fan of sushi and sashimi but I would never again eat at this restaurant. The waiter Brian was not very helpful, all
    he said was “We never had complaints before”. I was not offered a replacement or a response from
    the chef. I was impressed with the decor but you cannot eat the decor. Better make sure your food is fresh and your sushi chefs know what they are doing considering it is raw fish.

  5. Went to Azie last night on a whim, with no reservations, sat in the lounge, enjoyed the Salmon TatTar and the sashimi sampler with my dining partner. Both were superb paired with a glass of the house pinot. Service was respectable, though a tad slow with a full house. Atmosphere was good, though the big screen in the lounge was distracting, We’ll be going back.

  6. If you consider Azie on Main and Nectar to be equitable, as my unrefined palette does, then definitely choose Nectar. Nectar has a more appealing overall atmosphere, better entrée and sushi selections, and significantly refined cocktail and dessert options.

  7. Tried Azie on Main for the first time last night (Saturday). I was very impressed by both the decor and the food. The pan roasted halibut was very well prepared, as was the sushi. My only complaint (and that of everyone sitting around us) was that the staff was either entirely unprepared or else just flat-out understaffed. It seemed like every table around us complained about the service which was slow but friendly and seemingly knowledgeable. I will definitely return.

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