Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday Tasting At Avila

          I recently attended a Tuesday Tasting event for young professionals at Avila with a couple of friends. We had the chance to try several of their appetizers and wines, and chat with some interesting people. The event was $20, which included three drinks, unlimited passed hors d’oeuvres, and a coupon for a free goat cheese croquette appetizer at a future visit.

          There were two wines to choose from, a red and a white. The white was a chardonnay (Franciscan Estate, Napa Valley) and the red a pinot noir (Estancia, Monterey). I tried and enjoyed both, but the pinot noir was my favorite. It was deep red, medium bodied, had flavors of berries and cherries, and a smooth finish. The chardonnay was on the lighter side, did not have a lot of oak, and tasted of citrus and honey.

          I sampled a good portion of the appetizer menu including shrimp spring rolls, steak spring rolls, falafel with beet yogurt sauce, goat cheese croquettes, and Kobe beef meatballs. The goat cheese croquettes were by far the crowd favorite (and mine)! These were delicious and seemed to go the second they came out of the kitchen. I’m excited to go back and use my coupon for a full order.

          The steak and cheese spring rolls were a close second. These tasted like mini steak sandwiches with a crunch, and the house made ketchup was the perfect accompaniment. I preferred the steak to the shrimp spring rolls, and judging by how quickly they disappeared from the trays (and how we joked about stalking the servers to get them) this seemed to be the general consensus!

          The Kobe meatballs were also very good, and although a meatball isn’t particularly healthy, it was a nice to have one option that wasn’t deep fried. The falafel wasn’t bad, but was less memorable and my least favorite of the night.

          This was my first Tuesday Tasting event, and it wasn’t quite what I expected. I thought it would be more about the food, but the focus seemed to be the wine and networking. I wished there was a little bit more food, but at $20 it was a good value and I would do it again (but maybe have a light dinner before or after).

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