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Avila, Boston, MA

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | March 14th, 2011 | Chef Interviews
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Restaurant Week Boston is entering its second week, so it seems like the right time to feature another fine dining destination, Avila. This restaurant’s menu features modern Mediterranean cuisine created by Executive Chef, Rodney Murillo.  I was able to speak with Chef Murillo to learn more about Avila.

Chef Murillo has been part of the Avila family since 1992.  He began his career as a dishwasher at Davio’s, a Northern Italian steakhouse that has four locations and is the sister restaurant to Avila.  Chef Murillo received much on the job training and was promoted to sous chef in 1997.  Since that time he has continued to advance through kitchen positions to his current role.  Chef Murrillo has been the Executive Chef at Avila since it opened five years ago.

As Chef Murrillo explained, Avila is somewhere “to experience a lot of flavors.  It gives me a passport to use anything from the Mediterranean: Greek, Spanish, French, Italian and more.”  From Warm Halloumi Cheese with dates, cashews, and ouzo to Paella Valencia with clams, mussels, shrimp, chorizo, calamari, chicken, and saffron rice to Hand Rolled Potato Gnocchi with organic baby mushrooms and truffle oil, it is easy to see the variety of options available.

In addition to providing a menu that takes inspiration from an assortment of countries, it also provides variety through frequent change.  Chef Murrillo estimated that the menu changes every few weeks.  However, due to popular demand, there are also many staples on the menu, such as the aforementioned Halloumi Cheese.  Positive feedback from diners has kept that item and many others as regular items.

For Restaurant Week, Avila has special prix fixes menus for both lunch and dinner.  Lunch is served from 11:30 – 3:00 Monday through Friday, and dinner is available seven days a week from 5:00 – 10:00 Sunday through Tuesday and 5:00 – 11:00 Wednesday through Saturday.  Like all participating restaurants, the three-course lunch is $20.11, and the three-course dinner is $33.11. For both meals, diners have three options for their first course, four options for their entrée, and two options for dessert.  With choices such as Butternut Squash Soup with aged balsamic vinegar, Spagettini with tiny clams, grape tomatoes, lemon, and parsley, and Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta, the menu is irresistible.

Asked about the special Restaurant Week menu, Chef Murrillo stated, “We like to do a sampling of what we do.  We hope that all of our effort displays our best work.”  Hearing the enthusiasm in his voice and his passion for food, it would be hard to think that a diner would receive anything less than the best.

Avila is situated in Park Square, conveniently located near the Theatre District.  Of course, with a menu as fabulous as Avila’s, you may want to skip the theatre and make dinner the star of your evening.

 

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