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Aug 30, 2006 07:03 AM

Avila, Theatre District, Boston

A nice combination of salty halloumi cheese with sweet dates, bolstered by crunchy, toasty cashews. However, the sauce not balanced -- an excessive alcoholic edge from the ouzo which should have been smoothened over with a bit more cooking to burn away the alcohol but retain and intensify the anise flavour.

Finely diced onions, cilantro and tomato make for a savoury base to carry sauteed chicken livers. The juices left in the little pot is delicious. The chicken livers were on the grainy side, with the exception of a couple of delectably firm and smooth pieces.

Very soft gnocchi, one step above mushy, good texture overall. Very oily sauce when a bit of restraint would have spared the dish from a ponderous fate. The truffle oil is faint, the basil is pleasant. A bit pricey for $22.

A food friendly and very drinkable Albarino by the glass, pricey for what it was, but got along well with the dishes.

Excellent service.

Satisfying overall, with no major complaints, but nothing exceptional.

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  1. Hmm, FWIW, when I've had that halloumi-date dish the sauce was properly done. In fact I think it's the best dish there. I agree--like Davio's, it's definitely good, I go back to both now and then, but in my own time--I'm not running.

    1. I visited Avila and I had the whole crispy fried Chilean bass.
      It was done very well and I enjoyed it too.

      for small plates I had the escargot in tarragon, garlic cream sauce arrived on a sleek compartmented plate, and spheres of fried salted cod served as the centerpiece to a canvas of herbaceous reductions and garlicky mayonnaise.

      It is pricey, but I do enjoy the ambiance.

      1. I ate there a few weeks back and was sadly disappointed. The amuse-bouche tasted like canned spaghetti sauce, and my fish was overcooked. Desert was very packaged, like frozen patiseries. The wine list was great, but very pricey.

        Others enjoyed their meal a lot more than me. Overall the experience was fine, but for the money, it was not worth it in my mind.

        Davios is a mile ahead of Avila. I don't think I will rush back, but will continue to go to Davios.