The sister restaurant to the popular Back Bay Davio’s, Avila warms the soul with its Mediterranean fare, featuring influences from Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, and Greece.
Executive Chef Rodney Murillo has created a fun flavorful menu with small plates designed for sharing as well as some items that can also be found on the Davio’s menu (yes, those amazing spring rolls can be had here as well).
Avila is also a great place to people watch with its floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook Charles Street. The restaurant is a popular go-to spot for pre and post theater-goers and the after-work crowd who flock to the long bar for a big glass of bold cabernet. From the open kitchen, you can see chefs preparing everything from cast iron sizzling shrimp with garlic, parsley and olive oil to braised beef short rib for functions in the four private dining rooms.
Our server greeted us and presented us with a basket of delicious warm bread and selection of flavorful hummus, tomatoes and olives in oil. We started off with a sampling of the enormous Kobe Beef Meatball served in a tomato and basil sauce. If you are undecided for an appetizer, be sure to check out the sampler selection of spring rolls including Philly cheese steak, buffalo chicken, chicken parm and shrimp cotija.
The Philly cheese steak rolls are our favorite served with a spicy ketchup and mayo for dipping (and paired up with Pelton House cabernet). The buffalo chicken was a nice surprise topped with onion rings and accompanied by creamy blue cheese dressing. Other appetizers include roasted beet salad with creamy goat cheese and tuna tartare and warm Halloumi cheese served with dates and cashews.
The pasta selections are all available as appetizers and include everything from lobster corn ravioli with a sherry cream sauce and potato gnocchi to spaghettini with clams and papardelle with braised beef short rib, mushrooms and black truffle jus. The paella Valencia should not be missed; it's an enormous (and we do mean ENORMOUS) piping hot and brilliantly flavored dish of clams, mussels, shrimp, chorizo, calamari, and chicken arrived atop saffron rice. The aged New York sirloin was tender and juicy and could easily compete with the big name steakhouses in quality. Polish off the steak with a side of roasted fingerling potatoes served in a nice hot crock and you will surely leave satisfied.
Pastry Chef Tom Ponticelli has created a nice dessert menu, which features sorbet mousse and cookies. Insider’s Tip: There is a three-course pre-theater menu available and if you are pressed for time, Avila offers the option to return after the show to enjoy dessert. Avila is located at One Charles Street South in Boston. For reservations or more information, call (617) 267-4810 or visit AvilaRestaurant.com.