Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gorging at Avalon

Earlier in the week, a dear friend had slipped me the new menu at Avalon which was set to debut this weekend.

Scanning it, I found loads of small plates full of creative-sounding combinations and extremely reasonable prices.

So when a friend and I made plans to attend Project Resolution tonight, I suggested we start there.

Her response was encouraging; she told me she thought Knox was one of the best chefs in the city, which landed us at Avalon's door at 5:02 (it was locked).

Luckily, the inimitable Jason heard us at the door and we headed in to see how this new menu was going to impress us.

Naturally the first thing Jason told us was not to ask too many questions about the menu because he wasn't familiar with it yet; if you know this popular and longtime Avalon bartender, that comment should not surprise you in the least.

We had a tough time narrowing down our choices because we wanted to taste as much as possible.

After much deliberation, we ordered grilled asparagus with Romesco sauce and Manchego; Fava bean, fingerling potato and leek succotash with white corn butter; Merguez sausage on Granny Smith apples and 6-month Manchego; Tempura-fried Serrano ham- wrapped figs with basil and Hooks 1-year bleu cheese; steamed mussels with crispy fingerling potatoes, cipollini onions and marjoram sherry butter; and escolar wrapped in marinated corn husk with white corn and tequila lime reduction.

Everything was $8 or less except the $10 fish.

There wasn't a disappointment in the bunch and if forced to pick a couple of favorites, I might go for the succotash and the sausage, but I could make a case for each of the other dishes as well.

Next time I will definitely try the wild boar chop.

Six small plates turned out to be way too much food for two mere females (where is Cy when you need him?) but our pleasure in taking in so many tastes overrode any good sense in ordering.

Project Resolution was leaner than usual with only three films shown tonight and two were essentially music videos (one a photo essay set to music) with the most disparate of bands for soundtracks: Muse and Tone Loc.

It's not often that those two show up in the same sentence, much less the same evening.

Because of the brevity of the film screenings, there was more time in between for discussion of each film although I'm not sure how pleasurable that was for the directors involved.

More time to over analyze your films, oh boy!

Since P-Res ended unexpectedly early, we could think of nothing better to do than go to Can-Can for dessert.

Why Can Can, you wonder?

Who else has an entire section of their dessert menu devoted to Chocolate?

No one.

Friend got the chocolate creme brulee with mint chocolate chip ice cream, and chocolate vanilla sauce, a chocolate honeycomb and chocolate brownie round.

I opted for the chocolate ice cream in chocolate cake with chocolate sauce and a chocolate biscotti.

Again, our eyes were bigger than our bellies and we both left chocolate on the plate, a real shame, but unavoidable.

The highlight for sure was the mint chocolate chip ice cream, which could not have tasted any more of fresh mint.

Don't quote me on this because I'll deny it, but I was actually chocolated out by the time I gave up and pushed my plate away.

Tonight's big topic was online dating, a route we're both shunned but which may need to be considered unless one of us is willing to have a sex change operation (neither is).

According to today's Washington Post, more than twice as many couples who married last year met through online dating services than at a bar or social event.

One out of every five new relationships owes its origins to the Internet.

Aww, do we really have to?

Needless to say, neither of us actually committed to giving it a try but we did talk about thinking about considering it maybe down the road.

We figure we'll make a good enough impression on the screen but once they discover how much we can eat, it may be a different story.

Until then we're just a couple of bottomless pits enjoying each other's sparkling companionship.

But if you know any interesting guys, by all means, send them our way.

Don't worry, we have no intention of mentioning that sex change business.

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