This past weekend, as many of you already know, we celebrated our Three year anniversary at Avenue Eat & Drink. We were thrilled to be able to hold a six course Prix Fixe menu all weekend, as well as a special invite only cocktail party on Wednesday night. We were reminded during these events of the great support we have in the local community, however we were very glad to host a slew of first time guests.
Moving into the Fall we are excited for new things happening at the restaurant, including new dinner, lunch, brunch, and wine menus that just began in the past weeks. I will once again remind you of our new wine flight program, where you can choose one category or varietal of wine on our by-the-glass list (now offering 30 different wines) and get a taste of three of them. This is a great way for myself as a Sommelier to educate people on wine, while they get to educate themselves with their own palate. Come try a wine flight and discover a new wine, or reconnect with an old favorite. Tasting wines side by side allows you to drop any pre-conceived notions about which you will like, and let your own tastes make the decision for you.
I have included a picture of owner Chris Clark, mixologist Carlos Veigas, one of our head bartenders Stephen Dennis, and Wine Director/Sommelier Jeremy Fowler (taken the night of our special cocktail party). The four of us make up a vast system of knowledge, skills and creativity that bring wine, beer, and cocktails to our menus. Together we are always searching for that next fresh idea, ingredient or spirit selection that will keep our drink offerings at the forefront of Tallahassee’s hand-crafted cocktails. While our motto has always been, “It’s all about the food”, many of us enjoy a good drink next to our plates at dinner time.
Come into Avenue and see what exciting things we have in store for you. Chef Greg Brown continues to find new and interesting local, organic components to incorporate on the menu. Let us introduce you to the Avenue WOW factor, as you sample dishes and drinks with the best ingredients, inspired by Southern Cuisine. This is the new south, this is the new Tallahassee.
I would like to talk about the story of one of my favorite grapes, Carménère. Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Verdot; Carménère was one of the original Bordeaux varietals. However in the late 19th century, the phylloxera virus wiped it out of France and the grape was thought to be lost forever. Meanwhile, down in Chile, the dry growing season and natural dessert, ocean and mountain border protection kept the virus out of the country altogether. During the 19th century cuttings from Bordeaux (which often included Carménère) were frequently brought to Chile and confused with Merlot, due to a very similar look and somewhat similar taste. For nearly 150 years the Chileans were growing what they thought was Merlot, but they were wrong.The Chileans assumed they had simply created a Merlot wine that tasted unique to their terroir. In 1994 Professor Jean-Michel Boursiquot from Montepellier’s school of Oenology confirmed with DNA testing that they were in fact growing Carménère, not Merlot.
Carménère has grown in popularity in the last two decades and has become one of my favorite grapes. A slightly spicy nose, rich structure, dried fruits and soft but complete tannins highlight this wine. It pairs well with a variety of dishes, far more than its friend Merlot. I love this wine with bbq meats, rich pork preparations, spicy dry rubbed steaks and even certain fish in red sauces. At Avenue Eat & Drink we have recently acquired the 2010 Carmen Gran Reserva Carménère - Apalta Vineyard, one of my favorite of the varietal. Carmen is one of the oldest still producing wineries in Chile and was the winery where Professor Boursiquot made his discovery.
Earlier this year I had the opportunity of visiting some friends at a beach house on St. George Island. When I arrived in the early evening they had just caught a beautiful spotted sea trout, which I had the pleasure of pan-frying for dinner. I made a quick red wine, tomato, shallot sauce and dinner was served. We drank the 2010 Carmen Carménère - Apalta Vineyard and the pairing was phenomenal. Come try a glass at Avenue Eat & Drink and see what wonderful pairings Chef Greg Brown and I can create for you.
Our Pan Seared Sea Scallops appetizer: Large wild caught cold water deep diver scallops seared and served over sautéed organic spinach, draped in bacon cream sauce and drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Simply heaven! Come get yours this weekend as we celebrate with all the graduates in Tallahassee!
Avenue Eat and Drink is thrilled to announce the latest edition to our Bloody Mary menu: the Big Louie. Big Louie’s Bloody Mary boasts our classic, homemade Bloody Mary mix plus a smoked pork rib — all served up abundantly in a 32 ounce mason jar. Brunch is served from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Come in tomorrow and try a Big Louie. Only for brunch and only at Avenue.
When the Burleson Family won the charity bid for a wine and food pairing at Avenue Eat & Drink recently, Chris and Chef Greg set out to impress them and their esteemed guests. This task quickly became one of the most amazing wine dinners we’ve held since we opened the restaurant.
Not just because the food was different but because Chef chose the best ingredients and executed his abilities with a deftness that only an experienced Chef can.
Not just because the wine was good but because the wines served were some of the best in the modern world.
We’re happy to continue to push the envelope for culinary experiences and wine appreciation in Tallahassee.
Thanks to the Burleson Family for allowing us the pleasure of taking care of you and your guests!
Focus Local: Organic Purple and Green Kale from Quincy, FL.