Atmosphere and taste are the top priorities at Avila

The shades of yellow in Avila are soothing no matter what time of day you dine there.

Avila’s pretty color palette of mellow yellows gives the restaurant a lemony glisten when it opens for Sunday brunch. At night, the room has a soft amber glow. Sitting discreetly on the corner of Stuart and Charles Street South, though modern and simple in design, Avila has a classic elegance. And that goes for Chef Rodney Murillo’s pan-Mediterranean menu too.

Over Avila’s six-year life, some specialties have stuck around: A luscious Valencian paella stuffed with seafood, chorizo and chicken; haloumi cheese baked with dates and finished with ouzo and roasted cashew nuts; and the welcoming bread and tahini-rich hummus, olives and caponata are unmissable staples.

If there’s one item to not pass by, it’s Avila’s truffled mac and cheese. This dish is too often loud and vulgar; heavy with too much truffle oil and dairy fat. But Murillo’s is dreamy-creamy, poignantly scented with truffle and seasoned rather than overburdened with cheese. It’s hard to find better truffled mac and cheese than this one.

This knowing restraint really shines throughout the menu. It’s not “less is more”; there’s nothing lacking in a white-striped bass sitting on a waxy potato cake, topped with a fecund tomato, black olive, caper and oregano salsa before its placed in a generous pool of tangy beurre blanc. But there’s nothing extraneous either. Balance is no easy feat, but it’s well practiced at Avila.

Taste of the nation

Thursday night, Avila’s Rodney Murillo joins Gordon Hamersley, Jody Adams, and a host of culinary and cocktail glitterati for this year’s Taste of the Nation Boston. The event raises funds for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, which aims to end childhood hunger. (One hundred percent of ticket sales is donated to the cause.)

Taste of the Nation Boston 2012: April 19
Tickets $95, VIP $150
Hynes Convention Center,
900 Boylston St., Boston.
1-877-26TASTE. www.strength.org/boston

If you go

Avila
Entrees: $23-$31
One Charles Street South, Boston
617-267-4810
www.avilarestaurant.com


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox top Yankees, 5-1

John Lackey shines, Pineda ejected in Red Sox win

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston…

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston greedy for more dominance

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."