News Blog for Seattle's Wallingford Neighborhood

 

Avila shuts down

July 28th, 2010 by master

Update: Nancy Leson at our news partner the Seattle Times has details from Avila co-owner Bronwen Carpenter on the closure plus reactions in a story posted today:

“It was an agonizing decision to close,” said co-owner Bronwen Carpenter in an e-mail, “but after weighing several factors we decided it was for the best.” Despite the positive response to Avila, “the day-to-day business just wasn’t there.” With her husband, Jared, and his co-chef Alex Pitts, “we started with big dreams and and a shoestring budget,” she explained. But after a couple of slow months, increasingly long work days and a growing financial burden, the trio decided the closure was their best alternative.

Wallingford has lost one of its most acclaimed, innovative restaurants. Avila, which Jared and Bronwen Carpenter opened just last November with Chef Alex Pitts, was closed as of yesterday morning, according to a post on its Facebook page:

Thanks so much to all our patrons, staff, and purveyors over the last year. Avila’s doors are closed, but we created a lot of great times and great food, and had fun doing it!

Reviewers agreed that Pitts was pushing the culinary envelope at Avila, not always to diners’ delight.
The Seattle Times said:

Their cerebral style of cooking is freewheeling yet grounded in solid technique. A read-through of the menu tantalizes; sampling it is never dull but sometimes begged the question: Is this culinary exuberance or creativity run amok?

The Seattle Weekly’s Surly Gourmand said:

Someone needs to give these motherfuckers the stern talking to they obviously never got in kindergarten: you can’t mix the Play-Doh colors together, and you can’t pair sunchoke flan with angel food cake. You just can’t. You might try, but you can’t.

When it named Avila the city’s “Boldest Newcomer,” Seattle Magazine said:

The seasonal/ local/sustainable cooking is gloriously bold if, at times, overly enthusiastic (many dishes would benefit from Coco Chanel’s “take one thing off before you leave the house” mantra). But to taste cooking this ambitious, with such vision, without hopping a plane to NYC or LA? We’ll take that deal.

Seattle Met summed up its critique with insights into Wallingford’s restaurant scene:

On that piece of 45th, you’re sitting smack in the middle of a string of other one-word restaurants—Joule, Sutra, Tilth—which pretty much corner the market on food that’s originally conceived, impeccably sourced, and priced accordingly. No sense taking them on when you could apply your considerable wit and verve to something a little more suited to weeknight casual than weekend destination.

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