AVA (which stands for American Viticultural Area) serves haute-Californian fare, and the restaurant’s philosophy is to work with local small organic farms and wineries to produce perfect food.
MSK has gone six or seven times since the restaurant opened and hasn’t been disappointed by a single menu item. He likes to start with cheese-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon, which have just the right balance of sweet and salty. A salad of crispy duck confit with frisée, kumquat, and smoked almond vinaigrette has that same lovely balance.
Roast beef loin with garlic and parsley béarnaise is just right, says MSK. Braised pork shoulder with cotechino sausage, ceci beans, green olives, and coarse polenta is the perfect hearty stew for cold evenings.
Dessert of ricotta and apple fritters with honey ice cream has that same balance of sweet and salty.
AVA Restaurant [Marin County]
636 San Anselmo Avenue, San Anselmo