Ayza Chocolate & Wine Bar – Downtown
While I try to post every meal I consume, that just isn’t possible. So while I’ve posted about Ayza midtown you may not realize that I’ve been there a good handful of times – with the girls usually – to snack, drink, or both. I’ve enjoyed the atmosphere, the outdoor seating, the snacks and everything, but only posted about it that one time. Well, I was invited to go to the newest Ayza location – downtown – and have a ‘date night’ as it was called.
We were greeted with little cups of spiced wine. I’m abstaining from alcohol currently, but DLS tried it and wound up really liking it – to the point that he tried to tell me I should try it too. I declined.
A cheese platter along with bread was brought out almost immediately. Some of the bread had dried fruit baked into it – I liked those. Our three cheeses – brie, manchego, and the one in the center was super stinky, but I forget the name. Quince paste, capers, and strawberries accompanied – I loved the quince paste smeared on bread with a bit of cheese, so good. DLS has often said he’s not a big cheese eater, but I know he enjoyed the brie a lot.
Fried pita bites with a white chocolate celery root dip. I thought the dip bordered on too sweet for me but the fried pita was genius – crunchy, salty, perfect bites to nibble and swipe through the dip (sparingly for me). Props for a creative use of white chocolate though!
Short ribs braised with chocolate, cauliflower mash on one side and fried mushrooms on the other… everything about this dish sang to me. Well, I liked the short ribs the least – a little too soft for my tastes – but DLS said I was being too picky. I contented myself with the excellent cauliflower mash and crispy mushrooms, totally happy.
I loved the repurposed wine crates as well – cheese board, fondue platter – and the dark chocolate fondue was fun and delicious. I’m not the type for this style of romance (I’m a hopeless romantic, actually) so I didn’t try to feed anyone or think this was sooo romantic, but it sure tasted good. Mmmmmm, my favorites were the pretzel, the marshmallow, ladyfinger and the bananas… though the strawberries were really good too… okay really I just thought the brownie was a little odd – too much chocolate for me – but I’m not a chocolate girl.
Really, I enjoy Ayza for its atmosphere, its fun “theme” nights (couples’ night out, girls’ night out), and the fun snacks you can get while you chill with a glass of wine or three. I think it’s a great place for a date – good to get to know someone while there – or a fun place to go with your girls to gab the night away. Definitely check it out if you can!
Please note that I attended this dinner as a guest of Ayza and its PR team. I was under no obligation to post about this meal and received no monetary compensation to do so.