One of the better decisions I made in recent memory was to sign up for salsa lessons offered by the Palante Ithaca group. On Wednesday nights, when we have class, Agava holds salsa nights, and members registered for the class get a 10% discount on their meal.
With the group I ate with, I got to show off what I learned in HADM 4300: Introduction to Wines when I selected a bottle of 2012 Yauquen, an Argentinian Malbec. On the nose, it had a very jammy aroma with definite spice tones. However, I didn’t detect as much spice upon tasting, and there was also a surprisingly low influence of alcohol. The wine was very fruity with a healthy dose of tannin, which is how I personally prefer my wines. I personally do tend to prefer red wines as it is. Moreover, the Malbec went very nicely with the quesadilla I had for dinner.
The quesadilla, an ostensibly Mexican thing to eat, had a very Italian twist to it. It was topped with arugula, beets, and white truffle oil. Inside the tortilla, there were fontina cheese and mushrooms. The cheese was very potent and complemented the mushrooms terrifically, and the cheese itself was complemented perfectly by the Malbec.
If Agava wasn’t situated on East Hill, it probably would be my new favorite restaurant in Ithaca. Like the Bandwagon Brewpub, Agava prides itself on its exclusive use of local ingredients. It does lead to more expensive tabs, but it also results in food that is better and better for you. I am sure the cheese I had was made from local dairy. Also, my meal was one of the less expensive dishes on the menu. That and the wine, excluding tax, tip, and the class discount, ran me $18. It’s slightly steep, but I don’t feel bad since I have a job and it’s payday tomorrow.
I have already heard good things about Agava, and I was also excited to try it myself having tried a wing from there in the Ithaca wing festival. I guess it’s good for me that Agava is so far out of the way and thus lets itself be a once-in-a-while treat for me.
The verdict: The best-est best place I have eaten in Ithaca so far