Avant Wants You to Want It

The Tasting and Tapas Spot Introduces New Chef and Manager

Brooke Stockwell has been a chef to watch for years now, managing to pull off both gluten-free and delicious, for instance, since she worked as a private chef in Montecito and followed that with a too-brief stint running Valley Bistro in Buellton with then-co-chef Brianna Allen. Now she’s turning out tapas for Avant Tapas and Wine 35 Industrial Wy., Buellton, 686-9400,, the seriously, secretly hip (yet accessible) wine bar in an unlikely upstairs location of a dead-end with gorgeous and surprising views of the Santa Ynez River. The fun facility, with its self-serve wine tasting wall, is gearing up for a Grand Re-Launch Party to celebrate Stockwell’s arrival and the hiring of new manager Joe Padilla on Friday, February 18, from 4-10 p.m., with complimentary appetizers for the first hour. The event will also feature Jack Johnson’s buddy Todd Hannigan & The Heavy 29’s performing their contemporary surf music. With 32 wines to taste on the Cruvinet (inert gas replaces the wine, so the bottles stay fresh) at about $1 an ounce, the temptation of wood-fire pizza and more, and good tunes, it’s a great way to launch a weekend.

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