For tequila fans interested in tossing back a shot of Jose Cuervo with a lick of salt and a squeeze of lime, there’s always Daytona Beach. For true aficionados of Mexico’s most popular spirit, now there’s Amaranta in Danville’s Rose Garden shopping center.
The Mexican restaurant is a spin-off of the original Amaranta in Southern California and the newest venture from the people behind Colibrí and Zazil in San Francisco. Here, tequila is taken very seriously: Amaranta stocks nearly 400 versions, all made from 100 percent blue agave. “It’s our goal to educate the customer,” says David Mendez, Amaranta’s tequila expert. “Most people think of tequila and are afraid of it because in college they drank the cheapest—and worst.” Here, whether it’s an añejo served in a Riedel tequila flute or a blanco shaken in a margarita, the selection is bound to put your spring break memories to rest—which is probably for the best.
Tequila Partida, Blanco: Soft floral aromas of blue agave are blended with hints of citrus, fresh herbs, and tropical fruit.
Cazadores Reposado: Reposados are a great entry point into the world of sipping tequilas. Pale gold color. Light to medium body with dried citrus flavors and a gentle dose of peppery heat.
Tres Cuatro Cinco Añejo: Yes, it’s $175 a shot. But there are only 1,000 sublime bottles produced each year. Made from a blend of 30 percent three year–, 40 percent four year–, and 30 percent five year–aged tequila, hence the name. Sweet, almost syrupy with notes of spice, earth, smoke, and vanilla.
Amaranta, 710 Camino Ramon, Danville, (925) 406-4032, www.amarantarestaurant.com.