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Avec

View Map615 W. Randolph St., Chicago
Tel: (312) 377-2002
View Website
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Editorial Review of Avec

Another killer dish from Avec.
photo: Misty Tosh
When Avec opened in late 2003 as the sotto voce of Blackbird, the holiest establishment on Randolph Row, Avec was expected to be its downgraded bistro-cum-wine bar. Conceived as a casual, rustic, looser turn for Blackbird's impeccably trained chefs, it turns out that the food at Avec is (arguably) better.

Delectable appetizer-sized portions called "small plates" are all must-trys, like the chorizo-stuffed medjool dates wrapped in bacon in a piquillo pepper-tomato sauce, savory housemade garlic sausage, rabbit rillettes crostini with hazel nuts and gruyere, and smoked quail and lamb brochette. The more substantial "large plates," also meant for sharing, are equally sublime, and include pissaladiere (French onion tart), wood oven roasted pork shoulder, whole roasted fish with dried fruit, and luscious strands of bucatini tossed in eggs, parmesan cheese, black pepper and fatty cubes of housemade guanciale. Tantalizing plates of housemade salami and artisanal European cheeses round out the menu.

A dazzling wine list presents 120 bottles of traditional, often unknown varietals from France, Italy, Spain and Portugal; some 30 selections are ingeniously presented in 250 ml. bottles or carafinas, essentially making them glass-and-a-half or one- third-bottle pours. A clean, modern and organic space of naked cedar slats, hickory floors, blond oak benches and a back display of emerald-green wine bottles, Avec's diners sit at long communal tables or at the stainless steel bar.

Average cost: $10-$20

Centerstage Reviewer: Jean Kwon

User Reviews

Read other people's reviews and post your own opinion about Avec too!

Hours

kitchen: 3:30-10 p.m. Sunday; 3:30 p.m-midnight Monday-Thursday; 3:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday; bar: 3:30 p.m.-midnight Sunday; 3:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Saturday

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