LTH Home

Avec: A Photo Essay

Avec: A Photo Essay
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
    Page 6 of 8
  • Post #151 - November 24th, 2009, 9:28 am
    Post #151 - November 24th, 2009, 9:28 am Post #151 - November 24th, 2009, 9:28 am
    While we're on the subject of kvetching about Avec, may I just take this opportunity to complain about the ever-growing size of the chorizo stuffed dates? They used to be petite, bacon-wrapped nuggets, now they're bloated with chorizo, requiring the use of a knife and fork. Not an improvement.
  • Post #152 - November 24th, 2009, 11:21 am
    Post #152 - November 24th, 2009, 11:21 am Post #152 - November 24th, 2009, 11:21 am
    My wife and I go to Avec about once a month and were there last Thursday, and nothing that we have had in the past several visits has been off in any way. That said, I would not doubt that there could be some quality issues as the staff turns over. In addition to Justin going to Big Star, I know at least one of the other cooks who worked there is now at The Publican; I believe the general philosophy of that ownership group is to promote/move chefs to the new restaurants from within, so of course they then need to hire to fill the vacated positions at the prior restaurant and then you have the potential for quality issues like Kennyz experienced.
  • Post #153 - November 25th, 2009, 7:57 am
    Post #153 - November 25th, 2009, 7:57 am Post #153 - November 25th, 2009, 7:57 am
    aschie30 wrote:While we're on the subject of kvetching about Avec, may I just take this opportunity to complain about the ever-growing size of the chorizo stuffed dates? They used to be petite, bacon-wrapped nuggets, now they're bloated with chorizo, requiring the use of a knife and fork. Not an improvement.


    The dates, for some time, have been one of my girlfriend's favorite dishes in all of Chicago. As usual, last night's visit included said infamous dates. I'm sorry to say that our sentiments echo yours not because of the size, but because the excess of chorizo overpowered the smoky elements of the bacon and sweet accents of the date. It was more like a chorizo meat ball instead of the sweet, spicy, smoky wunderbite it embodied in the previous iteration.

    When asked why the Chernobyl-stuffed dates were as swollen as they were, our server shot us a tongue-and-cheek response about their prep guy's, George, eye sight getting worse as he got older... whatever that means.

    That said, the other dishes we tried were on point: an earthy veal liver with mustardy rapini; and a salmon fillet with crispy skin, salmon roe, smoked salmon, and cauliflower.
  • Post #154 - November 25th, 2009, 12:50 pm
    Post #154 - November 25th, 2009, 12:50 pm Post #154 - November 25th, 2009, 12:50 pm
    Yeah, I have to echo the comments on the dates. We ate there last weekend and everything was delicious, but I too found the chorizo very overpowering. I could only finish one, which is usually never a problem for me, especially when bacon is involved. However, he brandade remains a favorite and the foccacia was sublime.
  • Post #155 - January 30th, 2010, 12:55 pm
    Post #155 - January 30th, 2010, 12:55 pm Post #155 - January 30th, 2010, 12:55 pm
    Memo to Mike G: Consider re-thinking your Super Bowl Sunday plans.

    I've long been an Avec-booster, but my past two visits have turned me in the opposite direction. I'll now go so far as to say that I think they're phoning it in.

    I've been twice in the past year (the most recent being last night) and both times I left saying "I think I'm done with Avec." I wasn't particularly happy about a single dish that I ordered; each dish fell short in some major way: a flavorless sauce, a lack of acid or salt, or another significant mis-step.

    The bacon-wrapped dates, which seem to be a compulsory order (especially when dining with my wife) were, on both occasions, unpleasant. Overstuffed, dry meatballs with barely a hint of flavor from the dates and wrapped in bacon that was half charcoal and half rubbery fat.

    The menu no longer feels like there's much effort going into planning anymore. It's very similar to what is has been for years.

    The beer and wine lists remain fantastic and I love the service and the space. I still wouldn't mind sipping some wine and some snacks there, but it's off my list as a destination for a full meal.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #156 - January 30th, 2010, 1:37 pm
    Post #156 - January 30th, 2010, 1:37 pm Post #156 - January 30th, 2010, 1:37 pm
    I went back (my second visit) just for the dates and had a similar experience. I was looking forward to the smokeiness, sweetness and spicyness, all of which seemed to be out of balance. I also found everything else we ordered to be over seasoned. Unfortunately I do not think I will be returning to Avec.
  • Post #157 - January 30th, 2010, 3:37 pm
    Post #157 - January 30th, 2010, 3:37 pm Post #157 - January 30th, 2010, 3:37 pm
    Regarding the Super Bowl, rumor has it they are going to be projecting it (sans sound) at Avec this year.
  • Post #158 - January 30th, 2010, 3:43 pm
    Post #158 - January 30th, 2010, 3:43 pm Post #158 - January 30th, 2010, 3:43 pm
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #159 - January 30th, 2010, 3:52 pm
    Post #159 - January 30th, 2010, 3:52 pm Post #159 - January 30th, 2010, 3:52 pm
    Mike G wrote:NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!


    I don't know if it's true or not, it's just the word on the street. I doubt it'll make much difference.
  • Post #160 - January 30th, 2010, 4:21 pm
    Post #160 - January 30th, 2010, 4:21 pm Post #160 - January 30th, 2010, 4:21 pm
    Memo to Mike G: Consider re-thinking your Super Bowl Sunday plans.


    I actually didn't see this until after Darth Vader told me he was my father above, so now I'll throw it out there. What's the hot place with no TVs that I'm going to this year?
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #161 - January 30th, 2010, 4:30 pm
    Post #161 - January 30th, 2010, 4:30 pm Post #161 - January 30th, 2010, 4:30 pm
    Planning on going there for a service-industry late night valentine's dinner, after serving the populace.
    As always, I'm going to get the dates, I'm going to get some Spanish red, and I'm going to get the pasta.
    Lately I've enjoyed a rare hangar steak, as well as turkey and guanciale meatballs there.

    Anybody else had any really POSITIVE dishes lately?
  • Post #162 - January 30th, 2010, 5:41 pm
    Post #162 - January 30th, 2010, 5:41 pm Post #162 - January 30th, 2010, 5:41 pm
    Mike G wrote:
    Memo to Mike G: Consider re-thinking your Super Bowl Sunday plans.


    I actually didn't see this until after Darth Vader told me he was my father above, so now I'll throw it out there. What's the hot place with no TVs that I'm going to this year?


    I thought Kith and Kin might be a possibility...so I called, and they said they usually don't have flat screens but they're bringing them in just for the Supreme Bowl, or whatever it's called, so that hip and happenin' place is out.

    However, The Purple Pig is open on that Sunday, has no flat screens and no intention of bringing any in, does not take reservations, and opens at 11. Sounds right, no?
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #163 - January 30th, 2010, 8:13 pm
    Post #163 - January 30th, 2010, 8:13 pm Post #163 - January 30th, 2010, 8:13 pm
    Yes, I was thinking Purple Pig, too. Kith & Kin, alas, even has a Super Bowl menu, of dumbed-down stuff like chili and wings.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #164 - January 30th, 2010, 8:18 pm
    Post #164 - January 30th, 2010, 8:18 pm Post #164 - January 30th, 2010, 8:18 pm
    easy answer... stay home and cook better than any of these places can.. if someone is that worried about the superbowl infringing. :wink:
  • Post #165 - January 30th, 2010, 8:36 pm
    Post #165 - January 30th, 2010, 8:36 pm Post #165 - January 30th, 2010, 8:36 pm
    No, the point is Super Bowl night is a night you can walk into places that are normally hard to get into, ie a place like Avec which doesn't take reservations and is usually hopping.

    That's why I'm thinking Purple Pig, which also doesn't take reservations.

    If only Hot Doug's was open then...
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #166 - January 30th, 2010, 8:42 pm
    Post #166 - January 30th, 2010, 8:42 pm Post #166 - January 30th, 2010, 8:42 pm
    Mike G wrote:No, the point is Super Bowl night is a night you can walk into places that are normally hard to get into, ie a place like Avec which doesn't take reservations and is usually hopping.

    ...


    sorry, must have missed that criteria. my bad... :D

    ill be smoking meat all day like every weekend, and every game day.. :twisted:
  • Post #167 - January 31st, 2010, 9:15 am
    Post #167 - January 31st, 2010, 9:15 am Post #167 - January 31st, 2010, 9:15 am
    Does Publican have flat screens?
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #168 - January 31st, 2010, 9:30 am
    Post #168 - January 31st, 2010, 9:30 am Post #168 - January 31st, 2010, 9:30 am
    Mike G wrote:No, the point is Super Bowl night is a night you can walk into places that are normally hard to get into, ie a place like Avec which doesn't take reservations and is usually hopping.

    That's why I'm thinking Purple Pig, which also doesn't take reservations.

    If only Hot Doug's was open then...


    I'd guess that the Violet Hour would be a near-ideal place to spend Superbowl Sunday night.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #169 - January 31st, 2010, 11:46 am
    Post #169 - January 31st, 2010, 11:46 am Post #169 - January 31st, 2010, 11:46 am
    leek wrote:Does Publican have flat screens?

    There are no tv's at Publican (iirc).

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #170 - January 31st, 2010, 12:45 pm
    Post #170 - January 31st, 2010, 12:45 pm Post #170 - January 31st, 2010, 12:45 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    leek wrote:Does Publican have flat screens?

    There are no tv's at Publican (iirc).

    =R=


    But they do take reservations, making it pretty easy to get into. The idea behind super-bowl dining is going to a place that's normally a pain to get into (read: doesn't take reservations + long waits).
  • Post #171 - February 8th, 2010, 8:23 am
    Post #171 - February 8th, 2010, 8:23 am Post #171 - February 8th, 2010, 8:23 am
    Well, to follow up on the Super Bowl Avoidance conversation this year: The Purple Pig may serve a lot of offal, but there were two particular glands they seemed to be missing last night, because as it turns out, they shut down for Slurpee Bowl Sunday "because we don't have big TVs and it would be hard to get a crowd." Waah, waah, if we're not going to be packed to the gills with foodie trendoids we're not even getting out of bed in the morning.

    Instead we went to Quartino again (first choice would have been Publican, but we had younger son with us and their menu seemed unlikely to make him happy), which was good as usual (high points: veal meatballs with golden raisins; donuts to dip in chocolate sauce, see note about younger son above; not so thrilling: lemon curd/sandwich/ice cream thing). And it was (somewhat defeating the purpose of Super Bowl Avoidance night) busy as heck with people avoiding televisions upstairs (though we could all hear the TVs downstairs anyway). So who knows, maybe Super Bowl Avoidance is a growing trend. Oh well, I'll check out the Pluperfect Pug one of these days. Maybe right after I go to the BW3 in Willowbrook.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #172 - March 28th, 2010, 11:04 am
    Post #172 - March 28th, 2010, 11:04 am Post #172 - March 28th, 2010, 11:04 am
    We had yet another excellent dinner at Avec last night.

    Pre-Bulls game the two of us went with 5 dishes (which was probably 1 too many):

    Deluxe Foccacia - Good as ever
    Warm red quinoa salad with apples, Napa cabbage, roasted parsnips, walnuts and raisins - Warm and toasty, kind of a nice dish at the edge of winter/spring
    "La Quercia" prosciutto with honeycomb, orange zest, marcona almonds and black peppercorn vinaigrette - We usually get whatever the current version of this dish is. This wasn't my favorite version as the honeycomb dominated a little too much, but the black peppercorn vinaigrette gave the dish a bit more complexity than it would have had otherwise.
    Seared snapper (doesn't appear on the current online menu and I can't remember what the fish was served over...something with radishes) - the snapper was wonderfully light and flaky, the skin was perfectly crisp and just a little bit salty/oily. This is probably one of the better dishes I've had at Avec, really just a wonderful piece of fish
    Banger sausage with potato bread and apple mustard - I interpreted this as Avec's take on tailgate food. A great sausage on top of a hearty piece of potato bread that was nicely crisped around the edges. The mustard added a nice little bite to the whole thing.

    At about 5:30 we snagged two of the last seats at the bar and the place was buzzing from then until we left. I was a little worried about the recent downhill alerts that some have sounded about Avec. In my opinion, however, Avec was operating at the same high level last night that I've experienced every time I've been.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #173 - April 12th, 2010, 8:14 pm
    Post #173 - April 12th, 2010, 8:14 pm Post #173 - April 12th, 2010, 8:14 pm
    aschie30 wrote:While we're on the subject of kvetching about Avec, may I just take this opportunity to complain about the ever-growing size of the chorizo stuffed dates? They used to be petite, bacon-wrapped nuggets, now they're bloated with chorizo, requiring the use of a knife and fork. Not an improvement.


    FWIW, I learned today that both the size of the dates and the formula for the chorizo stuffing are ever-changing things, with the kitchen tweaking the dish depending on what else is on the menu, so that it matches best with the rest of the offerings. This is what the hostess said and - if she is to be believed - it is a very strange practice. I did not have the dates today, so cannot comment on the current rendition. As for the rest of the meal, it was OK. Brandade as crazy-decadent as ever, decent mixed green salad (mandatory - imo -to order something like this if you have the brandade), very nice sweet pea costini, and fairly poor sturgeon (overcooked) with fibrous roasted ramps and not much else going on.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #174 - May 3rd, 2010, 5:49 pm
    Post #174 - May 3rd, 2010, 5:49 pm Post #174 - May 3rd, 2010, 5:49 pm
    Congratulations to Chef Koren Grieveson, who has won the James Beard Award for Best Chef, Great Lakes.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #175 - May 4th, 2010, 8:03 am
    Post #175 - May 4th, 2010, 8:03 am Post #175 - May 4th, 2010, 8:03 am
    Second that!
  • Post #176 - August 9th, 2010, 7:49 am
    Post #176 - August 9th, 2010, 7:49 am Post #176 - August 9th, 2010, 7:49 am
    A very sad story from Avec today:

    Firefighter dies while battling West Loop restaurant fire
  • Post #177 - August 9th, 2010, 3:36 pm
    Post #177 - August 9th, 2010, 3:36 pm Post #177 - August 9th, 2010, 3:36 pm
    According Avec's website, they are temporarily closed.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #178 - September 9th, 2010, 12:27 pm
    Post #178 - September 9th, 2010, 12:27 pm Post #178 - September 9th, 2010, 12:27 pm
    Anyone have any word on reopening? It looks to be still closed from the web; curious about making plans there soon...Thanks.
  • Post #179 - September 23rd, 2010, 1:32 pm
    Post #179 - September 23rd, 2010, 1:32 pm Post #179 - September 23rd, 2010, 1:32 pm
    annak wrote:Anyone have any word on reopening? It looks to be still closed from the web; curious about making plans there soon...Thanks.

    From Crain's today:

    Avec restaurant reopening delayed to Oct.
  • Post #180 - September 30th, 2010, 2:42 pm
    Post #180 - September 30th, 2010, 2:42 pm Post #180 - September 30th, 2010, 2:42 pm
    Julia Kramer from TOC has an Avec update regarding the reopening and menu changes: http://www3.timeoutny.com/chicago/blog/ ... c-reopens/

    EDIT: Here are some specific new Avec menu items: http://twitter.com/TOCEatOut/statuses/26003301455
    Last edited by daveandrews3 on September 30th, 2010, 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more