LTH Home

Avec: A Photo Essay

Avec: A Photo Essay
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
    Page 7 of 8
  • Post #181 - September 30th, 2010, 3:00 pm
    Post #181 - September 30th, 2010, 3:00 pm Post #181 - September 30th, 2010, 3:00 pm
    oh, please let their focaccia with taleggio be one of the items that's remaining on the menu....
  • Post #182 - September 30th, 2010, 3:35 pm
    Post #182 - September 30th, 2010, 3:35 pm Post #182 - September 30th, 2010, 3:35 pm
    rehorn wrote:oh, please let their focaccia with taleggio be one of the items that's remaining on the menu....


    One of the holdovers has to be the chroizo-stuffed, bacon-wrapped dates, right?
  • Post #183 - October 1st, 2010, 7:26 am
    Post #183 - October 1st, 2010, 7:26 am Post #183 - October 1st, 2010, 7:26 am
    I'm hoping for neither, actually. I can't think of a restaurant that needs a reboot more than Avec: the menu had become depressingly static, with Koren merely switching ingredients in and out of the same dishes; meals there this spring were significantly less memorable than years before. A new approach and menu is warranted.
  • Post #184 - October 28th, 2010, 10:05 am
    Post #184 - October 28th, 2010, 10:05 am Post #184 - October 28th, 2010, 10:05 am
    Re-opening tomorrow! Just in time for the Lyric's last performance of Verdi's Macbeth--order has been restored to my life.
  • Post #185 - October 28th, 2010, 2:32 pm
    Post #185 - October 28th, 2010, 2:32 pm Post #185 - October 28th, 2010, 2:32 pm
    For @jesteinf, this is the most I've seen of the new menu:

    Ellen Malloy/RIA wrote:Avec is scheduled to reopen its doors on Friday, October 29, complete with
    an overhauled menu and a mighty new stove.

    Regular service hours will take effect at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, and while
    the bulk of the restaurant remains "classic avec," guests can expect
    several changes. While menu favorites like chorizo-stuffed Medjool dates
    and deluxe focaccia remain the same, Chef de Cuisine Koren Grieveson is
    enlivening her menu with items like olive oil-poached fish in a Mason jar,
    housemade blood sausage and whole-roasted foie gras.

    The grandest new feature in the kitchen is a six-burner Vulcan stove,
    complete with a high-heat plancha. Of the new opportunities that come with
    such a mighty resource, Executive Chef Paul Kahan says, "It's a key
    additional piece of equipment for our kitchen. Should allow us to do some
    great stuff."

    On the sweeter side, Pastry Chef Patrick Fahy plans to infuse the dessert
    menu with Italian influences. Having studied in Florence, the chef aims to
    constantly feature three regular dessert plates, plus a rotating nightly
    special. Standards to be expected include crepes with housemade "nutella,"
    various flavors of chocolate bark and exotic snacks like pine nut-rosemary
    cookies.
  • Post #186 - October 29th, 2010, 9:39 am
    Post #186 - October 29th, 2010, 9:39 am Post #186 - October 29th, 2010, 9:39 am
    Trying to figure out if the menu currently posted on avecrestaurant.com is the new one?? I think it might be, folks (??)... if it is, it's looking pretty darn good.... and Ronnie Suburban, there's a pasta item that seems to include lamb neck (ever since the post about Publican's lamb neck, I've been stalking their menu like mad looking for its return... if it means having it instead at Avec, fine; I'll take it any way I can get it!)
  • Post #187 - October 29th, 2010, 8:50 pm
    Post #187 - October 29th, 2010, 8:50 pm Post #187 - October 29th, 2010, 8:50 pm
    I got back an hour or so ago from the reopening night. Sat at the "chef's counter" at the bar, overlooking the grill and "plancha." The lamb's neck is indeed on the menu, served in a beautiful looking papardelle. Among other things, I ordered the pissaladière, which I hadn't had since I spent time in Nice. Recommended, although I did overkill by getting the flatbread on top -- pizza night at Avec. The hazelnuts on the crepes are terrific.
  • Post #188 - October 31st, 2010, 11:28 am
    Post #188 - October 31st, 2010, 11:28 am Post #188 - October 31st, 2010, 11:28 am
    Closed up Avec last night--if this restaurant has undergone a shift, as has been implied by the PR, it's difficult to notice. That's particularly evident in the menu: everything's in the same spot, and Koren is still merely changing up the ingredients for the same protein preps (e.g., pork shoulder, chicken thighs, the wagyu cut)--kinda hard not to do the this-version-isn't-as-good-as-the-prep-I-had-in-'08 comparison. The dates and foccacia are still on the menu, btw.

    Of the bites we ordered, the apple-manchego-microgreens-almond salad was a paragon of brightness, in line with that raw brussel sprout salad we all raved about last year; Paul Kahan restaurants do vegetables right, and Avec is no exception. I enjoyed the black pepper paparadelle, with its lamb neck ragu and smears of goat cheese, though its one-dimensional richness would be overkill if you're dining alone or with just another; I wouldn't order another "big plate" if you get this. Snails with breadcrumbs and fennel was salty and mush texturally--not a must-order.

    Avec: not going anywhere, for better or worse.
  • Post #189 - October 31st, 2010, 2:02 pm
    Post #189 - October 31st, 2010, 2:02 pm Post #189 - October 31st, 2010, 2:02 pm
    A few LTHers were at Avec last night.

    I went alone pre-opera and, feeling under the weather, thought I'd have a very light dinner, but due to the conviviality of strangers, was able to sample most of the "new" menu. I was elated to find that Avec is very much the same. They closed out of necessity, due to a fire and someone dying; I'm extremely glad they did not use those circumstances for a makeover of any kind. I'm tired of restaurants changing for only the sake of change, rather than truly evolving. Changing, "seasonal" menus have become the norm and, I believe, have cultivated a kind of ADD among frequent restaurant-goers, where "new" is prized above most all else. Grieveson has a repertoire that is very strong and classic, and I respect her and visit Avec as often as I do because of the way she has manipulated her oeuvre and evolved within it.

    There were a few highlights to our meal last night, but I think I liked best the seared shrimp with mojo de ajo, almonds, cilantro and meyer lemon. My favorite restaurant dish of late summer/early fall was the head-on prawns with anchovy butter and tarragon at the Bristol, which I ate an embarrassing number of times. Bright and festive, the dish at Avec was a very welcome change to what's become my giant shrimp habit and was particularly excellent with the smoky heat and sweetness of last night's antipasto of green tomatoes, celery root, roasted poblano, marcona almonds and golden raisins. Alas, I think I have photos of most of our meal, but late-night Halloween festivities were perhaps too happy, and I think my food camera slipped out of my costume. I'll post images later, if I recover my camera.

    Now, what I really want to experience at Avec is the whole foie gras. It was $80 last night, with our server recommending it for 4-6 people. (Ellen Malloy said, "Paul suggests for four-it'll kill two people.") I don't know for sure, but I have a hunch that this dish could bring me immense joy. Friends who I've invited, however, won't hear it; they find the idea of whole foie gras scary. PM me if you're not chicken and would join me. (The chicken part was a ha-ha; I'm serious about putting together Team Foie Gras.)
  • Post #190 - October 31st, 2010, 4:18 pm
    Post #190 - October 31st, 2010, 4:18 pm Post #190 - October 31st, 2010, 4:18 pm
    I'm thinking about going to Avec for, gasp!, the first time tonight. Solo. Anyone going to be there? PM me.
    FIG Catering, For Intimate Gatherings
    Our website
    Our blog
    molly@FIGcatering.com
  • Post #191 - October 31st, 2010, 5:16 pm
    Post #191 - October 31st, 2010, 5:16 pm Post #191 - October 31st, 2010, 5:16 pm
    happy_stomach wrote:I'm serious about putting together Team Foie Gras.

    Woah. Lots of interest in Team Foie Gras! We have enough people right now for a TFG1 and a TFG2. I can make the sacrifice and be on both teams should we get to that point. Proposing some dates via PM now.
  • Post #192 - October 31st, 2010, 10:24 pm
    Post #192 - October 31st, 2010, 10:24 pm Post #192 - October 31st, 2010, 10:24 pm
    I ate about 1/3 of the foie last night by myself and it nearly did me in. Probably a 10oz portion if not a bit more. Very tasty, but of course. I just had to have it, the idiot that I am.
    I flash froze the leftover lobe despite initial dreams of a foie and parm omelette this morning. :)

    Foccacia seemed a bit less saltily than before (sample size of one) and the apple salad was a perfect balance.

    Extra busy even at 6pm, I'll need to stop by even earlier for the prawns and new pork shoulder prep.

    Happy to have Avec back!

    chico
  • Post #193 - November 1st, 2010, 10:53 pm
    Post #193 - November 1st, 2010, 10:53 pm Post #193 - November 1st, 2010, 10:53 pm
    misterchico wrote:I flash froze the leftover lobe


    This is either a lost Zappa album or a shoo-in for excerpting on an award certificate.
  • Post #194 - November 11th, 2010, 10:18 pm
    Post #194 - November 11th, 2010, 10:18 pm Post #194 - November 11th, 2010, 10:18 pm
    Just as the "revamping" of Graham Elliot's menu shortly after they opened wasn't really a revamping, neither is what's happened at Avec. Yeah, there's the whole lobe of foie gras, but the other new dishes on the menu are just that, new dishes...but still certainly "Avec-ian" in style.

    We had a pre-Bulls game meal there tonight and the meal was mostly very good. Whipped mortadella was a little strange, but it worked. A salad of apples, almonds, and celery was bright and nicely acidic. A grilled Wagyu with shaved brussels sprouts was right at home with other meat dishes that I've had at Avec. A salad of serrano ham with grapefruit and queso fresco was not unlike the prosciutto salad that was normally on the menu pre-fire. The only real miss of the night was the normally wonderful deluxe foccacia. Tonight's was cooked for just too long. Charring around the edges and the cheese basically liquefied.

    In any event, very nice to have Avec back up and running.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #195 - November 12th, 2010, 9:01 am
    Post #195 - November 12th, 2010, 9:01 am Post #195 - November 12th, 2010, 9:01 am
    We went last Thursday (4 Nov) and thought it was great. We hit the timing right on the nose as well - when we arrived there were a bunch of people waiting, but because they were all odd numbers and/or didn't want to eat at the bar, we were seated within about 10 minutes. We had the whole grilled fish of the night, and it was spectacular. Just a grilled fish, but they had put some sort of seasoned ground rice on the outside, and served it with grilled citrus (blood orange, I think) which we squeezed over the fish. YUM!

    We got the steak with brussels sprouts, the brandade, and a few other things. Service was good, and we got to try a wine that they were thinking about putting on their list. One of their distributors had just left, and they had a few bottles of new and different things open. And we got to see the guy next to us skip out on his bill. Never saw that happen before. Not sure if he thought he wasn't getting a bill, or what. He stood up, and looked around for a while, and then left. They brought his boxed up food to him, but not his bill, and then he left, and then they brought the bill. It was weird.
    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 #196 - November 12th, 2010, 9:20 am
    Post #196 - November 12th, 2010, 9:20 am Post #196 - November 12th, 2010, 9:20 am
    happy_stomach wrote:Now, what I really want to experience at Avec is the whole foie gras. It was $80 last night, with our server recommending it for 4-6 people. (Ellen Malloy said, "Paul suggests for four-it'll kill two people.") I don't know for sure, but I have a hunch that this dish could bring me immense joy.

    My hunch was correct. Paired with a very lovely Sauternes, the whole foie gras with roasted pear and walnuts made all of my pleasure synapses fire wildly. Foie Gras Team #1 went last week, and we thought five was just the right number of people. But we also had olives, the green salad, dates, kale, shrimp, snail agridolce, pisaladiere, beef and brandade, which ended up being too much food.
  • Post #197 - November 12th, 2010, 10:02 am
    Post #197 - November 12th, 2010, 10:02 am Post #197 - November 12th, 2010, 10:02 am
    happy_stomach wrote:
    happy_stomach wrote:Now, what I really want to experience at Avec is the whole foie gras. It was $80 last night, with our server recommending it for 4-6 people. (Ellen Malloy said, "Paul suggests for four-it'll kill two people.") I don't know for sure, but I have a hunch that this dish could bring me immense joy.

    My hunch was correct. Paired with a very lovely Sauternes, the whole foie gras with roasted pear and walnuts made all of my pleasure synapses fire wildly. Foie Gras Team #1 went last week, and we thought five was just the right number of people. But we also had olives, the green salad, dates, kale, shrimp, snail agridolce, pisaladiere, beef and brandade, which ended up being too much food.


    I'm quite sure the joy was shared by all involved. Thanks to happy_stomach for organizing and to Deesher for sharing his lovely wines with us. It definitely made my week!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #198 - November 12th, 2010, 10:22 am
    Post #198 - November 12th, 2010, 10:22 am Post #198 - November 12th, 2010, 10:22 am
    jesteinf wrote: Whipped mortadella was a little strange, but it worked.

    I didn't think it worked, until I tried spreading some on the foccacia...fireworks.

    We were also in last night. I really enjoyed the black pepper/porcini pappardelle w/ lamb. Very assertive spice and slightly gamey. We ordered a ton of food and the snails were the only real miss for our table. Too heavy on the fennel seed and the bacon had a very strange consistency.
  • Post #199 - November 12th, 2010, 10:25 am
    Post #199 - November 12th, 2010, 10:25 am Post #199 - November 12th, 2010, 10:25 am
    kl1191 wrote:
    jesteinf wrote: Whipped mortadella was a little strange, but it worked.

    I didn't think it worked, until I tried spreading some on the foccacia...fireworks.


    I am a bologna/mortadella slut, so the bar was pretty low for me. :wink:

    It does need more bread than it's served with, though.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #200 - March 15th, 2011, 9:33 pm
    Post #200 - March 15th, 2011, 9:33 pm Post #200 - March 15th, 2011, 9:33 pm
    Avec now has a roasted chicken dish on the menu that is fantastic. It's half a chicken, served with fingerling potatoes, tomatoes, pine nuts, olives, and onions. The skin is tasty (not crisp, but that's ok) and all of the meat (both white and dark) is nice and juicy. I know it seems silly to go to Avec and order something like roasted chicken, but this is really worth it.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #201 - March 16th, 2011, 5:06 pm
    Post #201 - March 16th, 2011, 5:06 pm Post #201 - March 16th, 2011, 5:06 pm
    I went to Avec last night. It is our post opera stop. We started out with a cheese plate nice selection, just had the server pick 3. Next was the deviled egg crostini. Seems that everyone has to put a fried egg on top of something these days, which is fine by me. It was nice but didn't blow me away. Next they brought us the fried trout from the small plate, but they ran out of trout so they substituted striped bass. It was the best piece of fish that I have had in months. Finally we had the chicken which was flavorful and delicious.

    I love this place. Opened late with an ever changing menu, always a new and exciting experience.
  • Post #202 - April 26th, 2011, 10:22 pm
    Post #202 - April 26th, 2011, 10:22 pm Post #202 - April 26th, 2011, 10:22 pm
    There's a new item on the menu, a crispy rainbow trout with rice porridge and ramps. Just a fantastic dish. The fish is cooked absolutely perfectly, with the skin nice and crispy. The rice porridge and the ramps act as wonderful accompaniments. This is definitely worth getting while it's on the menu (I would assume until ramp season is over...at least I hope).

    I also had a baby greens salad, which is admittedly a very un-Avecian thing to eat. I ate it at the beginning of my meal and it was spectacular.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #203 - May 1st, 2011, 6:45 pm
    Post #203 - May 1st, 2011, 6:45 pm Post #203 - May 1st, 2011, 6:45 pm
    jesteinf wrote:There's a new item on the menu, a crispy rainbow trout with rice porridge and ramps.

    I took a study break at Avec yesterday and intended to order this, but upon arriving, I ran into an LTHer who raved about the smoked white fish with favas. I also remembered I had my own ramps to cook at home, so I changed my plan. The smoked fish was excellent--luscious chunks of fish, still crisp favas with red onion adding just enough bite to cut through the creaminess. The staff seemed to be pushing this dish pretty hard. I looked up and everyone was eating it, but it was actually as good as described.

    And, as I love my West Loop food-gallery one-two punches, I walked over to the Kavi Gupta gallery on Washington post-Avec for the opening of the Theaster Gates show, An Epitaph for Civil Rights and Other Domesticated Structures. The "domesticated structures" include several small-plate sculptures like this.

    Image

    I'm of the opinion that Rachel Whiteread has had too much influence on contemporary sculpture and much prefer Gates' performative works, but the show is still worth seeing.
  • Post #204 - May 5th, 2011, 5:46 pm
    Post #204 - May 5th, 2011, 5:46 pm Post #204 - May 5th, 2011, 5:46 pm
    Stopped here for a couple small plates the other day and was underwhelmed. Ordered the sardine small plate and then the chorizo stuffed dates . The sardine had a bad fishy taste to it. Paled in comparison to the sardine @ taxim I had a few weeks ago. The dates were pretty good but not the life changing ones I was expecting from peoples reviews of them. I will go back for a full meal one day, because so many people with good palates love this place, but I came away with a very meh experience.
  • Post #205 - May 15th, 2011, 6:39 am
    Post #205 - May 15th, 2011, 6:39 am Post #205 - May 15th, 2011, 6:39 am
    Thank you jesteinf for recommending the roast chicken!!!

    Image
    Roasted half chicken.

    Image
    Chorizo stuffed dates.

    Image
    Focaccia.
  • Post #206 - May 19th, 2011, 11:28 am
    Post #206 - May 19th, 2011, 11:28 am Post #206 - May 19th, 2011, 11:28 am
    happy_stomach wrote:I took a study break at Avec yesterday and intended to order this, but upon arriving, I ran into an LTHer who raved about the smoked white fish with favas. I also remembered I had my own ramps to cook at home, so I changed my plan. The smoked fish was excellent--luscious chunks of fish, still crisp favas with red onion adding just enough bite to cut through the creaminess. The staff seemed to be pushing this dish pretty hard. I looked up and everyone was eating it, but it was actually as good as described.


    I had this last night and couldn't agree more. Just a fantastic dish.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #207 - May 23rd, 2011, 8:37 am
    Post #207 - May 23rd, 2011, 8:37 am Post #207 - May 23rd, 2011, 8:37 am
    jesteinf wrote:Avec now has a roasted chicken dish on the menu that is fantastic. It's half a chicken, served with fingerling potatoes, tomatoes, pine nuts, olives, and onions. The skin is tasty (not crisp, but that's ok) and all of the meat (both white and dark) is nice and juicy.

    For folks who know Filipino food, this is basically afritadang manok (not the thickened bell pepper kind though). Mama happy_stomach made the Avec dish including fingerlings and some greens in lieu of the common bell peppers what seemed like at least once a week when we were growing up. Even though marconas make my trend-o-meter go off, I really liked the inclusion of nuts--only part better than Mama happy_stomach's version. :)
  • Post #208 - May 23rd, 2011, 9:08 am
    Post #208 - May 23rd, 2011, 9:08 am Post #208 - May 23rd, 2011, 9:08 am
    ...a typically Spanish dish, too. Always interesting to see how certain Spanish, French, Dutch, etc., dishes remain relatively unchanged in former colonies' repertoires when many others adapt and change to address local tastes and ingredients. (I'm assuming here that a chicken dish with tomatoes, pine nuts and almonds originated in Spain, but don't know for sure whence the Filipino dish.)

    Here's a link to a recipe from a Valencian poultry concern.

    http://www.comiave.com/recetas/48-pollo ... nones.html
  • Post #209 - May 23rd, 2011, 9:14 am
    Post #209 - May 23rd, 2011, 9:14 am Post #209 - May 23rd, 2011, 9:14 am
    JeffB wrote:...a typically Spanish dish, too. Always interesting to see how certain Spanish, French, Dutch, etc., dishes remain relatively unchanged in former colonies' repertoires when many others adapt and change to address local tastes and ingredients.

    For sure. Afritadang manok is probably one of the most Spanish dishes in all of Filipino cuisine.
  • Post #210 - August 24th, 2012, 11:28 am
    Post #210 - August 24th, 2012, 11:28 am Post #210 - August 24th, 2012, 11:28 am
    As a long time believer in the power of Avec, I am sad to see Chef Grieveson leave. It sounds like the time had come. I remain upbeat that Kahan and gang will keep things focused, still a hell of a run.

    http://chicago.eater.com/archives/2012/ ... t-avec.php

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more