Located in the Loop area of Chicago, Avec is a popular wine bar and restaurant. The menu features Mediterranean delights neatly arranged into four ... More
Located in the Loop area of Chicago, Avec is a popular wine bar and restaurant. The menu features Mediterranean delights neatly arranged into four sections: small plates, large plates, salumi and cheese assortments. The informal menu concept allows patrons to mix and match dishes and create a meal of their choice. Accompanying the delicious cuisine is a beautifully curated wine list, which features moderately priced labels from the likes of Spain, Italy, France and Portugal. The unusual decor is tastefully simple featuring beautiful unstained wood throughout. Reservations are not accepted so make sure you are one of the early birds to drop by.
Overly pretentious food with skimpy portions in an overly crowded closet where they try to pass off herding customers cramped one in next to the other as sheik. It's not. In fact it should be insulting to anyone who doesn't want to be treated like cattle or have someone urinate down your back and tell you it's raining. Get real. Who would pay to be treated like that? The owner or part-owner or whatever he was with the glasses and short, skinny build was absolutely obnoxious and insulting too which tainted the whole meal and experience. He fancies himself a chef and takes credit for everything. Save your money and your dignity and avoid this place like the plague.
Delicious! Great place to go for an unpretentious, delicious meal. While the seating is crowded, the other diners are most likely friendly and only want to know what you ordered that looks so good. Definitely try the chorizo stuffed madjool dates wrapped in bacon and the duck confit--surprising flavors!
My wife and I had looked forward to trying avec since enjoying its cousin Blackbird next door. All in all it was a very good experience. The service was fine for a busy night, no problems. Our waitstaff made excellent selections from the wine list and proposed a good selection of cheeses to accentuate the end of the meal. I consider myself to have an adequate knowledge of French wine and cheese, so I was eager and hopeful of the Spanish and Portuguese selections which did not disappoint. Also, I can't say enough about the stuffed dates which has not already been said, but unfortunately the fish was overwhelmed by the flavors of kumquat and parsely which I didn't enjoy as much. My wife and I split on the squid, she really liked the texture, whereas I wasn't as happy. The olives were quite good, especially with the wine accompaniment. It's pointless to complain about the price, of course it will be a certain amount, the question is, regardless of cost, was the food unique enough in taste that you leave with happy digestion? In this case, I almost feel the dates, wine, and cheese succeeded in spite of the fish. Naturally, we'll return and try to perfect the experience by varying the choices.
As far as decor, Avec reminds me of a Sauna room--but not in a bad way. There isn't a lot of space so if you're lucky to get a table you'll probably be sharing it with other patrons. Though in my case it's turned out to be a blast. The food was unique (rabbit with a mushroom flavor pasta in Chicago) and surprisingly delicious. And the wine selection was good. We basically left all the selections up to the wait staff and we were not disappointed.
My first experience here was dynomite, and each time I go, I have a great time. I love the entire experience from the wine to the food to the crowd. The food is my favorite from chorizo stuffed dates wrapped in bacon to the whole fresh fish of the day and pastas to their wonderful desserts. We have brought friends with us and everyone we've brought has thouroughly enjoyed it. The staff is awsome and alot of fun. They help set the casual yet sophisticated and intimate atmosphere, and accomodate you as much as they can. Best to go as a couple or small group, and be prepared to get to know your neighbor at the tables, set up to share like the Japanese steak houses.
Avec has a great selection of reasonably priced wines, most of which you will probably never heard of. Eventhough the mark up on some of these are astronomical its still a decent value. Love the layout of the place and the use of wood on the walls. Small kitchen behind the bar along with the diverse clientele provides some great entertainment while you eat a small plate or sip on a wine you have never heard of. Best food of any wine bar in chicago. Staff are always very helpful if you are looking for something new to try.
5 of us were crammed into a stark and cold wooden table shared by an unfriendly and apparently inconvienenced hostess. We were told we could not keep our computer bags with us and when we hesitated to give them to her she became insistant that we did. We reluctantly complied.Our waiter was better, food ok, wine very good. The place is far too small and tries but fails to be an overly urban shiek hotspot. I haven't had to share crowded long rectangle tables with others since my high school days and then I didn't have to pay $200 to do so! First impressions matter-If I owned the place my first course of business would be to fire the hostess. Oh, and when I inquired about getting a food item to go I was immediately told 'oh no, our food must only be enjoyed here'-spare me! Too bad Avec will not get a chance to make another first impression. Don't waste your time and money at Avec-Chicago has too many excellent establishments to allow this one to leave you disappointed. Avec I'm sure will continue on as long as its patrons accept inferior treatment. . . just sans me an my friends.
I had high hopes for the place as I had read great reviews; but I was not impressed (I'm related to a chef, so perhaps I'm jaded). The restaurant was loud (the sparse decor creates an acoustic environment that requires one to scream at their dinner guest to be heard), and the food was just okay. Our appetizers of chorizo, figs, and bacon were superb, but the main course was unimaginatively cooked and they were out of the wine we wanted to order (we settled for a second choice, in their defense it was excellent). Generally I try not to judge a place on the crowd, but by the food, however this also struck me as the sort of place people who 'want to be seen' go, and that is of no appeal to me and took away from the experience. I will not be going back.
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