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Avec | Chicago | Summer ’12

1 Jul

Avec | Chicago | Menu

Avec’s been around for more than 7 years, and it has a disarmingly informal feel, even as one of the city’s top restaurants. I had the pleasure of stepping inside on a Wednesday dinner (the Mediterranean restaurant doesn’t take recommendations)

burrata with fresh tarragon and pickled trio of ramps, golden beets and rhubarb (4.25/5)
Burrata had an outer wall of solid mozzarella goodness, and an inner molten core of liquid mozzarella. Pickled vegetables formed a sour counterpoint to the burrata. Good dish.

from wikipedia:
Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese, made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture. It is also defined by some sources as an outer shell of mozzarella filled with butter or a mixture of butter and sugar. It is usually served fresh, at room temperature. The name “burrata” means “buttered” in Italian.

chorizo-stuffed medjool dates with smoked bacon and piquillo pepper-tomato sauce (4/5)
on yelp, chorizo-stuffed dates was often mentioned as avec’s speciality. the inside of the dates was incredibly meaty, with smoked bacon and a large helping of chorizo. THe tomato sauce was very good for dipping.

whipped brandade with garlic bread and chives (3.5/5)
brandade was a good whipping of fish and olive oil, and this paired well with garlic bread. I was also recommended to eat this with apples.

from wikipedia:
Brandade is an emulsion of salt cod and olive oil eaten in winter with bread or potatoes. In French it is sometimes called Brandade de Morue and in Spanish it can be called Brandada de bacalao (‘morue’ being the French name for salt cod and bacalao the Spanish one).

roasted whitefish with lentils, spanish chorizo, endive and shallot (4.75/5)
Whitefish was perfectly browned on one side without being overcooked. The scraped lines on its browned side made it look endearingly like toast. Perfectly textured, and served on a delicious mix of lentils, spanish chorizo, endive and shallot – which tasted and looked a bit like cassoulet