There isn’t much more I can say about avec that hasn’t already been said. Avec was opened in 2003 by Paul Kahan. That says a lot in itself, but let’s elaborate a little for those new to the Chicago dining scene.
Paul Kahan has over 18yrs of experience in the restaurant industry, and has opened up seven restaurants under his group known as One Off Hospitality. One of the star restaurants (they’re all stars, really) is avec. It’s a minimalist style restaurant in the West Loop, that serves creative dishes with a Mediterranean twist. The space itself reminds me so much of Momofuku Noodle Bar in NYC, which I love. It’s warm and inviting without being cluttered or overly designed. The focus is clearly on the food.
Dinner at avec is obviously great, but do you know what Chicagoans love? We love a good weekend brunch. Avec has recently started taking reservations for Sunday brunch, and it’s an instant hit. We had a great family brunch there last week as part of my sister’s 30th birthday festivities, and everyone had a really lovely afternoon over amazing food. It’s not an exaggeration to say that every single dish was delicious, creative and full of flavor.
We started off with some cocktails and then ordered almost everything on the food menu 🙂 Of course, the main reason anyone ever goes to avec is for one specific dish: stuffed dates. It’s become the dish they’re known for and it’s almost a cult following at this point. Does it live up to the hype? Every time. Luckily, it’s also on both the dinner and brunch menu!
AVOCADO TOAST | avocado hummus, radish, green chermoula vinaigrette
CHORIZO-STUFFED MEDJOOL DATES | bacon and piquillo pepper tomato sauce
PAPAS BRAVAS | with garlic aioli
SUMAC GLAZED PORK BELLY
AVEC BURGER | chorizo and beef burger, bacon, date mostarda, piquillo pepper aoili
PIZZA CARBONARA | guanciale, roasted garlic, arugula and an egg
BUTCHER STEAK | fried egg, crisp kale, celery root and butternut squash almond romesco
Yes, we ordered a lot. It was maybe a bit too much for the 5 of us, but honestly, we love eating like this. Small plates, where we can share and taste a variety of dishes and flavors. Of course the dates were amazing. We also LOVED the pork belly – and I happen to love sumac spice as well. Only in writing this up right now did I realize that it was sumac glazed pork belly. Definitely order it as a side to share at the table. The burger was equally as delicious as the pork belly and would likely always be ordered. It’s quite rich though, so I’d suggest sharing it as well.
You’d think that after all of these dishes, we’d be too full for dessert. Never. There’s always a tiny bit of room left for something sweet at the end of the meal. We decided to share the French Toast, then ordered a latte or two along with these sesame blondies. It was the perfect ending to a perfect brunch.
WOOD OVEN BAKED FRENCH TOAST | fresh ricotta, winter fruit compote, mint and almonds
ALSO! I must add one more note: the music is on point!! Our brunch soundtrack consisted of TLC’s greatest hits, followed by Lauryn Hill. Could it get any better? The sister and I were basically singing karaoke in-between bites of food. Yasss! ❤
Get your OpenTable reservation for brunch at avec STAT. It’s a lovely way to enjoy a cold, winter Sunday afternoon.
AVEC | 615 W Randolph St. CHICAGO IL 60661