Avec (Figure 1) is a wine bar at heart, but the gastronomy is a bloom of aromas and flavors that reflect rustic, Mediterranean cuisine.
There is a reason why the chorizo-stuffed Medjool dates wrapped in smoked bacon with a piquillo pepper-tomato sauce (Figure 2) is one of the few permanent dishes on the menu. The most prominent (and probably obvious) difference compared to other bacon-wrapped-date dishes is the chorizo, making it one of the best bacon wrapped dates in the city. Everyone leaves talking about the peppery smokiness that defines the dish.
For something on the healthier side, the marinated Tuscan kale salad with fennel, red onion, crimini mushrooms, Parmesan and hard-cooked egg is perfect (Figure 3). Even if you strongly dislike kale like me, you will fall in love with it. In fact, the kale is more like savory collared greens in a warm bowl of synchronized ingredients. Just superb.
The octopus (Figure 4) was infused fully with a barbecue flavor that was complemented with a polenta topped with leeks and kohlrabi in rouille sauce. The wonder about the dish is the multitude of textures – a tender texture with some creaminess and crunchiness. It was a lovely combination.
My favorite meat is lamb, so when I saw lamb Bolognese on the menu (Figure 5) we ordered it immediately. And then we devoured it. The handmade pasta was soft, and their egginess with the tender lamb gave the dish a rustic feel. I wish this were a permanent item at Avec.
With a wood fire oven going, it’s inevitable that pizza would be on the menu (Figure 6). It was topped with some salumi toscano, marinated broccolini, Parmesan cheese and a Gorgonzola crème fraiche. It sounded like a strange concoction of toppings, but one bite demonstrated the power of these ingredients on my taste buds.
And the roasted, chermoula marinated pork shoulder we ordered just falls apart with the touch of a fork (Figure 7). Served with couscous in a broth flavored with carrots, almonds, and raisins, it is the essence of a hearty Mediterranean dish.
- Avec doesn’t take reservations, so either get there early (5 pm or earlier) or get ready to wait!
- Order the permanent dishes if it’s your first time, and you don’t have to worry about dishes that aren’t to your liking because everything will satisfy your palate!
- Avec is a mix of fine dining and country foods so go hungry!