Publican was Joe's favorite Chicago restaurant, but mine was Avec.
(Photo from Avec's website.)
Avec is a wine bar serving rustic food influenced by Southern France and the Mediterranean. The wine selection there was lovely. We sat at the bar (highly recommend), and our bartender did a great job suggesting wines and food for our dinner.
Panzanella salad with cherries, roasted vidalias, fennel, pickled feta, mustard greens and balsamic. We loved this salad. So much so, that I barely had time to snap a picture before it was gone.
Chorizo-stuffed Medjool dates with smoked bacon and piquillo pepper-tomato sauce. Avec is known for this dish, and now we know why. It's amazing, and the dates are huge! The perfect sweet-savory dish.
Coffee braised pork ribs with radish, napa cabbage, kohlrabi and horseradish vinaigrette. The ribs were so good. I liked the ribs at Avec more than the ribs we had at Publican the night before. These ribs with slightly sweet with lots of meat on them (wish the picture came out better).
Pan-fried lake trout with pain perdu, lemon aioli, cornichons and watercress. This was our favorite plate. The trout was perfectly cooked, just a bit crispy from being pan fried. The slightly crispy fish and the peppery watercress balance the soft savory french toast beautifully. For all of it's fattening qualities (crispy, aioli and custard), this dish was amazingly light.
Another amazing meal in Chicago.