December 05, 2005


Went out with a friend on Saturday evening; we wanted to go to Blackbird, but couldn't get a reservation, so we went to Avec and sat at the bar. The space really is cool, feels like a sauna with all that wood on the walls and ceiling, and it's remarkably tiny for such a high-quality kitchen. However, the hipster see-and-be-seen quotient is enough to make you gag. Happily, we'd already had two dirty martinis apiece at Gene & Georgetti's so we were tiddly enough to just ignore everyone. Except the guy to my left, who kept getting plates of things that smelled amazing, so I kept leaning over to bother him and find out what they were. Thanks to him, we ordered an extra unplanned dish that turned out to be one of my two favorites of the evening, a buckwheat pasta with red-wine braised rabbit. Simple, light but intensely savory, a wonderful combination of subtle flavors.

The other favorite was another simple thing, a shaved apple and celery salad, with slivers of manchego and a cider vinaigrette. I immediately ran out the next day to buy a bunch of celery to go with the apples in my fridge.

There was also some crispy-fried flanken short rib in harissa aioli, very nice, and chorizo stuffed dates with bacon and a piquillo pepper sauce (hubba hubba), and some lovely soft blood sausage with apples and watercress. Our other entree was the oven roasted pork shoulder, which was utterly monstrous. Huge. Bizarrely enormous for this kind of restaurant. And almost completely meat -- there wasn't nearly enough of the very tasty sauerkraut to properly accent each bite of meat, and the two of us together didn't have a prayer of finishing off that pork. I took the remains home, and ate it for lunch today, and even that mere fraction was filling. Yummy though. ;-)

We had some cheeses to finish, a garrotxa, a pave d'auge that was okay, and an epoisses that I enjoyed but my friend found too stinky. And then we lurched home to lie down and groan. Note to self: no meals too delicious to stop eating after knocking back two martinis and about 8 giant olives. Ooof.

Posted by foodnerd at December 5, 2005 09:12 PM
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