We got a table for 4 at the end of brunch: the restaurant was mostly empty. It was pouring rain outside. It was my first time dining at Avec despite years of work inside Chicago’s restaurant industry. I had obsessively compulsively read every bad review of the place many times and was on the lookout for potential downfall of snarky service. The server was true to form but less than accommodating when she suggested my friend Gordon, who is allergic to mushrooms, had a mother who washed her hands too much. When I, a recovered alcoholic, asked for the best juice, and she recommended fermented wine juice, I reminded myself its a wine bar.
The food and nonverbal service was outstanding. I particularly enjoyed the lamb sausage with squash and the baked oven pancake with sour cream and peach compote. The greens salad came alive with mint and cilantro, and the bacon wrapped figs lived up to the reputation for being a classic. It was one of the best brunches I have ever had.