615 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL, 60661

Dinner: 3:30pm-midnight Sunday through Thursday; 3:30pm-1am Friday, Saturday

Bar hours: 3:30pm-1am Sunday through Thursday; 3:30pm-1am Friday, Saturday

Friends of avec brunch series: select Sundays from January to April (10am-2pm)

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Global - Eclectic, Global - Eclectic, Vegetarian, Seafood, Mediterranean, Tapas - Small Plates

Brunch, Pre-theater, Expense Account Diners, Outdoor Seating, Dining at Bar, Romantic Spot, Dining Alone, Power Scene, People Watching, Celebrity Hangout, Offbeat, Natural/Organic Ingredients, Meet for a Drink, Memorable Experience, Special Occasion, Celebrity Chef, Cheese Tray Served, Gluten-free, Premium Wine List, Credit Cards Accepted, Family Style Portions, Reservations Not Accepted, Valet Parking, Street Parking, Lunch, After Work, Senior Appeal, Communal Tables

avec - Chicago

An instant success when it debuted in 2003, avec is the second restaurant from One Off Hospitality, the group behind Blackbird, Publican, The Violet Hour, Big Star and Nico Osteria. The restaurant, located in the West Loop Gate (also home to Michelin-starred gems Grace and Sepia), specializes in Mediterranean-inspired small plate dishes, vino and beer.

Mostly avec showcases seasonal, rotating dishes and drinks and also cheeses--from the custom-designed cave. But there are several menu items that will always be staples: wood-oven roasted oysters, chorizo-stuffed Medjool dates and the avec lamb roti. For the latter, guests must order 24 hours in advance for the whole roasted lamb that's served with freshly baked pitas, mezze and sauces. It's for two to six diners and $250, with the option to pair with wine.

Speaking of wine, avec is known for its extensive list, which includes many selections from France, Greece, Italy and Spain. And in recent years, they've added a few craft cocktails to the beverage program.

Seating is communal and tight, so get ready to get chummy with your neighbors.