Tag Archives: breakfast pizza

Harissa Bloody Mary, avec

Sharing is caring when it comes to food and friends. Maybe not when it comes to bloody marys.

We’ve been wanting to check out the Sunday brunch at avec for, well, as long as it’s been around. No Paul Kahan concept has let us down yet.

Let’s start with the vibe. Get ready to get cozy. If you’ve been to avec, you know the concept is communal, and by nature, easy to get social and share small plates with your neighbors.

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The one thing we wouldn’t share: our Harissa Bloody Marys. Our first thought: What’s going on here? It’s different. We liked the flavor but couldn’t quite our taste buds on what was included. Sophisticated was a word that was used. The harissa (which is actually a hot chili paste made of roasted red pepper, serrano and other spices) gave this bloody a smoky and spicy side that was perfectly mellowed and balanced by the Belgian beer Atomium Premier Grand Cru. We were told the beer back rotates out, but the lemon saison we had served as the perfect complement.

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Now the food. You will not be disappointed. All three of the dishes we ordered were incredible, particularly the breakfast pizza. This wood fired work of art comes topped with pancetta, sunnyside eggs, roasted potatoes and onions and peppers. It’s savory and delicious.

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Next up, we ordered the fried chicken wings with Moroccan pancake. It was the perfect mashup of textures and flavors between the crispy chicken, savory pancake, smoky harissa and slightly sweet honey butter. We would eat that over and over again.

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Also eaten and not pictured were the chorizo-stuffed mejool dates as we’re usually a sucker for anything date-related (food, that is). It was delicious and not to mention, large and in charge for a small plate, but not as standout as the other two dishes. To round it all out, we tried these tasty nutter butter treats. An amazing way to end an amazing meal.

If you want to cozy up for brunch and try a one-of-a-kind bloody, don’t hesitate to give avec’s brunch a try.

Harissa Bloody Mary:  Our rating (scale of 1–5)

Taste:        3.5

Spicy:      3.25

Treats:       3.25

Creativity: 4

Overall:      3.5

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Bloody Mary, Frasca

We would be lying if we said Frasca in Roscoe Village was our first choice.

What actually happened was, we cabbed and bused it up to endgrain a while back (we’re a bit behind in more ways than one), only to find out it had been shuttered. We’ll never know the magic that is a bloody mary with a cheesy biscuit garnish. Maybe one day Red Lobster will create its own?

But Frasca’s brunch and bloody aren’t second best by any means. This wine and pizza bar brings its Italian genius to brunch.

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Do you love the bloody at Dunlay’s on Clark or Dunlay’s on the Square? How about Smoke Daddy? Chances are, you’ll love this one, too. The 4 Star Restaurant Group owns these joints and uses Smoke Daddy’s tasty Smokin Mary Mix for all their bloodies. The result? A well-balanced spicy bloody mary that never lets you down (just don’t order it with cucumber vodka. Trust us). Each restaurant’s bloody varies by garnish. At Frasca, you get a deconstructed caprese salad with cherry tomato, basil, mozzarella ball, plus prosciutto and olive. Add a piece of bacon for one buck extra, if you dare.

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Pizza for breakfast? OK! The Breakfast Pizza comes topped with bacon, sausage, cheese and three eggs over easy. Savory and rich, and the crust is perfectly chewy yet crisp. We also had the Italian Farmhouse Breakfast, which is two eggs baked in a crock with speck and tomato sauce which is lapped up and eaten on crusty bread. Why is it that tomato sauce makes everything better?

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While we weren’t planning to dine at Frasca, we certainly we’re disappointed. Solid bloody mary. Humble Italian food at its best.

Frasca Bloody Mary:  Our rating (scale of 1–5)

Taste:        3.25

Spicy:      3

Treats:       3.25

Creativity: 3

Overall:      3.125

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