Since I started my new job, I have lost interest in blogging. However, my co-worker G requested I write about my experience at Avec Bistro, as he is interested in how it compares to our favourite French bistro, Cassis. So G, this post is for you.
I dig the ambiance at Avec. It isn’t pretentious but inviting and informal. L and I chose to dine at the bar, and by the end of the night, we were glad of our decision. L and I were impressed with Travis, Avec’s bartender extraordinaire. It was refreshing to talk to someone who knew more about wine and food but wasn’t condescending about it. With each conversation, I felt like I learned more than I did before speaking with him.
L was pleased with the small but well chosen selection of craft beers. His pick was an Ontario beer, Hop City Barking Squirrel Amber lager ($7.50). I was a fan of the sparkling Drink French Fluently cocktail ($12.50). Normally when I indulge in a cocktail, I find it too watery or icy. Not the case at Avec. The bubbles were small and tight. I could taste a pleasant, almost floral note. Best of all, there was no skimping on booze. Two ounces of alcohol is truly two ounces, which means I plan to bring my work friends to Avec to sample more of the cocktails.
We ordered Moules ($16.00); Goat Cheese Croquettes ($6.00); Pate ($16.00); Steak Frites ($27.00); and banana bread pudding ($10.00). Travis organized the flow of the food, which resulted in a perfectly paced meal.
First up were the goat cheese croquettes and pate. The goat cheese was great for snacking. The combination of the crispy coating and soft goat cheese filling was perfect bar food. I thought I could taste a bit of citrus. I noticed with each course, no matter how small, we received new cutlery and plates.
Creamy, cool and light, the pate was as excellent as Cassis and Model Milk’s version. The bread was crusty on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and gave the velvety smooth pate the proper vessel to sail away.
The mussels were small and fresh. The tomato and white wine sauce was light, slightly smoky from bits of bacon. L and I both scooped up the cubes of bacon and tomatoes in the sauce. Again, we were served more of that delicious bread to sop up the rest of the sauce. Travis paired the mussels with a glass of 2012 Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc ($10).
Our main course was a 12-ounce serving of steak frites. Oh my! The steak was tender and well seasoned, cooked to L’s request of medium. The generous serving of steak meant this dish was a value-laden favourite. The homemade aioli was addictive while the fries were scrumptious.
For dessert, L devoured his banana bread pudding in record speed while I sipped on a glass of rosé ($9.00). I’m happy we checked Avec out, as we can add this bistro to our regular rotation of date night restaurants.