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Avli Estiatorio in Winnetka (Greek)

Avli Estiatorio in Winnetka (Greek)
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  • Post #31 - October 27th, 2009, 6:17 pm
    Post #31 - October 27th, 2009, 6:17 pm Post #31 - October 27th, 2009, 6:17 pm
    I am so bummed that I missed the tasting on Oct 18th. Ronnie, did you go (I saw your post in his announcement)? Louie told me that some of what they offered that night will be on the menu in a couple of weeks... I'm looking forward to trying it.
  • Post #32 - October 27th, 2009, 6:22 pm
    Post #32 - October 27th, 2009, 6:22 pm Post #32 - October 27th, 2009, 6:22 pm
    WinnetkaFoodie wrote:I am so bummed that I missed the tasting on Oct 18th. Ronnie, did you go (I saw your post in his announcement)? Louie told me that some of what they offered that night will be on the menu in a couple of weeks... I'm looking forward to trying it.

    No, we didn't and I am so bummed we missed it. I even had my Diane Kochilas cookbooks ready to bring with for signing. :(

    Unfortunately, that was the middle of a week where I and my entire family were all sick. I called a couple hours before to cancel (I'd been holding out hope that we'd be feeling up for it by the time it happened) and insisted that they charge me, regardless. Of course, they wouldn't even hear of it. I tried several times to provide my credit card number but it was refused. :)

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #33 - October 28th, 2009, 12:20 am
    Post #33 - October 28th, 2009, 12:20 am Post #33 - October 28th, 2009, 12:20 am
    Look for the next announcement of the Evanston Lunch Group™ here shortly, under "Events."
  • Post #34 - November 12th, 2009, 11:24 pm
    Post #34 - November 12th, 2009, 11:24 pm Post #34 - November 12th, 2009, 11:24 pm
    Knowing that I was probably not going to be able to attend this month's installment of the Evanston Lunch Group, I pre-emptively joined a friend for lunch at Avli earlier this week and had another great meal. Since he'd never been there before, we ordered some familiar (to me) dishes that were spot on. The lentil salad was stellar. The savory lentils, tender baby spinach, aromatic fresh mint and pungent feta combine into far more than the sum of their parts. This dish is really addictive and it's one of the best things I've tasted this year. Avli's grilled octopus is right up there with my all-time favorite version at Greek Islands. It's got a great crispiness on the outside and a perfect density to the bite. I love the hearty rings of grilled onion with which it's served. Whole grilled Greek Sea Bass was fantastic, too. The meat was rich and moist; the skin was supremely crispy. Based on about a half-dozen meals at Avli, I'm truly impressed with their quality and consistency. To me, this doesn't feel like a restaurant that's only been open for a few months. It already feels like an old friend.

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #35 - November 13th, 2009, 3:04 am
    Post #35 - November 13th, 2009, 3:04 am Post #35 - November 13th, 2009, 3:04 am
    I'll post soon when I get back into town ... let me quickly say it was a great lunch, and even though Ronnie wasn't there, his menu suggestions were. Everything was good, although we did think the bread salad with tomatoes suffered significantly from mealy tomatoes - but somewhat understandable, given the season.

    We were also honored to try dishes that Louie, the owner, is experimenting with for the fall/winter menu - an excellent moussaka, grilled skewered artichoke, and stuffed, rolled lamb.

    It's definitely a more modern, more varied spin on Greek food than you'll get in Greektown. I'm sure I'll be back.
  • Post #36 - November 13th, 2009, 9:32 am
    Post #36 - November 13th, 2009, 9:32 am Post #36 - November 13th, 2009, 9:32 am
    Hi,

    Campari tomatoes are pretty good for the off season. I don't see why a dish featuring fresh tomatoes has to be mealy anymore during the off season. The prices on these have fallen as production has ramped up. If you're not going to do it right, then save yourself grief and take it off the menu.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #37 - November 13th, 2009, 11:12 am
    Post #37 - November 13th, 2009, 11:12 am Post #37 - November 13th, 2009, 11:12 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Campari tomatoes are pretty good for the off season. I don't see why a dish featuring fresh tomatoes has to be mealy anymore during the off season. The prices on these have fallen as production has ramped up. If you're not going to do it right, then save yourself grief and take it off the menu.

    You should go there and try it for yourself. I'd love to hear your thoughts about the dish.

    I've had it a couple of times and really like it. But I almost feel like it's the nature of the dish that the tomatoes lose some texture, since they are combined with bread, cheese and herbs, olive oil and vinegar and allowed to macerate for a while before being served.

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #38 - February 5th, 2010, 4:02 pm
    Post #38 - February 5th, 2010, 4:02 pm Post #38 - February 5th, 2010, 4:02 pm
    Had dinner at Avli with some non-LTH friends (yes, I have a few! :P) last Saturday and it was stellar across the board. We started with a bunch of meze that really delivered. Grilled octopus and grilled onions -- one of my very favorites at Avli -- was as good as ever. Lentil salad (now made with Greek lentils instead of LePuy) was bright and distinctive. The lentils were perfectly cooked, and the tender spinach and pungent Greek feta served with this dish really took it to another level. Fried zucchini chips with skordalia were supremely crispy and my friends absolutely swooned over them -- and rightfully so. The chopped greens salad, which I'd never had before, blew me away. I guess I didn't know what to the expect but the inclusion of fresh herbs and arugula hooked me immediately. "Chopped greens" really doesn't do this salad justice. Knowing Avli, I should have known better. A special of seared dayboat scallops (flown in daily, M-S) was actually an entree but we split is as an appetizer. It was served over Greek pasta with spinach and a feta-aided cream sauce. I was worried that the sweet and subtle scallops might get lost in this preparation but that wasn't the case at all. A great dish.

    Incredibly full from our first round, the 5 of us split only 3 entrees. First up was the whole-roasted Black Bass, which was terrific. Being the one LTHer in the group, I didn't have to fight for the head and the cheeks, which were succulent and flavorful. Papoutsakia was fantastic and everyone loved it so much, we probably should have ordered 2. Spartan Fricasse -- pork shank with celery in a light egg-lemon sauce -- was tasty, with ultra-tender pork. We also enjoyed a few sides, including some gigandes, briami and spanakorizo. All 3 were outstanding.

    We were very full but still negotiating amongst ourselves about dessert when Louie came by and told us he was sending dessert out for us. A communal platter with tasting portions of Chocolate Baklava (aka Choc-lava) ala mode, Diane's Greek Bread Pudding (figs, raisins, and orange peel preserves, Mavrodaphne sauce) and Manouri Cheesecake arrived at our table shortly thereafter. They were each excellent. Desserts are no afterthought at Avli. A glass of 20-year Vinsanto paired extremely well with the sweet courses.

    Avli keeps chugging along and I love that it's so nearby. But even if it weren't, it'd still be the textbook definition of a destination restaurant.

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #39 - February 5th, 2010, 4:13 pm
    Post #39 - February 5th, 2010, 4:13 pm Post #39 - February 5th, 2010, 4:13 pm
    I had the scallops/pasta/spinach dish on Monday night and thought it was fabulous, too. The scallops were perfect - just a bit golden, wonderful texture... and 15 of them! If anything I'd say I would have liked more spinach mixed into the pasta.
  • Post #40 - February 5th, 2010, 8:54 pm
    Post #40 - February 5th, 2010, 8:54 pm Post #40 - February 5th, 2010, 8:54 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:The chopped greens salad, which I'd never had before, blew me away. I guess I didn't know what to the expect but the inclusion of fresh herbs and arugula hooked me immediately. "Chopped greens" really doesn't do this salad justice.


    Funny that this thread popped up tonite. We ordered in from Avli and because we have previously been disapointed by the Greek Salad we ordered chopped greens as well. Fantastic!! The chopped herbs in the mix included a touch of mint which really blew us away. I also had the grilled octopus which is a favorite there. So much so that I ate the large size appetizer as my dinner eschewing the gyros which we also ordered. I enjoy this place more and more each time I try something else on the menu.
  • Post #41 - February 7th, 2010, 2:09 pm
    Post #41 - February 7th, 2010, 2:09 pm Post #41 - February 7th, 2010, 2:09 pm
    WinnetkaFoodie wrote:The scallops were perfect - just a bit golden, wonderful texture... and 15 of them!


    If you got 15 scallops in any entree, I'd have to assume they were bay scallops.
  • Post #42 - February 12th, 2010, 2:41 pm
    Post #42 - February 12th, 2010, 2:41 pm Post #42 - February 12th, 2010, 2:41 pm
    Seamus wrote:
    WinnetkaFoodie wrote:The scallops were perfect - just a bit golden, wonderful texture... and 15 of them!


    If you got 15 scallops in any entree, I'd have to assume they were bay scallops.


    Hi, this is Louie Alexakis the owner of Avli. 1st, thanks everyone for the kind words, we keep trying :) Plus, the chef and I made a recent trip to Montreal and hope to introduce some wonderful new dishes in the coming weeks.

    Regarding the scallops they are Sea Scallops, specifically Maine Day-boat scallops, and they are amazing. The normal Entree includes 7-8 of them, so either 1.) It just seemed like more or 2.) I need to murder the chef, haha!

    If you would like to learn more about the scallops, please see the following link from Supreme Lobster :

    http://www.supremelobster.com/best%20dish%20cha.htm

    We hope to enter the contest, wish us luck!

    Sincerely,

    Louie Alexakis
  • Post #43 - February 12th, 2010, 3:16 pm
    Post #43 - February 12th, 2010, 3:16 pm Post #43 - February 12th, 2010, 3:16 pm
    The normal Entree includes 7-8 of them, so either 1.) It just seemed like more or 2.) I need to murder the chef, haha!


    I think I know what happened - I must have misunderstood what the waiter told me when he was describing the dish. I thought he said 15, and had that number stuck in my head. It really did seem like more than 7-8, but I always cut each one in half, too, which gets me to 15 bites...

    Anyway, I was clearly under the influence of a delicious dish! Sorry for the confusion!
  • Post #44 - February 15th, 2010, 2:25 pm
    Post #44 - February 15th, 2010, 2:25 pm Post #44 - February 15th, 2010, 2:25 pm
    I had an excellent birthday week meal at Avli with 6 family members on Saturday night. Between the seven of us, we were able to sample much of the menu, although not all of my relatives are as adventurous eaters as I am. My favorites were the grilled octopus—still thinking about it—and the grilled whole Mediterranean sea bass ordered by my dear husband, Cabbagehead. Because he loves me, he let me have several bites but kept the head (which he asked for) to himself. I had the scallop special mentioned above, which was delicious as well. Thanks to all of you who recommended the zucchini chips—probably wouldn’t have ordered them without this thread, and they are not to be missed. I also thought the complimentary melizanosalata was very tasty, and the taramosalata was good but not as salty and zingy as my gold standard for that dish at Greek Islands. Each brother ordered the massive “Poseidon platter” of grilled octopus, calamari, and shrimp (despite Cabbagehead humming “The Morning After” as they did so), each consumed the whole thing, and neither offered his older sister one bite!

    Dessert: “Choclava” was enhanced by the small scoop of vanilla ice cream, but the Greek yogurt mousse surprised me (even though I am very fond of Greek yogurt) with its tangy sweetness and cool smoothness. Although the restaurant was packed on the Saturday night before Valentine’s Day, our service was professional and gracious; Mr. Alexakis stopped by several times to see how we were enjoying our meal, and my sister-in-law made sure I received the birthday version of choclava with candle, “happy birthday” written in chocolate, and the staff singing.

    I look forward to trying Avli’s courtyard when the weather gets warmer, but I hope to eat there again sooner than that.
  • Post #45 - February 27th, 2010, 11:13 pm
    Post #45 - February 27th, 2010, 11:13 pm Post #45 - February 27th, 2010, 11:13 pm
    Took my sister-in-law and her fiance out for a celebratory dinner here tonight after reading all the glowing notices here and it did not disappoint at all. The fried zucchini chips were amazing as advertised, nearly worth the trip alone. I ordered the lamb shank, which was rich and flavorful, expertly prepared and seasoned. My wife had the sea bass, which was fresh and delicious. Tasted the scallop special, and it too was wonderful. Our companions have some dietary restrictions, so they brought along a vegan carrot cake (actually quite good), but the owner or manager upon hearing we were celebrating offered us a complimentary dessert item they were working on for a big reveal next week--delectable chocolate stuffed figs. It was a busy, bustling night, but we never felt rushed. The service and atmosphere were both great and the prices were very reasonable for the level of food being served. Overall, an excellent experience and a great option for meeting people coming from the city.
  • Post #46 - June 22nd, 2010, 3:52 pm
    Post #46 - June 22nd, 2010, 3:52 pm Post #46 - June 22nd, 2010, 3:52 pm
    I had another great lunch at Avli a few days ago. I love sitting on their patio and soaking in the weather, along with the great food. We did our best to venture away from our often-ordered favorites and were rewarded for doing so . . .

    Image
    Mavromatika
    This new salad is a mix of orzo and black-eyed peas. I really enjoyed the combination of flavors. Both ingredients were cooked perfectly and the textures were satisfying.


    Image
    Aginares Skaras (Grilled Artichokes)
    These chokes were earthy and supremely tender, and served with a brightly-flavored garnish of lemon zest, capers and olive oil


    Image
    Grilled Octopus
    Ok, I think I've had this just about every time I've been to Avli but it's just too good to pass up. The octopus was crispy and tender. The lemon, oregano and olive oil were excellent accompaniments, as were the sweet, grilled red onions.


    Image
    Tsoureki French Toast
    Made from tsoureki, a traditional Greek sweet bread, this was very tasty. This was actually Louie's lunch but he insisted that we share it with him. I loved the house-made Greek honey syrup (not pictured) that was served with it.


    Image
    Greek Gyros Omelet
    Feta, Kefalograviera and Manouri cheeses with gyros meat . . . rich, decadant and delicious. The potatoes were outstanding, too. They were light and fluffy on the inside and perfectly crispy on the outside.


    Image
    Lamb Burger
    Excellent, exemplary rendition that was juicy and bursting with flavor. I've had so many lamb burgers that were flavorless, dry and overcooked. Needless to say, Avli's was in another league. I could not believe how delicious it was. It was served on a freshl ciabatta, along with fried zucchini chips, whole-grilled scallions and a small serving of tirokafteri (spicy feta dip).

    Louie was kind enough to share some wine with us, which was very generous of him. We had some red and some white, neither of which had yet been added to the list (though that was soon to happen), so I cannot recall what they were. I love the fact that expansive list is comprised entirely of Greek wines, making it about as distinctive a list as I can remember. I don't know much about Greek wines but I hope to learn more by dining at Avli on a regular basis.

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #47 - August 30th, 2010, 2:56 pm
    Post #47 - August 30th, 2010, 2:56 pm Post #47 - August 30th, 2010, 2:56 pm
    I had another great meal at Avli on Saturday night. Everything was as good as in the past. The Chow Poodle tried a new (to me) dish called Poseidon Plate, which included grilled octopus, calamari and shrimp. The place was packed to the gills on a beautiful Saturday night, but our party of 7 got to sit outside on the patio, which made a great meal even better. Louie was his usual gracious self and the service was spot on, despite the full house.

    Poseidon Plate (Chow Poodle Photo)
    Image
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #48 - August 30th, 2010, 3:10 pm
    Post #48 - August 30th, 2010, 3:10 pm Post #48 - August 30th, 2010, 3:10 pm
    I will try and write a more comprehensive review at some point, but I have dined twice now at Avli and have been very impressed with the food on both occasions. I have tried several of the vegetarian offerings as well as a couple of the seafood options, and everything has been delicious. The space is also very attractive if a little cramped, and I hope to dine on the patio at least once before the weather turns colder.

    One of our meals was carry-out and they did an outstanding job packing everything and having it ready quickly.

    Really a great neighborhood place that has me more excited now to visit Greece for the first time in October!
  • Post #49 - August 30th, 2010, 10:05 pm
    Post #49 - August 30th, 2010, 10:05 pm Post #49 - August 30th, 2010, 10:05 pm
    stevez wrote:I had another great meal at Avli on Saturday night. Everything was as good as in the past. The Chow Poodle tried a new (to me) dish called Poseidon Plate, which included grilled octopus, calamari and shrimp. The place was packed to the gills on a beautiful Saturday night, but our party of 7 got to sit outside on the patio, which made a great meal even better. Louie was his usual gracious self and the service was spot on, despite the full house.

    Poseidon Plate (Chow Poodle Photo)
    Image


    I had this the last time I went and will have a hard time ordering anything else. Charred octopus is a favorite, and so are acidic sauces. This has both in spades. Light, crunchy, perfectly cooked seafood.

    Oh, and the plate is plenty big for two people. But why not order some more. The leftovers eat very well cold from the fridge.
  • Post #50 - January 3rd, 2011, 12:14 am
    Post #50 - January 3rd, 2011, 12:14 am Post #50 - January 3rd, 2011, 12:14 am
    I had lunch at Avli last week, where I continue to eat regularly; about once a month. As expected, lunch was terrifiic. Here are a few shots and comments . . .

    Image
    Revithia (Chickpea Soup)
    This soup was fantastic. It was so rich via the inclusion of great Greek olive oil and sweetly roasted garlic. I couldn't believe the depth of great flavor here. The texture of the whole chickpeas was absolutely perfect.


    Image
    Lentil Salad | Baby lentils with roasted red pepper, feta, herbs, olive oil over baby spinach
    Great, as always. One of my favorites at Avli. The Greek lentils they now use (instead of the green De Puy variety) seem like an improvement in this cold salad.


    Image
    Bekri Meze | Marinated pork tenderloin pan seared in olive oil, with garlic, red wine and spices
    I'd never had this before and it was great. The tenderloin was cooked perfectly so that it was still juicy and the wine-based sauce brought a lot to the dish.


    Image
    Grilled Octopus
    This dish is probably my all-time favorite at Avli. It's so tender and flavorful, and the grilled onions are an inspired touch.


    Image
    Papoutsakia | Roasted half-eggplant stuffed with onions and herbs
    I love this vegetarian selection at Avli. It's flavorful far beyond the sum of its parts and the eggplant is cooked so perfectly, you can eat the entire thing, even the skin. The tomato sauce is bright and tangy, and provides a contrast for the rich eggplant.


    Image
    Vinsanto Volcano Cake
    Louie was rolling this new dessert out on NYE and sent one out for us to try. I really liked the combination of the preserved Greek tart cherries with the molten chocolate cake and the vanilla ice cream. The cake contained a bit of Greek vinsanto wine, which is where the dessert gets its name. The sauce is made with the delectable preserving juice from the cherries.


    Image
    Preserved Greek Tart Cherries
    These are the cherries used in the Volcano Cake. We liked them so much, Louie brought the jar out so he could serve us a few more.

    I forgot to mention this earlier but Avli was recognized in 2010 with a Wine Spectator magazine Award of Excellence for their wine list.

    I continue to be impressed not only by the food and service at Avli but also by how remarkably consistent they both are. I enjoy the place so much I ordered a few items from Avli for a holiday party and they were big hits. I actually like their meatballs (Soutzoukakia Smyrneika) better than the ones I (used to) make myself for this party.

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #51 - February 10th, 2011, 11:55 am
    Post #51 - February 10th, 2011, 11:55 am Post #51 - February 10th, 2011, 11:55 am
    We had another excellent dinner last night at Avli. I think it serves some of the best Greek food I have eaten. My family enjoyed a lovely evening and managed to finish off a large and delicious meal. The meze are terrific. The must-order grilled octopus, pictured above in one of Ronnie’s amazing photos, is tender and well flavored with onion, olive oil, and lemon. My son can’t get enough of the zucchini chips with skordalia. It’s pretty funny to see how a big cooler-than-you 18-year old practically swoons over these. The waiter put the large plate down in front of him, and the rest of us were lucky to grab some. The three spreads with Avli’s excellent toasted pita triangles are very good, although I still enjoy Greek Islands’ taramosalata more for its moister, saltier, more-like-the-ocean taste.

    The grilled whole sea bass was expertly cooked again—the crispy skin and wonderfully moist flesh make it a real treat. (In contrast, I had the same dish at Santorini a few weeks ago, and it was dry and dull.) Cabbagehead’s Colorado lamb chops were generous and had that lamby slight gaminess that makes people either love or hate lamb, and we love it. A big helping of the briami stewed vegetables came with my fish entrée. This was the first time I tried these, and they were flavorful and soft (“done well,” as my MIL would say), but yet each vegetable retained its shape and texture. My daughter ate all her bacalao with more (!) zucchini chips before I could get a taste, and one small bite was all I had of my son’s tasty gyros. His only complaint was that he received only one thin slice of tomato on his plate.

    It had been a while since we were last at Avli, and I was pleased to see it is better lit now. No problem reading the menu with my middle-aged eyes! I can’t wait to go back.
  • Post #52 - February 11th, 2011, 4:08 pm
    Post #52 - February 11th, 2011, 4:08 pm Post #52 - February 11th, 2011, 4:08 pm
    Avli Estiatorio has been nominated for a Great Neighborhood Restaurant award. Please post your comments in this thread. Discussion continues through March 7.

    Thanks,

    =R=
    for the GNRs
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #53 - February 11th, 2011, 4:46 pm
    Post #53 - February 11th, 2011, 4:46 pm Post #53 - February 11th, 2011, 4:46 pm
    I had lunch at Avli a few months ago. I had the octopus dish shown above; I liked the taste and it was nicely tender, but it was also quite greasy/oily. Overall, I thought Avli was okay, not bad, but it didn't really "wow" me either.

    I've heard that some people automatically assume that, when a frequent poster here does not post a detailed report immediately after a meal, it's because the meal didn't "resonate" with them. That's not always the case, at least with me; there are many reasons why I might not post right after a meal. But regardless of why I didn't post about it, I was not overly enthusiastic about my lunch at Avli. OTOH I am happy to point out that it was my only visit there and also that a lunch does not represent as robust an experience as dinner. Anyway, that's how I felt about my lunch there; take it as you will.
  • Post #54 - February 11th, 2011, 4:47 pm
    Post #54 - February 11th, 2011, 4:47 pm Post #54 - February 11th, 2011, 4:47 pm
    Great restaurant w/great food overseen by a true restauranteur. Louie should give lessons to the oh so many in need. The only thing I'm not sold on is the neighborhood. In spite of it's questionable location, I really love this place. Very deserved yes.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #55 - February 11th, 2011, 4:51 pm
    Post #55 - February 11th, 2011, 4:51 pm Post #55 - February 11th, 2011, 4:51 pm
    The only thing I'm not sold on is the neighborhood. In spite of it's questionable location, I really love this place.


    What about the location is questionable - being inside The Laundry Mall, or something else? I know that those of us who live in Winnetka are thrilled to have such a good restaurant nearby. It's a bit of a wasteland between Evanston and Highland Park/Highwood, and Avli has been a wonderful addition to the community.
  • Post #56 - February 11th, 2011, 4:53 pm
    Post #56 - February 11th, 2011, 4:53 pm Post #56 - February 11th, 2011, 4:53 pm
    Jazzfood wrote:The only thing I'm not sold on is the neighborhood. In spite of it's questionable location, I really love this place.

    I'm not sure what you mean by this part of your post. :?: Winnetka's central business district is very pleasant. And lest you think it's not neighborhood-ey (is that a word? residential?) enough, I'll note that when I ate there, I parked around the corner on Birch Street, in front of the church on the east side of the street, where the west side of the street is all residential. Even though it's not the neighborhood where I live, there are plenty of residences just a half a block from the restaurant. So it's definitely in someone's neighborhood, even though it isn't mine! And I'm sure plenty of locals go there.
    Last edited by nsxtasy on February 11th, 2011, 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #57 - February 11th, 2011, 4:54 pm
    Post #57 - February 11th, 2011, 4:54 pm Post #57 - February 11th, 2011, 4:54 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:I had lunch at Avli a few months ago. I had the octopus dish shown above; I liked the taste and it was nicely tender, but it was also quite greasy/oily. Overall, I thought Avli was okay, not bad, but it didn't really "wow" me either.

    That rich, Greek olive oil that dresses the grilled octopus dish is one of the best parts of it, IMO. This is one of the top renditions I've had in Chicago -- and beyond, for that matter.

    I went into my first visit to Avli very skeptically and came away a huge fan from the get-go. Not only is Louie an enthusiastic, skilled and experienced restaurateur (and food fan) but it shows up where it matters most -- on the plate.

    I heartily endorse this nomination (and would have made it myself if EvA hadn't beat me to it :)).

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #58 - February 11th, 2011, 4:55 pm
    Post #58 - February 11th, 2011, 4:55 pm Post #58 - February 11th, 2011, 4:55 pm
    I only went once, but I really enjoyed it. Great nomination.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #59 - February 11th, 2011, 4:59 pm
    Post #59 - February 11th, 2011, 4:59 pm Post #59 - February 11th, 2011, 4:59 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:That rich, Greek olive oil that dresses the grilled octopus dish is one of the best parts of it, IMO. This is one of the top renditions I've had in Chicago -- and beyond, for that matter.

    < shrug >

    That's why I presented the context of my lunch. IIRC, I only had the one dish. Not a lot to go by.
  • Post #60 - February 11th, 2011, 5:26 pm
    Post #60 - February 11th, 2011, 5:26 pm Post #60 - February 11th, 2011, 5:26 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:That rich, Greek olive oil that dresses the grilled octopus dish is one of the best parts of it, IMO. This is one of the top renditions I've had in Chicago -- and beyond, for that matter.

    < shrug >

    That's why I presented the context of my lunch. IIRC, I only had the one dish. Not a lot to go by.

    We often disagree and I'm perfectly fine with it. I think it's (part of) the basis of our friendship. :D

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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