The man behind Gilt Bar, Maude’s Liquor Bar, Doughnut Vault and Au Cheval has struck again. His notoriously flashy restaurants are famous for their quiet openings. In the most recent case, Bavette’s soft opened last week and began taking reservations yesterday. The dual level space combines elements of each of his restaurants.
First, the atmosphere is distinctly Au Cheval-esque, with leather booths and vintage light fixtures surrounded by mirrors and exposed brick walls. The menu (price point at least) is similar to Maude’s with entrees such as double cut lamb chop and bone-in ribeye costing close to $50 a piece. The layout channels its neighbor Gilt Bar with an upstairs and downstairs seating area – enjoy dinner on the ground floor and then sneak to the basement for late-night cocktailing.
We have come to expect a lot with Sodikoff’s spaces, as do the hordes of diners that line up each night for a table, and are rarely disappointed. From the décor to the menu, this steakhouse is not another Chicago meat sanctuary you can take the boss or the rich in-laws. This is a place to splurge with friends on baked crab cakes and shortrib stroganoff, sip on cognac sazeracs or shoot spicy picklebacks. Get comfortable in a booth below one of the mounted animal heads, and let the Sodikoff spell take control. Warning: side effects include a light wallet.
Why do we play along with this secrecy nonsense? Because anticipation is half of the fun, and there are oysters and a negroni at the finish line.
218 W. Kinzie St.; 312-624-8154