2/04/2013 04:32:00 PM

Behold, the New A.O.C., Returning on Wednesday

The whole closing the original A.O.C. and moving it to the former Il Covo space a few miles west on Third Street almost seems like it was a seamless transition. Just as they celebrated the restaurant's 10th anniversary, Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne announced their plans, and kept A.O.C. humming along until just a few weeks ago with whispers that they'd reopen "soon." Well, that day has come - the new A.O.C. officially opens this Wednesday. And she's a beaut, right?

They really lightened up the place, taking out all the dark corners and booths and artwork in the dining room, opening it up into the patio and adding a tall communal bar table. With new sage and cream colors, Styne and Goin, along with designer Claire Stansfield, wanted to harken back to the lighter, breezier elegant days of Orso, which lived here for years before Il Covo opened. The patio has its tall leafy trees back, with an edible garden and the fireplace as a focal point.

Goin's menu pretty much remains the same - cheeses, charcuterie, salads, small plates - with more coming from the wood-burning oven, including more focaccias that were a weekly special at the old spot. There are also a few new large plates meant for sharing with the table, things like grilled whole fish with tomato rice, whole roast chicken with panzanella, and suckling pig confit with coconut rice. It's only dinner and happy hour - oh yes, there are cocktails! - for now but once everyone gets their bearings together, lunch and weekend brunch will soon commence.

8700 W. 3rd St.; 310-859-9859

Photos: Aaron Cook / AACK Studio

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