My colleague and I visited Aviva Restaurant in Chicago to sample their menu. The best way to describe the menu is to call it Contemporary Mediterranean.
Aviva is located next door to the iconic Parthenon Restaurant in Greektown on Halsted.
The décor at Aviva is a subdued elegance. The walls are lightly decorated with a few pieces of artwork and mirrors. The dark wood floors and beautifully upholstered bench along the side wall and the high ceilings provides for a very comfortable feel. Owner Lorraine Rieff-Liakouras makes you feel like you are family the minute you walk into the restaurant!
As you enter the restaurant you will notice the bar area that seats between 12 to 15 to the right and a cozy lounge sitting area by the front windows. The space is well laid out and will meet your dining needs as well as your after work socializing needs.
The restaurant also has a private room in the rear that can be reserved for company meetings, birthday parties, showers, etc. Please call the restaurant for more details.
The menu is truly Mediterranean and has hints of Spain, Italy, France, Greece, North Africa, and the Middle East. You will find treasures of unique combinations of flavors and textures.
I had the privilege of sampling seven (7) menu items each with its own unique ingredients and flavors. Chef Alan Lake did a wonderful job of making sure each course was completely different from the others.
This is a food lover’s destination. Allow me to share with you just a couple of the menu items that Chef Lake prepared for us that I thought were outstanding:
· Blood Range – Date Salad… Tangy and sweet. A refreshing starter for a Mediterranean meal.
· Pissaladiere… Flatbread of Caramelized Onions and Olives. This was one of my favorites and should be on your list of must-try dishes.
· Duck Risotto on a bed of roasted butternut squash and mushrooms. This was incredibly delicious, rich, and filling. This is another must-try dish.
· For dessert, the Chef made Lemon-Ricotta Cheesecake with roasted grapes. The cheesecake was light and a perfect ending to our meal. I’m a cheesecake lover and this version is second to none.
If you love Mediterranean food, Aviva will not disappoint! It is an absolute MUST visit! If you’ve never tried food from this region, I can’t think of a better place to start your love affair. I know that my love affair with Aviva has only begun and I will be returning often!! Hope to see you there!
310 S. Halsted Street
Chicago IL 60661
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