Coming soon from Brendan Sodikoff: Bavette's Bar & Boeuf

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Photograph: Marina Makropoulos

If you spent part of your morning in line at [node:14046027 link=Doughnut Vault;], you may be interested to know that in a few months there'll be another line to wait in. Brendan Sodikoff is opening what will essentially be the Doughnut Vault of burgers: A take-out window in an alley with a limited menu of burgers, fries and soft serve. The name is TBD, and...actually, I'm getting a little ahead of myself here.


So let me back up: Last we heard from Sodikoff he was [node:7542845 link=working on a concept called Ox Diner;], his contribution to a trend that, so far, only exists in theory (Stephanie Izard's diner, the Little Goat, is still several months away). That project, which was supposed to be Sodikoff's next, has been put on hold. In its place: Bavette's Bar & Boeuf.


"People are going to refer to [Bavette's] as a steakhouse, but that's not really how we're approaching it," Sodikoff says. "The main focus of the restaurant is more like a European-style steakhouse, if you will. So there's going to be a lot more stuff going on: A lot of chilled seafood, a lot of terrines...I don't want to use the word sophisitcated but I think it's a little bit more complex in nature than your traditional steakhouse would be."


Some key details about the place:


- The space, in an undisclosed River North location (not far from [node:213239 link=Gilt Bar;]), will hold about 100 people. Construction has already begun, but the restaurant won't open until late October or, if not then, early 2012. (Sodikoff wants to avoid opening during the holidays.)


- Check average per person will be roughly $30–$40.


- The cocktail program will focus on Scotch. "You'll see on the main cocktail list a lot of Scotch cocktails," Sodikoff says. "Both lighter and brighter Scotch cocktails, and classic, dark, stirred, boozy drinks."


- The wine program will be larger than at Gilt or [node:176525 link=Maude’s;], and will include a reserve list. "We're going to try doing a system where basically it will be retail pricing for the more expensive bottles, with a corkage fee on top of that," Sodikoff says. "The more expensive the bottle, the better the deal is."


 - Jeff Pikus will not be the chef, but he and Gilt Bar's Jason Vaughn are both contributing ideas to the Bavette's menu. Some dishes on the menu: Yorkshire pudding with beef drippings, melted butter and gruyere; stuffed mushroom caps with Benton's ham and béchamel; peppered duck-and-goat cheese terrine; hand-cut pasta prepared cabonara-style with housemade pancetta.


- Much of the butchering will be done in-house; the signature steak will be a bone-in ribeye. And there will be a burger.


Which, of course, takes us back to the burger shop, which will be in the back of Bavette's (much like Doughnut Vault is in the back of Gilt Bar). The aforementioned menu of burgers, fries and soft serve will be "minimal, minimal, minimal," Sodikoff says. "It's going to make the [node:150405 link=M Burger;] menu look huge." There'll be no seating (except for patio seating in the summertime) and everything will hover around the $3 mark. "It's going to be a lot of fun. Whether people show up or not, I don't know."


Those of you who wait in line at Doughnut Vault may agree with me when I say: Brendan, I don't think you're going to have a problem.



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