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Avec's Josh Perlman details Giant's global wine list and rotating cocktails

Avec's Josh Perlman details Giant's global wine list and rotating cocktails
Photograph: Courtesy of Galdones Photography

There’s been a lot of buzz around Jason Vincent’s new restaurant Giant (3209 W Armitage Ave), which is scheduled to open in Logan Square in the beginning of July. The food menu, developed in Vincent’s own kitchen by himself and Ben Lustbader (Nightwood), will focus on simple, seasonal plates as well as house-made pastas. But the beverage program, developed by Josh Perlman (Avec), is going global.

This is the first restaurant from the trio and, at least for Perlman, something between them all just clicked. “While I was at Avec, people had approached me with projects before but nothing felt right until I started talking about Giant with Jason,” he says.

In an effort to mirror Vincent’s food, Perlman has selected wines that reflect the seasons, sourced from natural, holistic winemakers. Perlman has taken countless trips all over the world, including half a dozen visits to Spain, to learn about the culture and understand a new generation of eco-friendly, responsible growers. One lesson he’s taken from these producers is, “what grows together, goes together,” which could also serve as the motto for Perlman’s menu.

The wine-centric menu starts off with about 40 bottles that will be adjusted as Perlman learns the neighborhood’s preferences. A diverse selection of a specific type of wine is something that Perlman loves. During the summer, guests can expect an extensive list of sparkling wines and rosé by the bottle and glass.

There will also be beer, cider and cocktails on the menu. Giant is located directly between Scofflaw and Sink | Swim, so it won’t be tackling a huge cocktail menu. Instead, Giant will have a list of three to four rotating cocktails. They’ll be very, very simple: one stirred, one boozy, one fresh, and one simple mixer with a high quality spirit. Perlman imagines brighter summer drinks, like a white negroni, and Manhattans in the winter.

For Perlman, a meal without wine is incomplete, “I think of wine as a sauce almost,” he says. At Giant, the food and wine will seamlessly blend together. The 44-seat restaurant won’t even have a separate bar (it will act as more of a service area, according to Perlman).

“There’s something very satisfying about food and wine, it’s so visceral. It’s so simple and brings so much joy to people,” Perlman says. “When people experience something for the first time and enjoy it, that’s really satisfying to me.” 

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