Building upon the success of his suburban Winnetka restaurant, Louie Alexakis should soon up his first Chicago restaurant, Avli Taverna. Hidden on a quiet tree-lined street in Lincoln Park, the restaurant is not too far from DePaul University’s main campus at 1335 W. Wrightwood Avenue. It’s a 50-seater with Greek dishes that may be unfamiliar to many Americans.
The bar component is big at this restaurant, and Alexakis has brought on Peter Vestinos (Sepia, The Betty) to develop the drink list. Alexakis loves his Greek heritage, and it baffles him when he sees patrons improperly drinking ouzo. He aims to educated customers how to properly enjoy the Greek spirit.
While vowing he wouldn’t feature gyros on the menu, Alexakis has changed his mind and will serve a gyros sandwich. The full menu features spreads, salads, soups, small plates, and full-sized entrees. Find dishes like slow-roasted lamb, Greek dumplings filled with seasonal stuffings, and old Greek-American favorites. Greek fries with oregano and feta rounds out the selections.
Tour the space below. Avli Taverna’s ownership group includes William V. Glastris Jr. and sportscaster Lou Canellis. It should open any day now. They’ll start with dinner, but lunch and brunch are on their way too.