First Look: The Bishop, Avondale Estates

Avondale Estates restaurant and bar, the Bishop, opened May 13 featuring a mix of small plates, salads, sandwiches and entrees, and an atmosphere owner Luellen Marshall calls “neighborhood-centric.”

The look: Situated in Avondale’s distinctive Tudor-style row of buildings, the neat storefront space is decorated in a mix of neutral colors and roughhewn wood. The cozy bar area is divided from the dining room by a half-wall, and there some choice catbird seats at a rail along the front window.

The scene: On a recent Saturday evening, “neighborhood-centric” seemed to be the perfect word, as Avondale families with children filled several sections of the dining room. At the bar, two couples shared snacks and sipped wine while discussing what neighborhood get-togethers were coming up.

The food: Call it comfort food with a few twists, the menu goes to familiar but not always predictable places. The currently de rigueur kale salad ($6) is dotted with toasted pistachios, diced tomatoes and goat cheese and dressed with herb vinaigrette. A BLT ($12) features thick-cut applewood smoked Pine Street bacon from up the street, spicy pickled fried green tomato, plus lettuce, fresh tomato and mayo on sourdough toast. Smoked fried chicken ($16) is served with whipped cauliflower, honey butter and black-eyed pea “caviar.” For a healthy vegetarian entree, there’s grilled cauliflower ($13) with olive tapenade and tomato ragu. Look for a daily fish entree special at market price.

Drinks: Touting freshness, value and eco-friendliness, the Bishop pours all of its wine on tap from a draft system perched behind sliding glass doors above the back bar. Order the likes of California Lioco “Kush” Carignan by the carafe ($48), half carafe ($24) or glass ($12). Right now, the entire draft beer list is dedicated to offerings from Avondale’s Wild Heaven brewery ($6). The specialty cocktail list includes Hibiscus Iced Tea ($10), mixed with Belvedere vodka, lemon bitters and rhubarb juice.

The extras: On the “Juniors” menu, find kids meals like fried peanut butter and jelly ($5), mac and cheese ($6) or prime rib ($9) served with a choice of fresh fruit, seasonal vegetables, fries or chips.

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