Food & Drink

Avril

Spouses who work together can bring out the worst in each other, like Ike & Tina or Jon & Kate -- if they hadn't had all that workplace tension, just imagine how many kids they'd have! Bringing out their culinary best, the couple behind Avril

Opening Wednesday, Avril's a 48-seat, white tablecloth, corner BYO from a long-time Philly chef and his ex-Daily News food editor wife, who've outfitted their Bala bistro with black leather banquettes, Provencal-inspired artwork, and beaded lighting, and offer dishes they say're inspired by the cuisines of southern France and northern Italy, which you think is just Bologna. Savory pastry-based offerings from the menu's "Boulangerie" section include "Petit" dishes like crab-stuffed crepes w/ artichoke & asparagus gratin, and wild mushroom barquette w/ pate sable & sea scallops in bearnaise, while "Grande" fare ranges from seared Muscovy duck breast w/ peach & endive tarte tatin, to profiterole of warm asparagus, hearts of palm, & lobster in mustard-sage vinaigrette, to grilled sausage, radicchio, & chickpea spinach saute in a socca, a chickpea crepe from France, where they actually call it futbol. On the "Bistro" side, smaller plates include four-spice chicken drumsticks fried in a chili Marsala date sauce; lavender-scented grilled shrimp, scallops, & calamari; and a liver-laden, espresso-infused mousse w/ seared foie gras on brioche, while larger offerings run from roast pork w/ roasted garlic corn pudding, and shoulder-cut tenderloin w/ frites, to rabbit braised in white wine -- which, if you gotta go, sounds like a breezy way to do it

Although initially serving only dinner, Avril plans to institute Tues-Fri lunch service, Sunday brunch, and a "Bombance sur Dimanche" Sunday evening feast, offering four prix fixe menus ranging from three to six courses, served "family style". Unless you've got eight kids.