Had birthday dinners at the Goin duo of AOC and Tavern this past week (maybe next year for Lucques). A few thoughts:
-AOC doesn't get nearly enough love as a vegetarian-friendly restaurant. I lean towards the carnivorous end of things, yet in the two times I have been to AOC I've absolutely loved every meat-free dish I've tried. My clear favorites are the farro and the pappardelle, but every vegetarian dish in the place absolutely wows me. I know where I'm taking vegetarian mom for her next birthday.
-Both dining areas are gorgeous in different ways. The outdoor patio at AOC is probably a little more buzzy and "LA" while Tavern's tree atrium (or whatever they call it) is a little more neighborhoody. The conversations at nearby tables at AOC were about plastic surgery, while the ones at the nearby tables at Tavern were about law school.
-The Devil's Chicken at Tavern is still fantastic. For whatever reason, I have a bias against ordering chicken when I go out (probably because making delicious baked chicken on my own is so simple but I digress), but wow was that delicious. The texture and taste make it a joy to eat, and the braised leeks were good too.
-The lamb shank at Tavern is hearty and delicious, though I wish it came with a little more labneh.
Thoroughly enjoyed myself at each place.