Occasionally on DESIGNwatcher, I post about a restaurant or bar because I can't help myself. Chicago's Blackbird is one of them, and completely relevant seeing as they won the James Beard award for best restaurant design and twice for best graphic design. Their sister restaurant, Avec is right next door, it's more casual, serves Mediterranean small plates, and doesn't take reservations (The above photo shows both restaurants, Avec on left, Blackbird on right). Our plan was to make reservations at Blackbird, and then see if we could walk into Avec, but their line was eight parties deep. Blackbird was incredible, you're typically inches away from two other tables, so you get peaks of the dishes you didn't order, which I like. Only, the women next to me was having a tough night and burst into tears at one point, which was slightly awkward for about 6 other people in the restaurant. None the less, the fare was delicious: the highlight for me being the Gioia burrata salad with braised lobster mushrooms. After our meal we popped next door just to check out the decor, which sort of reminded me of a sauna room (in a good way?). The design is meant for community eating, and I think it absolutely works with a small plates menu. Check out the photo below and tell me what you think. Eat here when you're in Chicago! 615 + 619 W. Randolph Ave in the West Loop.