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Avant steakhouse SEAR announces chef as updates continue

Kitchen upgrades at SEAR, the modern steakhouse coming to the Avant building, are under way today.

That means the restaurant, which has attracted backing from former Buffalo Bills Fred Jackson, Brian Moorman and Terrence McGee, should be in play by November.

Old equipment is being removed, and a larger hood installed, said managing partner David Schutte. New equipment goes in at the end of September, followed by staff training. That puts a soft opening in mid-to-late October, Schutte said.

The steakhouse’s design is being finalized, with entrances from the Avant lobby and Delaware Avenue, he said. Plans call for a patio to be added in the spring.

SEAR’s executive chef will be J.T. Nicholson, an Indianapolis native who was a sous chef for star Dallas chef Dean Fearing at Mansion on Turtle Creek and Fearing’s in the Ritz-Carlton. In Buffalo, Nicholson’s resume included Mike A’s under Mike Andrzejewski, 800 Maple and Rocco’s.

SEAR’s menu will include steakhouse standards, and innovative small plates, Nicholson said. “We’re going to pay respect to the traditions, but add our own ideas, especially in small plates, where we’re going to have a little fun.”

Expect meaty dishes like foie gras with sour cherry gel, duck confit bread pudding, and beef carpaccio with black garlic, pickled cippollini onions and cured egg yolk. Vegetables will include a finer version of salt potatoes, he said, and caramelized cauliflower head with olive oil and herbs.

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