The ABV pimento cheeseburger is not safe. Repeat: the ABV pimento cheeseburger is not safe. But newly-promoted ABV chef Collin Hilton promises it may be replaced with something even better. Hilton, who has worked as ABV’s sous chef since it opened, officially took over the kitchen’s reins this weekend after founding chef Kevin Cimino moved on to work on other projects. "Collin’s worked with us since the beginning. It was a natural fit," owner Todd Smith told Eater. "Collin will start changing menu items this month probably and then January they'll start doing a lot of stuff."
A lot of new stuff as in all new stuff, according to Hilton.
"The idea is by early next year everything will have changed for the most part. I’ve been here since day one and part of menu planning and cooking, so it won’t be an extreme change that will upset anybody. Just ABV, but that much better," he explained. "I’m definitely taking away the majority of things, though. But it would be a minute before I could take away the pimento cheeseburger. I would not remove that until I felt I had something that was better than that. But it’s on my radar."
Dishes he’s been working on are influenced by his Midwest upbringing and include sautéed Brussels sprouts with XO sauce and fried cheese curds, a sliced beef tongue sandwich, vegan pumpkin hummus toast and a bumped-up sausage and charcuterie program. One thing that won’t be changing is ABV’s quirk for only finger foods. "As long as it fits with our casual style of service and the way we present things, Collin can do pretty much whatever he wants. As long as it tastes good, we're cool with it," Smith said. Dishes are slowly making their way onto the menu starting this week.