Aureole 2

August 3, 2008

On August 1, 2008 Linda, Blair and I had dinner at Aureole, which is among the 24 restaurants with the top food ratings in the NYC Zagats guide. Linda’s apéritif was a glass of Duval-Leroy champagne while Blair and I had the Iron Horse Aureole Cuvée. We ordered the Dinner Tasting Menu at $115@, but not the wine pairings offered with it for an extra $80@. We selected a bottle of the 2006 Cold Heavan, Sanford and Benedict Vineyard (Santa Rita Hills) Viognier, which was somewhat disappointing. We also ordered a bottle of the 2006 Et Fille, Kalita Vineyard (Willamette Valley) Yamhill Carlton Pinot Noir which was superb.

The amuse-gueule was a little lobster salad with American hackleback caviar and pea purée.

This was exceptionally good for an amuse-gueule, particularly the pea purée.

Then followed:

MARKET SASHIMI
fresh & pickled celery salad, spicy capicola, black lava salt

The raw striped marlin was excellent. I also liked the garnish of two contrasting celeries underneath. The capicola, which is a sort of Neapolitan ham, was not evident to me. Nor do I know what the three dots in front were, sort of a mayonnaise, I think, but they were a good addition to the flavor as well as the visual effect.
 
CHILLED GOLDEN TOMATO SOUP
crab, melon, cucumber sorbet


This was okay. The cucumber sorbet was lovely, but it didn’t stand up to or contrast with the tomato. The same was true of the crab and melon. One could taste them, but the point of cuisine is to enhance flavors, not to make them struggle to emerge.


 
 
PAN ROASTED WILD STRIPED BASS
olive oil & chive potato puree, melted red peppers

There were nice ingredients here, well prepared, but they were in an incoherent jumble. The purée was lovely, but it would have been more consistent with a Scandinavian mix than this Mediterranean one.    

♦    

BUTTER ROASTED MAINE LOBSTER
sweet corn and chanterelle pudding, tender cippolini onions

This was excellent. The preparation of the lobster was done perfectly. Underneath, which you can’t see in the photo, was a disk of  nice fresh sweet corn pudding that was a traditonal match.

   

THYME ROASTED BEEF FILET
black pepper & horseradish gnocchi, wild mushrooms, wilted watercress


The filet was excellent, flavorful, tender and perfectly cooked. I like the combination of beef and horseradish, but the coarse pepper overwhelmed its flavor in the gnocchi. You can see a brown sauce being poured onto the dish at its presentation; it added some nice depth.

 

♦ ♦ ♦

GOLDEN PINEAPPLE SHAVED ICE
tropical fruit halo-halo


This predessert was okay. The garnishing cubes were of coconut and mango with some litchee on top.

ED BERRY MILLE FEUILLE
lavender crème fraiche, pistachio filo crisps, raspberry sorbet


In season and good.

MIGNARDISES

The cone held excellent warm dark  madeleines. The three truffles with the Linzer torte rounds were superb. We were given a cellophane wrapped cake for breakfast; it went to Blair.

 

♦ ♦ ♦

We had a very nice meal. The service had been good, although sometimes overdone. The ambiance was pleasant in this old Upper East Side townhouse, although it might have seemed crowded if the tables on either side of us were not empty. Aureole is gearing up to move early next year to the new Bank of America building by Bryant Park at 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue. They have already stopped serving lunch. (To see Gary and Varian’s enthusiastic lunch report click here.) We look forward to trying the new digs.

The Aureole website

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s