Sunday, January 09, 2011

NYC - Aldea

Someone at Aldea woke up on the wrong side of the bed and decided to have a very heavy hand with the salt at 11:30am. While my arugula and pickled apple salad with Casera cheese and hazelnuts came out perfectly fine, the main dish of farro risotto with pickled cucumbers, mushrooms and orange segments was like licking a salt shaker. 

Loved the coolness of the orange with the warm farro, but hated the saltiness of the dish. Although mama's skate with escabeche jus and sauteed zucchini ribbons seemed to be pretty good.

Dessert was redeeming with a smooth, not overwhelmingly sweet banana caramel bread pudding with creme fraiche sorbet and a roasted pear tarte with gingersnap ice cream . I know that chocolate and pear is a classic combination, hence the cocoa tart shell, but what I assumed would be frangipane ended up being more similar to creme anglaise - an interesting but welcome change.

I don't know if I'd go here again, but for 3-courses at $24.07 it's not a bad deal at all. My favorite part of the meal was probably the delicious Spanish olive oil (I think the waiter said it was Romanico) accompanying the bread to start. That and the fact that I got to stare at George Mendes for most of the time I was there thanks to my seat which let me see his reflection from their semi-open kitchen on the glossy wall. Stalker much? Oh, and +1 Michelin star over JP now.

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