aoc - disappointing
really disappointing meal at aoc last night. it was my 1st experience and probably last. here's what i had:
arroz negro with squid and saffron aioli
cauliflower, curry and red vinegar
lomo and two chorizo
braised pork cheeks with horseradish cream, cornmeal grits
bittersweet chocolate cake with dulce de leche, toasted cashews
while nothing was bad, i didn't find any single item particularly great. almost all dishes were overseasoned. maybe my expectations were too high? service was spotty, waitress was few and far between. i will not return.
the wine factor at aoc is definitely top notch. i had 2 glasses of red, a lobo then la mancha, while gf had flight of rose. there was also a flight of sparkling available that looked interesting.
I've been there twice. In general, the whole experience was better than "good," but I wouldn't say that, if focusing only on what I ate, that the food was outstanding. To me and my friend it was just a great place to have wine and eat without having a serious, big meal. Both times we chose to sit at the counter, and we received good, attentive service. I'll go back anytime when I feel like having some wine, and maybe something to eat too.
It seems to be hit and miss with this place. Have gone mutiple times and always love the idea of it, the reality never quite lives up. Overseasoning is a possibilty. Although I do have to say just from reading your order it sounds devine! Definatly would agree with above about the "Luques" experience especially Sun. night farmers market menu. They have never been wrong about the wine pairing at AOC when I've asked for advice. But even the cheese plate falls flat. Get a better one down the street at Joan's on Third. I still love the bar and the NYC feel of AOC though and it pays to try it a couple times, usually there is one thing that is tremendous.