AOC Review 02/07 - with pictures
We went to AOC a couple of weeks ago, and I thought I would post the pictures that I took because I have enjoyed all of the pictures my other chowhounds have shared over the years. It was all in all a great meal! It seems they have a new menu for 2007, or at least have added several items to the menu, while keeping some of their more popular items as well. We decided last minute that we were in the mood, and actually called 1/2 hour before we wanted to show up, and ended up getting a booth for 7:15pm! My husband said that was a sign that we shouldn't go (He is of the Groucho Marx school "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.") but I convinced him and with 3 other friends we were off! I apologize if the descriptions aren't very detailed, because the meal was a couple of weeks ago, some I remember loving or disliking, the rest just blended together.
Here is what we had:
Starter: Spicy Olive Paste with Marinated Olives (brought with delicious, soft warm bread)
Roasted Dates with Parmesan & Bacon (wonderful as usual!)
Cheese Plate (I forgot to write down the cheeses)
Marinated Olives & Marcona Almonds (served with the cheese)
Pork Rilletes with Pickled Onions (we really enjoyed this, it was very flavorful, soft, and great on just the table bread)
Clams with Artichokes, Vermouth & Nettles
Farro & Black Rice with Pine nuts & Currants
Grilled Scallops with Saffron Potatoes and Blood Oranges (this was awesome, the blood oranges really made the dish, and the scallops were prepared perfectly)
Pork Confit with Braised Red Cabbage & Mustard (a little overcooked/dry, and bland)
Sautéed Wild Mushrooms Persillade (wonderful!)
Steamed Fingerlings with Crème Fraiche (wonderful!)
Veal Scaloppini, Ricotta Pudding, & Salsa Verde (the breading on the veal was coming off by the time it got to the table, and it was a little too oily)
Young Broccoli with Garlic & Chili
For Dessert: (Let me say, I was not impressed with either of the desserts)
Gateau Breton with Calvados, Smokehouse Apples & Crème Legere (not very tasty, dry, and the apples tasted gritty)
Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Caramelized Bananas & Hazelnuts (the tart was so hard would had trouble cutting it with a knife, but the bananas we good)
Here is the link for the pics!
It was totally worth it. We had a great time and the food was really good. I wouldn't say that it was amazing, but we really enjoyed it. But, unlike a lot of people on the board, we also like Cobras on Beverly. They went through a slump for a while, but the food and service has gotten a lot better, only problem is you can no longer drink alcohol at the tables outside.
I'm a big fan of C+M also, and it often becomes my "small plates" alternative to AOC. I like the food at both for different reasons, though. At AOC I feel like the execution is a bit better, but that's certainly no knock on C+M, which just has a more rustic approach, like a good tapas place should. (All my favorite tapas joints in Spain were the hole in the wall places.)