Aureole at the new location
Took Mom today for her birthday. Formal dining room was lovely. The front room looked a little too tight with the crowd. Mom had the scallops which I think was the only holdover from the old menu to start and the softshell crab BLT. I had the foie gras (what else?) with strawberry. pistachio, peas and anise hyssop and the egg noodle bowl with pork belly, poached egg and pickled veggies. All excellent, even though I felt my dish was something I could've gotten at Szechuan Gourmet a few blocks down. The tomato basil and parker house rolls were delicious and made up for the slightly slow service as the place was packed. The dark choclate torte we shared for dessert was outrageous. I leered at the burger and the pastrami sliders at the bar. Not bad for under $100 though we didn't drink anything. I think Christopher Lee must be a little stifled under Palmer and catering to the theater crowd (I wish I had caught him at Gilt when he had free reign), but I think he'll continue to stretch the boundaries of Aureole like with the Asian egg noodle dish.
I had a pretty positive experience. There was a problem with the AC. So they called me up in the AM to let me know. Problem wasn't fixed by dinnertime, but they had a couple of fans going. It wasn't too bad. They relaxed the dress code for that night, but DH came in a suit and was able to keep his jacket on for the duration of the meal. Felt sorry for the waitstaff who still had to dress up and move. I'm sure that the problem will be fixed by August. They comped a couple of glasses of prosecco because of the AC issue. There's a 15% discount on the total bill as they're working out the kinks. I think this will last until the end of the summer. But our food was very good. I wish they would have a better bread selection. There was a choice of multi-grain baguette, tomato-basil bread and olive bread. I was looking for just a plain ol' white baguette. The only mishap was that they forgot to charge us for a half bottle of wine. Desserts were awesome (probably because they weren't overly sweet), and the selection of mignardise (though very chocolate-heavy) were wonderful. They gave me an olive oil madeleine for the next day.
Portions are on the smaller side. But you and your mom should be full after all three courses and mignardises. Plates were definitely labor intensive and quite beautiful. Is it my favorite restaurant in NYC? No. But I still think it would be a very nice place to enjoy a birthday lunch.