Aureole - I stand corrected
Just had a great meal at Aureole yesterday evening before going to a show. GF chose Aureole because it was conveniently located and they start serving at 5:00 (and it was an early curtain) and I conceded. I said sometime ago that I wouldn't be going back to Aureole because it seemed soulless and corporate but I had based that opinion on the bar area, however, after dining in the proper dining room my mind has been changed. The bar and bar room area is "boisterous" to say the least but when you walk through into the dining room it's a different World, nicely muted, warm tones.
The food was wonderful, I realize dining room and bar room food come from the same kitchen but for whatever reason this was just significantly better than the other time (in the bar room). Maybe perception plays a bigger role in taste than I orignally thought.
Started with an amuse of miso, sesame soup with a sunchocke crsip, the smell was wonderful and the taste was surprisingly mild. I then had the rabbit and foie gras terrine, the portion was actually big enough to share (I did not - GF is a vegetarian), it was excellent. GF had a beautiful salad with charred carrots and a nice aged gouda, she enjoy it greatly. I then had the branzino (one of my favorite fish) which was so perfectly cooked you would have thought it was made for a contest. GF had the chestnut pappardelle pasta sans veal. We were pressed for time (our fault not the restaurant) so we only got a perfunctory taste of the desserts and they were wonderful, very disappointed we couldn't finish.
After some conversation the sommelier's recommendations were spot on as to what we liked and what she thought would work with the food.
Service was very nice, very accommodating to our time constraints, and very personable.
Although we genuinely miss the old location we wouldn't hesitate in recommending Aureole to anyone and we are looking forward to a return visit.