For our second Restaurant Week meal of the Winter season, we decided to have dinner at Aureole’s Liberty Room ($38 for three courses). Aureole, located just a little off of Times Square in the Bank of America Tower, boosts one Michelin star. We arrived just on time for our reservation and was ushered to their coat check area. This was a very quick and painless process and we were seated soon after.
The restaurant is very well-lit, which I appreciated very much. I understand that it can be romantic and it gives ambiance, but if the restaurant is so dark that I can’t see my menu, I will not be a happy camper! We were presented the Restaurant Week menu along with their regular menu.
I decided to start with the Foie Gras Torchon with Toasted Brioche and Citrus Marmalade. The menu said grapefruit, but I’m pretty sure I had a clementine marmalade. The foie gras was divine! It was super creamy and very buttery. I actually ran out of brioche and started smearing the foie gras on bread from the bread bowl, which was kind of limitless. When we polished off our first bowl, one of the waiters popped over and offered us another one.
The Boyfriend started with Bucatini Pasta with Ruby Red Shrimp, Spicy Tomato and Herb Gremolata. I had a bite of his pasta and it was a tad on the spicy side. I liked the texture of the pasta – it was cooked to a perfect al dente. But I think we both agree that our favorite pasta dishes belong to the Altamarea Group.
For my main, I ordered the Olive Oil Poached Scottish Salmon with Watercress Veloute and Yukon Potato Mash. I really enjoyed my main! The salmon was cooked perfectly to a mid-rare with the pink hue in the middle and melt-in-your-mouth smoothness. The potatoes was a nice combo with the watercress veloute since the potatoes were otherwise flavorless.
The Boyfriend had the Braised Short Ribs with Red Cabbage, Broccoli, and Pickled Fresno Peppers. The short ribs were pretty tasty but not as tender as we had hoped. It didn’t quite melt in our mouths – until we got to the fattier side. It was a good piece of short rib, just not the best we’ve had.
My dessert was the Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Mousse, Caramelized Walnuts, and Crème Anglaise. The carrot cake pretty tasty – the crème anglaise really made the dish. But the cake itself was a bit on the stiff side. I wish it was a bit softer!
The Boyfriend had the Warm Chocolate Ganache with Oreo Cookie, Caramel, and Espresso Ice Cream. I really liked his dessert (and so did he)! The chocolate wasn’t too sweet at all. The espresso ice cream was so good that I wish there was more. The ice cream had a nice bitter kick but with a creamy, sweet aftertaste.
All in all, you can count on Aureole for a solid meal. The food was good and the endless bread bowl didn’t hurt. I had their signature cocktail, the Aureole, and it was amazing. It tasted like passionfruit bubble tea without the bubbles. So good!
My major complaint with Aureole was how rushed our dinner was. We barely had any time between courses to digest. I think we finished dinner in less than an hour. About a few seconds after our desserts arrived, our waiter dropped off our check. He accompanied it with a “no rush!”, but the damage was pretty much done. I have strong feelings about waiters who bring over checks before we ask for them. It’s a very passive aggressive way of telling your customers to hurry up and get out. They even asked if we had to make a show (they offer a pre-theatre prix fixe) and we told them no. There should’ve been no reason to rush us. I understand it is Restaurant Week, but I have never gotten rushed at any other restaurant during RW. And I’ve been to a few other Michelin starred ones! I think I wouldn’t mind coming to Aureole again, but only if I’m in the area. No special trips for me.