Restaurants & Bars

Aubergine, Hillsdale--Downhill, way way down

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Aubergine, Hillsdale--Downhill, way way down

lucia | Sep 13, 2003 10:40 AM

Dinner at Aubergine in Hillsdale, NY, this past Thurs. After a few good meals there months ago I have casually recommended this restaurant to hounds, something I would now like to apologize for.

First, dinner for two with wine and tip (no coffee or dessert) broke the $200 mark. Second, neither the food or the overall experience was anywhere near worth it. A quick recap:

Place was emptyish at 7. My app, a tuna tartare, was a vile brown pile of raw fish mixed with eggplant puree and an excess of soy sauce with a sesame cracker on the side. I was very hungry but ate about 1/3.

Main course was chicken fricassee (the menu was that unappealing!) which was overcooked bits of chicken breast, undercooked carrots, and a few other veg in a brown sauce that tasted distinctly beefy—no chicken flavor at all! The dishes I did not order were unboned skate, salmon fillet, lamb chops, and beef steak.

Cheese plate was beautiful, though expensive, and did not come with bread (had to ask) or the promised grapes. The bread was an issue—snide comment from server. The server could not identify three of the six cheeses “Oh, that’s a goat cheese.” Well, I knew that.

Got a moderately priced ($37) Burgundy that was drinkable. Will not describe hub’s dishes as I did not taste them, I was so wrapped up in my own disappointing muddle. Hub asked about a special California alembic brandy, server knew nada.

Chef was definitely in the kitchen, cause he came out latterly to sit with a lone diner who was a regular. Heard him talking about how he wanted to get out of cooking every day and get into teaching and media. Oh.

The food reminded me strongly of going out with grandparents to some stuffy mausoleum circa 1970. Hey, mea culpa.

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