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Third time's a charm at Aquitaine Bis

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Third time's a charm at Aquitaine Bis

peelmeagrape | May 22, 2006 11:30 AM

Paid a third visit to Aquitaine Bis on the weekend and was delighted that it finally fired on virtually all cylinders. The first time I went, the food was fine but didn't blow me away (carmelized onion and cheese tart, scallops with parsnip puree). The second time, the bun that came with my burger was dried out, though the Boursin cheese was a nice touch and the fries arrived wonderfully crispy. Worse the second time was the very mediocre bartender who served up a little too much attitude alongside her barely drinkable cocktails.

This most recent visit was an improvement. The bartender knew his stuff, guiding us at meal's end towards a wonderfully complex dessert wine and an enormous egg yolk-y dish of chocolate mousse. He was there, decisive and efficient when we wanted him, but completely unobtrusive when we didn't. We also discovered some instant favorites on the menu: the filet au poivre and the duck ravioli. The beautiful piece of lightly spiced beef arrived more rare than medium-rare but was tender and succulent. My only complaint about the creamy cheese sauce was that there wasn't more of it. The side of potato gratin was tasty but could have been hotter and the only green on the plate was a tasty but solitary braised green onion. The al dente duck ravioli came bathed in a supremely decadent foie gras sauce, every drop of which we greedily spooned up.

With a bit more attention to detail, this place could be really wonderful. Regardless, it would be easy to make the dishes we ordered a weekly ritual. Total price before tip, including 2 cocktails to get us started, was $90.

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