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Restaurants & Bars 8

AOC last Saturday night

MRM | Jul 23, 200301:52 PM

My first time. Party of five. Here's what we had:

Chicken liver crostini with pancetta

Tripes a la mode de Caen

Salad of summer fruit, arugula and marcona almonds

Grilled mustard chicken with sorrel gratin

Vitello tonato with capers and radish

Clams, chorizo and chickpeas

Arroz negro with squid and saffron aioli

Haricots verts, shallots and hazelnuts

Some sausage full of curry.

Three cheeses: pantaleo (goat, from Sardinia), serra de estrela beiras (sheep, from Portugal) and coolea (cow, from Ireland)

Dessert: macadamia tart with coconut ice cream and caramel sauce (I think).

Wine: Sancerre (I can't remember which)

The arroz negro was a little dull, as was the sausage (a special that night) but everything else was fantastic. Afraid that I might go hungry, I made a point of ordering the tripe, secure in the knowledge that maybe one other person would touch it. I did not go hungry.

This new (to me) combination of shellfish and chorizo is a winner. Last week at Chloe I had cockles, chorizo, and a green the name of which has just slipped my mind. Delicious. (The cockle has lived too long in the shadow of mussel. I find the former much tastier.)

One complaint, though: what is it with Suzanne Goin and seating? As at Lucques, we were jammed into an incredibly uncomfortable booth, this one cursed with inconvenient right angles. Is this intended to facilitate turnover? Cram in extra seating? Encourage people to come in smaller parties? Also we were "around the corner", which was good, as the noise level in the main room would have made conversation impossible.

Dinner for five, before tip, came to ca. $250, I think.

I will go back, but probably in a party of two, upstairs, on the patio.

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