My husband and I chose Aureole for my 50th birthday dinner because it has long been our favorite special New York restaurant. Bad idea! We arrived at 9:25 for a 9:30 reservation on Saturday night, and found four other couples with 9:30 reservations already waiting. We weren't seated until 10, which wouldn't have mattered if the meal had been satisfying. But, aside from a creative and very tasty heirloom tomato appetizer, the food was run of the mill. My duck breast was rare to the point of inedibility. My husband's beef tenderloin was gristly and small. Also, although servers were abundant, they couldn't seem to get dishes out of the kitchen expeditiously; the delays between courses were excruciating. It took 25 minutes to receive dessert and coffee after we placed our order. Given the wait, I expected my fruit cobbler to be hot from the oven, but it was room temperature (and about the size of a half dollar). The whole experience was so bad (especially with a bill of close to $300 with tip) that we will never go back. We had a much better meal the following night at Red Cat for half the price!