Newish lurker, first time poster. Thought I might introduce myself with a trip report on a recent visit to Aqua. Not exactly in the chowhound spirit, but I promise I'll report on the next awesome Indian buffet I find.
(ratings are from -10 to +10)
Poirier and I ordered the chef's menu, switching out the duck breast for the ahi + foie. Normally I'd have made the switch for only one of us, for variety's sake, but I needed the security.
Bread + Butter +5
Amuse Geule: Cabbage Clam Soup +4
Lobster Tempura +8
with Citrus Endive Salad
A lesser restaurant would have written this as "Deconstructed Lobster Roll." I liked the endive "cole slaw" quite well; Poirier did not. The plate also came with thin slivers of three citrus fruits each of which complemented the lobster in a way different from the others.
Chilled Asparagus Soup +10
with Dungeness Crab, Lemon Oil
Bright, yet rich. Simple, yet multi-dimensional. Um. Asparagusy, yet crabby.
Bacon-Wrapped Dayboat Scallop +7
with Morel Vinaigrette, Potato Ravioli
A few too many things on the plate for my taste. The bacon and scallop were perfectly cooked, and somehow the bacon adhered tightly to the scallop even under the duress of my neanderthal fork work. The potato ravioli were topped with an interesting foam/emulsion (flavor unidentified) but were nevertheless unremarkable, and also undercooked.
Steamed John Dory +7
with Assorted Spring Onions, Tomato Beurre Blanc
I liked the scallop dish more than the John Dory, but this plate was more or less without flaw. The onion assortment was amazing, as was the tomato sauce. But...the style seemed a little old school. And I guess John Dory is not my kind of fish.
Medallions of Ahi Tuna +8
with Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Pinot Noir Sauce, Potato Cake
Had the potential to be +10, but the tuna was besieged with gristle. Once the offending tissue was excised, however, a single bite jostled us down the path of ecstacy. That day, we learned a lot about forgiveness, about life...and a little something about ourselves.
Butterscotch Pot de Creme +4
with Cinnamon Sugar Beignets, Tahitian Vanilla Cream
Topped with a deep, dark, caramel. Okay, this dessert was fine...but PLEASE COME BACK DESSERT SAMPLER!@!@! (http://www.sharkfeeder.com/foodreport...) I admit I may have been too wistful to render impartial judgment on the pot de creme.
A pair of buttery truffles, a tangerine Sunkist Fruit Gem like thing, and a russian tea cake.
Wine Pairings +8
Accommodating and friendly waitstaff and hostess. And extra-special props to "Angelo", who met our request for a faxed menu with reflexive enthusiasm.
"Okay, so, Alfonso gave me this cellphone that he found on the street in front of the club [where we work]. So I thought I'd try to track down the owner, right? Okay. I get into the voicemail, and the first message is like, 'Dennis, where ARE you?! You were supposed to pick me up an hour ago!' But wait! Then the second message is, 'Dennis, I WANT TO FUCK YOU!' Click. Can you believe it?! So I call her number, and she's all, 'Uh, excuse me, how'd you get my boyfriend's phone?!' right away. And I'm like, 'Uh, he dropped it here last night?' Then I hear her start talking to Dennis in the background! She gets back on and is all like, 'Well, can we come get it?' And I'm like, 'Sure' and then she says, 'Well, where is it?' And I'm all 'Uh, doesn't your boyfriend know where he was last night?' And she's like, 'Well, he was pretty drunk." [Very long explanation of the logistics of phone exchange.] But anyway, we waited for like two hours, and they didn't show. So then we just left it in Alfonso's mailbox, because I had a class to get to. Oh, but wait, I totally forgot the best part -- the cellphone was like, totally mangled. ["Mangled how?"] Like, it just had scratches all over it. I mean, you could totally tell he didn't even try to take care of it!"
Summary: Eat at Aqua. Get the chef's menu and wine pairings. Go with a small group, request a dessert assortment for the table. Cry if you have to. Don't skip the root beer float.