Bouley alumnus George Mendes's popular restaurant relies on his Portuguese heritage as inspiration and rises to new heights. Although there are no bad seats in this sleek bilevel space decorated with touches of wood, glass, and blue accents, watching Mendes work in his spotless tiled kitchen from one of the seats at the chef's counter in the back is undeniably exciting. Petiscos (small bites) like cubes of crisp pork belly with apple cider reveal sophisticated cooking techniques and flavors. A delicate matsutake mushroom broth floated with a slow-poached egg is edged with a subtle brace of pine while sea-salted cod is subtle with a deep flavor strata that will leave your palate satisfied long after the meal is over.
Sep 19, 2010
My wife and I just spent two Saturday nights in a row (after Met games...I know, I know) dining at this great restaurant. The atmosphere is extremely cordial from the time you walk in the door (actually, before you walk in because the reservation staff is extremely cooperative). If your table is not immediately ready, order one of the exotic cocktails at the bar. I found the Rapidito, which I now love. It is like a margarita, but tastes somewhat smokey
with mescal and an egg white. Last Saturday, I had as appetizers the sea urchin toast and the farm egg and my entree was the pork belly. My wife had the jamon iberico (ham) as her appetizer and the sea scallops as her entree. My wife is not a dessert eater, but I had the dark chocolate/expresso (check the restaurant website for the dessert menu). Last night, my wife has as her appetizer the shishito peppers and I had the slow poached egg with chanterelles, sausage and bacon and, again, the farm egg. For entrees, my wife had the wild striped sea bass and I had the arroz de pato, sort of a duck paella. My dessert was the warm milk ricotta tarte. Your mouth should be watering by now because mine is. Everything was heavenly...and I mean heavenly. We would especially recommend the farm egg and shishito peppers as appetizers, the sea scallops and wild striped sea bass as entrees, and the warm milk ricotta tarte as dessert. And don't forget the service. It is excellent. Very helpful and knowledgeable, and attentive without being intrusive. Just a wonderful night out at a scrumptous dining establishment without breaking the bank. Lastly, although we live in New Jersey, we found the public transportation (NYC subway) to Aldea to be very convenient. Enjoy...we certainly did!!!