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“Aix Brasserie”


  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out French Upper West Side Moderate Great

y sometimes.

Virot is also offering a Craft-like section of expertly grilled steak, fish, chicken and lamb to match up with sauces (Vin de Jura, Dijon, Bearnaise, etc.), and sides like steamed asparagus, grilled Neuski Bacon, and yes, French fries. The steak we tried—an all-natural Cedar River Farms strip—was flawless: juicy, smacked with flavor, with a nice salty char. It was textbook perfect. On the side, we ordered some wonderfully meaty sautéed wild mushrooms, and a crock of aromatic French lentils served in a little Le Creuset pot that were as delicious they were adorable.

But Virot is not ready to give up on the neighborhood completely. A few of the dishes we tried were quite complex and intensely fabulous. We loved the Moroccan spiced lamb loin ($14), an appetizer of four slices rich with cinnamon, coriander and cumin flanked by creamy-soft Medjool dates. The house smoked trout salad ($13) was folded with mustard cream and diced celery with some sliced purple potatoes, and Bibb lettuce. If I could have gotten my hands on a couple of slices of Pullman bread or a Pumpernickel bagel (I could have just walked across the street), I would have had one find smoked trout sandwich. Forget tuna people. From now on, I am all about the smoked trout salad sandwich. I also loved the zippy Peekytoe crab salad ($14)—big sweet lumps of meat tossed with julienned cucumber, watermelon radish, and cilantro, dressed in a vinaigrette of red pepper and jalepeno, with a side of smashed avocado and a long sesame crisp for scooping.

One of my favorite dishes on the menu was the steamed wild bass ($28)—a thick glossy filet on a mound of silky basmati rice and sautéed black trumpet mushrooms set in a brothy puddle of white wine and clam jus. The flavors were clean and bright—the cold waters of sea mixed with the dark warm earth. Diana was more partial to the Parmesan-crusted Dorade ($27), with a tile-like tart of sliced zucchini and a tomato-anchovy compote—a much more assertive dish with pungent, brilliant flavors.

After dinner, we shared a chocolate tart topped with bruléed and caramelized bananas (very good) and a Meyer Lemon soufflé (not so good) and surveyed the room. It was packed, and equally divided between burger and beer crowd, the white wine and seared scallop set. Diana (who is married) noticed a guy sitting to our left. Diana is always trying to fix me u ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Upper West Side :
+ 'Cesca   + Asiate   + Blue Hill Stone Barns   + Per Se   + The Neptune Room   + Spigolo   + Telepan   + Aix Brasserie   + 'Cesca   + Bar Boulud   + Dovetail   + BarBao   + Dinosaur Bar-be-Que   + Kefi   + Bar Luna   + Ed's Chowder House   + Red Rooster, by Rachel Barbarotta   + Loi by Dara Pollak   


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