I have many favorite restaurants in Boston. I love Sonsie for brunch and a superior Eggs Bennie with smoked salmon, Mistral for a fancy dinner and the best Espresso Martini in town and Kashmir for a curry that makes me weep to be back at home in England. However, when it comes to thinking about pate and French inspired easy going dining, I could not think of a better place than Aquitaine.
I was meeting my wonderful friend BosGuy for dinner and the theater. After contemplating a number of South End restaurants near the theater, we decided on bar dining at Aquitaine. A risky move for a Friday night as it has a very small bar area. I was first to arrive and luckily there were two stools left in their uber teeny bar area that seats no more than eight people. I ordered a glass of Grenache Blanc and waited for my friend to arrive.
Aquitaine is classically French in décor. A small, long Parisian style restaurant with cozy tables and booths covered with white tablecloths. Nicotine stained walls, mirrors and a large chalk board presents patrons with the specials of the day. The waitstaff are efficient and friendly and mill around the restaurant in an unhurried, expert fashion. The small bar area is darling with bar to ceiling walls of wines and a bartender who commands his area like his own ship. My friend arrived soon after and immediately ordered a Dead Eddie, the gin special of the evening. Tangy, fresh, ginilicious!
While looking at the menu some warm and deliciously soft, tasty cheese balls were brought to us. Definitely a favorite for me. Pop in your mouth and your weekend has begun with a smile.
We looked at the menu and as we are both familiar with it we know many of the dishes. As a creature of habit I almost always go with the chicken liver mousse and lemon sole. This time I was determined to order something different. I noticed the woman next to me eating an intriguing looking dish. When I asked what it was she said it was absolutely delicious so I thought why not. I started with the Oeuf En Cocotte.
The idea is to open the jar where a soft poached egg sits on top of pureed potatoes with truffles and chanterelles. You have to thoroughly mix everything together so that the egg runs throughout the jar. This dish is quite unusual. The texture is of semi-runny egg with mushy potato. An intense flavor of truffle overwhelmed me with happiness at first bite. I absolutely love truffle!!! Dipping the brioche into the jar reminded me of breakfast at home when my mum would make soft boiled eggs still in the shell. I am still on the fence on whether I loved this dish. I most certainly did like it and anything with truffle definitely has me leaning towards liking anything.
BosGuy decided on the always good Belgian Endive Salade. A prettily presented salad of shredded fresh endive drizzled with a light dressing with an added crunchy texture of walnuts and apple.
On to my entrée and the Plat du Jour of the Long Island Duck Breast. Duck is one of my favorite meats, especially when it is cooked just right. I always say “cook to chef’s recommendation” and at Aquitaine I was right to do so. The tart sweetness of the peach created a perfect marriage with the medium rare grilled juicy duck. Alongside peppery, biting spiced black rice, I could not have been happier with my dish.
My friend went for the Tagliatelle and before I had a chance to say “can I have a taste” it was all gone. He obviously thoroughly enjoyed his dish.