By grace.g.yang ยท August 16, 2010
Under: American,Burgers,Desserts,Lunch,Michelin 2010 Guide,Midtown West,My Life,Prix-fixe

My mom and I continued on my quest to dine at every Michelin-starred restaurant in New York by making reservations at Aureole. We decided to go to the new location (in Times Square) because we were in the neighborhood (now that I think about it, I have no idea why we were near Times Square). The second Aureole in Manhattan is located in the new Bank of America building across the street from Bryant Park:


The restaurant has two parts – a bar area (you can dine there as well as get a quick drink after work) and the main dining room. They have two different menus, but a lot of the selection overlaps. Even though they participated in Restaurant Week, they decided not to extend it (many restaurants are going through Labor Day). Even though they didn’t have the restaurant week special, they had a great option for lunch – 3 courses for $34. We sat in the main dining room:


We decided to order a la carte as well as from the pre-fixe menu. After we placed our orders, a server came long with bread and butter. The server had three types of bread and my mom requested all three:



I went with all three breads as well, but the only type of bread that I liked and asked for seconds of was the walnut raisin. The sourdough bread was very vinegar-like and the other roll was too greasy. The butter was at the perfect spreading temperature (which I think is a very important issue many restaurants overlook!)

Next came our amuse bouche, homemade guanciale with smoked paprika coulis:


The guanciale mixed with the coulis was a smokey and savory bite that got us very excited for our lunch!

For my appetizer, I ordered the roasted curried shrimp with cauliflower puree, spinach, and a red wine reduction:


The shrimp was quite large and was cooked al dente (if you can use that term to describe the way shrimp is cooked). Alongside the cauliflower puree and spinach, the dish was a great way to start the meal. Our server brought a plate so my mom could share the appetizer.

For my mom’s main course, she was in the mood for their burger and ordered the Aureole grilled burger with applewood smoked bacon, white cheddar, and pickled ramp dressing:


My mom ordered the burger medium rare, but it came medium well:


It’s always awkward to send food back when you’ve already cut it up so we decided to try it and see if it was still edible (it was…and it was still pretty juicy!) The applewood bacon and the perfectly selected bun were my two favorite parts of the burger; the bacon added the perfect amount of salt to the seasoned beef and the bun soaked up the pickled ramp sauce but still held together in my hands. It was one of the best burgers I’ve had in New York, surprisingly, and the overcooked meat was only a little setback.

For my main course, I ordered the spiced rubbed lamb tenderloin with sweet and sour eggplant, escarole, couscous, and apricot lamb jus:


The lamb was tender and so delicious – a perfectly seared crust on the exterior of the lamb with accompanying apricot lamb jus added just enough sweetness to the meat. I didn’t like the couscous or the sweet and sour eggplant, but the lamb was so delicious and filling that I just skipped both of the sides.

For dessert, I ordered the chocolate mousse cake with raspberry bubbles and caramelized bananas:


I ordered the chocolate mousse cake because my mom was in the mood for ice cream before lunch and I promised her that their menu would have some dessert with ice cream…apparently the dish doesn’t come with ice cream, but the server could tell that we really wanted some and gave us a side of malted ice cream. The chocolate mousse cake reminded me of the milk chocolate palet from Sho Shaun Hergatt, but the caramelized bananas added a nice contrast to the very smouth mousse. We also had some cookies:


The chocolate chip cookie was my favorite, but the other ones were also pretty good. Our lunch at Aureole was very enjoyable; the servers were very attentive but not overbearing, they gave us a ton of walnut raisin bread, and they were very accommodating because we were very early for our reservation and seated us anyway. I’d love to visit the original Aureole (on the UES in a very beautiful townhouse) for another tasting or visit the Bryant Park Aureole and eat at the butcher’s table in the bar room.

Aureole on Urbanspoon

Reader Comments

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Written By Leslie on May 9th, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

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