Recently, Mike and I had a date at L’aile ou la Cuisse, or A.O.C., an authentic French bistro in the West Village. Ironically, I lived right within a few blocks of last year and had always been intrigued but never tried it!
Because it was a beautiful evening, we sat outside in their back garden. I love being able to dine al fresco in the city- it kind of takes you away from the hustle and bustle for a bit.
Wines by the glass were expensive, so my dining companion and I split a bottle of Cotes du Rhone. All the wine on their list is French, which is appropriate for the feel of the restaurant.
Before our entrees came, we were also brought a loaf of doughy fresh bread.
For my meal, I ordered the Thon Grille: grilled yellowfin tuna, black mashed potatoes, sauteed spinach and balsamic reduction.
Oh. My. Word. This was good. I was most intrigued by the black mashed potatoes, which were actually grey in color and completely delicious- very smooth, with more flavor than usual mashed potatoes. Everything paired amazingly with the balsamic reduction, as well. It inspired me to try my hand at reductions!
My dining companion got the PMT: prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato and basil on a fresh baguette, served with a heap of crispy golden fries. I stole a few, and they were perfection: golden and crispy without being the least bit greasy, just like in the best Parisian bistros.
Though our meals were very filling, we had to try their desserts. HAD TO. Two caught our eye- the Hazelnut Cube, a cube of chocolate-hazelnut mousse with wafer cookies, all enveloped in white chocolate:
And the Summer Basket, a dark chocolate mousse cake with some kind of chocolate truffle (I believe? The wine took over.) filling.
Both plates were practically licked clean. I preferred the Summer Basket, while my date demolished the Hazelnut cube….though we definitely each ate our fair share of them both.Because it’s not a French meal without a gorgeous pastry to finish!
Do you like French food? And what kind of desserts do you find yourself most drawn to- chocolate ones, fruity ones, creamy ones, frozen ones?