It has definitely been wayyy too long since I actually had this meal to really post a full review about it, but I hate to let the entire experience go to complete waste. And I mean that in the “wasted blog content” sense of the word. Though I’ve been meaning to write this post for weeks, life kept getting in the way. So, tonight I stumbled onto the pictures from my birthday meal at Aria, and figured I would put them to some degree of good use.
Though it has been almost a full month, the food was definitely memorable and thinking about this meal still makes my mouth water. Fortunately, I have gotten into the habit of taking notes on what I order, or in some cases snagging a menu to take home with me, so I still have a decent record of what I ate. I just won’t pontificate about each dish as much as usual.
*DISCLAIMER – I only swipe menus from establishments that print DATED paper menus that can’t be re-used in any form the following day. I also usually ask for one, much like I did on this particular evening. So, please spare me the comments about stealing stuff from restaurants, ‘cause I ain’t that guy.
Aria is a no-brainer meal in my opinion. You can pretty much count on the service being stellar and the food tasting fantastic. Compared to the recent explosion of new restaurants, Aria is old school Atlanta fine dining (Read: don’t show up in jeans).
If you have not been, figure out a special occasion and go. The menu changes daily and the odds of not enjoying your meal here are pretty slim.
Now…what would a birthday meal be without some Foie Gras? It sure as hell wouldn’t be my birthday meal, I’ll tell you that much.
That is Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Vanilla Roasted Georgia Fuji Apple, Arugula, and Shallot Vinaigrette.
I love a good seared Foie Gras…probably a little bit too much. The light vanilla flavor paired nicely with the caramelized apples and they complimented foie gras beautifully. This was a wonderful dish.
This is the Warm Lobster Cocktail with butter braised Main lobster, broccoli, and black truffle potatoes. I wish I remembered more about this, other than that it was good. This was my date’s appetizer and I was too preoccupied savoring the foie gras to give it more than a bite or two of my attention.
For my entrée, I had the Slow Braised Berkshire Pork Shoulder, served with caramelized onion potatoes, sautéed baby spinach, thin-crisped onions, and natural jus.
This one was another no-brainer. The pork was rich with flavor. The meat was juicy and fell apart on my fork. The jus was flavorful and the mashed potatoes complimented the pork very well. All-around winner.
Both Lady-Feast and I (Sorry Dirty…is that considered plagiarism?) agreed that this next dish was the best of the night.
This is the Herb Crusted Fillet of Lemon Sole, served with artichokes, French beans, sugar snap peas, Applewood smoked bacon, and caper brown butter.
Holy crap this was good. It takes a LOT of awesome for me to say that the fish was my favorite part about a meal that includes a slow braised pork shoulder AND perfectly executed seared foie gras. That is some SERIOUS prejudice to overcome. But the Sole was absolutely flawless. The fish was lightly fried to perfection and the flavor was subtle and balanced. The bacon and brown butter sauce complimented the delicate fish with just enough fat to enhance the dish without overpowering. If this is on the menu when you go, then someone in your party needs to get it.
I don’t know what this mini-pastry was, since it was the obligatory free birthday dessert, but we cleaned the plate.
I can’t wait until I have another excuse to splurge on a meal here. In fact…maybe I don’t have to…
When is Bastille Day again?
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