Total Bill: $127.00 for two

This was much needed after a hectic week at work. Aldea is THE perfect culinary cure — a soothing scene and array of refreshing food to help you unwind.

First off, the pristine setting provides an instant relief and once you see that menu, it’ll be easy to forget everything but your upcoming meal. We sat at the bar in the back, which I would say are the best seats in the house. Watching the team work only adds to the experience of what ultimately comes out on the plates.

We started with two delicious small bites — lightly-cured fluke and warm uni toast. Four luscious pieces of fluke sashimi were sprinkled with ossetra caviar, a coconut chip, resting over sweet almond milk.

It seems hard to top, but then came the sea urchin toast — a single crunchy slice of toast spread with cauliflower purée and mustard seed, which gave it the perfect hint of wasabi-like kick. They toast the creation all together, giving the uni a buttery, melting texture.

For my entree, I had the venison…rare! There’s very little gaminess to it, and the sweet carrot mousse and seasoned black trumpets really elevated the flavors. Each of the three cuts of venison was fresh, unblemished, and tender from start to finish. And unlike most restaurants of this caliber, the portions were actually generous!

Jay had the grilled pork chop, also generously sized, and lined with a beautiful layer of fat. Teamed up with buttery mushrooms and, who would have thought, calms, will make your $31 very well spent.

We ended the meal with the fresh and fluffy donuts, caked in sparkling sugar. It came with three dipping sauces — chocolate, apple sauce, and caramel — the last being my favorite!

These days,  I try not to hit up restaurants twice, given my limited budget and the thousands of restaurants I still need to try in the city. But this will be one exception.


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