||Located in Boston's South End, Aquitaine looks like a small bistro in Paris, offering an authentic French dining experience. The award-winning restaurant, owned by Seth Woods, is beautifully designed with its 15-foot high ceilings, oversized windows with organza curtains, leather booths and white tablecloth tables, open kitchen and of course, French artwork.
One Sunday evening, we ventured into the city for what we thought would be a quiet night at the restaurant. When we arrived at 6 p.m., we were the second couple seated but by 6:30 p.m., there wasn't an empty table available.
Aquitaine offers some delightful appetizers. The chef sent over a sampling of cream of parsnip soup, a light, creamy, sweet treat that tantalized our taste buds. We sampled the mussels with shallots and thyme ($9), served in a brass pot, steaming with butter. The escargot ($12) was fresh and meaty, served in a garlic and parsley butter. A couple nearby ordered the roast gold beet salad ($8) and duck confit ($14), which looked tempting.
Our server suggested a 2000 Petit Chablis wine to complement our mussels and escargot. The chef also sent over a sampling of crabmeat salad with rhubarb chutney. The sweet taste of the fresh seafood was a unique yet flavorful pairing with the tart rhubarb.
The entrees here are to be commended. I sampled the duck ravioli with mushroom and foie gras ($19), generously stuffed and served in a tasty mushroom sauce. My friend ordered Aquitaine's signature dish, the steak frites ($26), a sliced, tender cut of beef with pomme frites (better known as French fries). It was easy to see why the pomme frites - crispy, greaseless and perfectly salted - won an award for the best in the city. The chef told us the evening before our arrival, the restaurant served 200 plates of this signature dish - quite a feat in a 45-seat dining room open less than six hours on Saturdays.
Other entrees included roast salmon ($18), filet au poivre ($29) and a vegetarian offering - vegetarian frites with roast vegetables ($17). Each evening, Aquitaine offers a plat du jour. On Sunday, their specialty was a slow-cooked daube of beef, served over hand-cut buttered noodles ($18).
Desserts here are decadent. My friend ordered the warm chocolate pudding cake ($8), which arrived a little too hot but was quickly cooled down with a bite of vanilla ice cream. I indulged in the profiteroles, three flaky pastries stuffed with vanilla ice cream and topped with a dark, rich hot chocolate sauce ($8). The caramel bread pudding with caramelized bananas ($8) sounded heavenly.
For reservations or more information, call 617-424-8577.
Aquitaine Bar a Vin Bistrot
569 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02118
Hours: Thursday - Saturday 5:30pm to 11pm
Sunday - Wednesday 5:30pm to 10pm
Brunch: Saturday and Sunday: 10am to 3pmt
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Kellie K. Speed is
a freelance travel writer and restaurant reviewer. Her features have been
published in various publications including The Boston Globe, Cahnersí
Industrial Distribution and Graphic Arts Monthly magazines and Reno Air
Kellie has reviewed numerous first-class hotels and
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Mexico, to name a few. She has also traveled internationally to Ireland,
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Since she is from Massachusetts, she will be providing
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