I was recently invited to A.O.C. for a press meal. The menu looked pretty stacked, with lots of things I wanted to try, so I jumped at the opportunity to come here.
We sat outside in the back garden, which is beautiful, shaded and perfect for a spring/summer meal outdoors, especially with some colorful cocktails like these.
We started with this amazing charcuterie and cheese board called Le Grand Mix. At $28 I felt that this was great. Usually these kinds of items are way overpriced to me, to the point of feeling like ass rape mixed with getting your balls stomped-on by stiletto heels. Here, however, it seemed very fair, if not actually a good deal. There were five sliced meats, a pair of duck confit crostini, three cheeses, some grapes, sliced apples and strawberries. There was even a small mixed greens salad beneath the apples!
Prosciutto, country ham, smoked duck, mortadella, spicy salami, if I had to guess on the sliced meats. The cheeses were brie, gouda and a harder style like parmigiano reggiano.
For our meal, we shared the cote de boeuf rib eye steak for two.
At $79 it comes with a bowl of mixed veggies and french fries. Great deal! The mixed veggies were all fresh, not frozen, and consisted of green beans, asparagus, broccoli and carrots. These had some basic seasonings like garlic and butter.
The fries were thin shoe-string style, which I like. Some were very crisp, and some were half crisp. It was an interesting mix of textures, but the flavors were spot on and they were well-seasoned.
The steak itself was overcooked, unfortunately. There was a bit too much grey going on for medium rare. The meat, as a result, was a little more dense and tough than I like, but it had good flavor otherwise, especially when dipped into the bernaise sauce that came with it (you can choose peppercorn as well, I think).
Here’s a closer shot of the steak. I boosted the reds a bit in Photoshop on both images, because I couldn’t help myself and I wanted it to look nice for the Instagram post.
I’m giving this a 6/10 instead of a 5 or 4, because ultimately this is a wonderful deal and the only real issue was the cooking temperature. I would definitely come back here and order this again, so don’t get the wrong idea. Compared with other steak-for-two deals that often times don’t come with sides, are smaller, and cost much more money, this is a steal. Just make sure you insist on rare.
For dessert we tried the tarte tartin. I wasn’t expecting pie format for this, since it was described as an apple turnover on the menu. But the apple flavor was very natural and not overly sweet. The crust, however, fell short and was a bit gummy. Ultimately it just lacked character, and tasted more like a thick apple sauce than a pie or tart.
My overall recommendation: Definitely get the charcuterie and cheese boards, and if you want to order steak, go for it but just be mindful of the cook temperature. The hanger looks great, and I’m sure the entrecote shell steak is nice too, traditional steak frites style. The mussels look amazing as well. I wish we had room in our guts to try more stuff, especially those.
A.O.C. L’AILE OU LA CUISSE
314 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014