Review By: Julianne Di –
We found Aldea on Open Table one evening in the city and decided that it sounded different enough for us to give it a try. And, the menu was seasonal which is always a plus. I was a little terrified because I didn’t recognize some of the ingredients on the list but the staff is very friendly and they explained a lot of the dishes before I even had to ask. I am not a big fan of cornbread but I must say that here it was so moist and did not have that grainy cornmeal texture that so often makes me dislike the bread. The flavor was light just like the texture of the bread and I really enjoyed it along with the dipping oil that accompanied it.
Despite my better judgment I ordered pork and duck pate because I really wanted to try something out of the ordinary. I was definitely taking a risk here though since I was a little squeamish before the dish even came out to the table. When it finally did come I was interested to try it because the color was vibrant and the crispy baguette worked well with it. I have to be honest; I was not crazy about pate and probably won’t be ordering it again any time soon… But, I do have to give Aldea credit for getting me to eat a few pieces of it without making a spectacle of myself.
My main dish was the Arroz de Pato which was duck and rice with bits of chorizo in it as well. I was not pleased with the way the flavors in this dish blended or lack of. It was almost too difficult for me to eat and I ended up putting some of the duck on the side and searching through the rice for the bits of chorizo which was the only thing that I enjoyed eating, unfortunately. I hate to say anything bad about the restaurant since there is such a nice atmosphere, wait staff was friendly, and the plates were arranged so nicely. But I guess Arroz de Pato was not for me.
Everything I didn’t like about my duck and rice was made up for in my dessert option which was a delicious Nutella inspired mousse with a side of banana brulee and frozen greek yogurt (how could anything Nutella-esque be inedible?!). The Greek yogurt was tart and delicious and the banana brulee was a piece of banana that had brown sugar crisped at the top. It was a very delicious addition to the ensemble. I think the flavors worked alone but most importantly worked together and I was really impressed with the dish. Best of all, the serving size was not too big which made me feel less guilty for indulging!
Make a reservation at Aldea.