Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Aquitaine Bis, Chestnut Hill

I haven't seen my parents much this summer, between my moving out and their spending most of the time down the Cape. When I do see them here in town, though, we've been enjoying great meals at places we've never tried before, ostensibly as fuel for this blog (which I think my mom gets a big kick out of). So the other day, they picked me up at work and we headed on our way.

"Let's just drive up Route 9 and see what looks good," my dad said. So we headed down Route 9 in Brookline as I pointed out a few restaurants I had been to recently. Not long after, though, traffic came to a halt - a big section of the street was blocked off by cop cars, and there were ambulances flying past on the wrong side of the divided street. We spent the next hour or so driving through a horrible detour, only to end up about a half a mile down Route 9.

By the time we made it past the detour, we were all starving and in bad need of a restroom. We headed into Chestnut Hill and my mom says "Oh, there's that nice place we had lunch a few weeks ago. Let's just try that." Yes, the car ride defeated us, and instead of braving the road further to see what we could find, we pulled into an unassuming strip mall.

And am I glad we did. I've never been to Aquitaine (Chestnut Hill or South End), but I have of course heard the name many times.

The restaurant was almost empty when we arrived, but it filled up quickly. There was a surprising number of solo diners - nice to see them so at home in their neighborhood restaurant. As soon as we were seated, fresh gougeres were brought out that made me instantly ravenous. Bring on the food!

For my entree, I ordered the seared scallops with sweet corn pudding, arugula and browned butter. The scallops were delicous, if a bit overcooked. The corn pudding, though, was the star - a large piece of very light pastry dough topped with plenty of corn custard. It was smooth, but with some whole kernals, for great texture. I could have used more than 4 leaves of arugula, but then, I'm an arugula hound.

Now, I rarely order dessert when I go out (Restaurant Week is an obvious exception to this). My parents (especially my mother) aren't big on ordering dessert either. So when my mom mentioned that they had had a great tarte Tatin the last time they visited and that she wanted to have it again, I was surprised. Then my dad pointed out the profiteroles (my mother's dessert weakness) on the menu, and we almost had a Sophie's Choice moment. Instead, we went for both (shocking!), and they were delicious. I preferred the tarte Tatin, with its smooth caramel sauce, over the profiteroles, with ice cream that was a little too hard.

An excellent meal, thanks to a little traffic and a good deal of impatience!

Aquitaine Bis in Chestnut Hill


Sarah C. said...

Wow, that beautiful food makes me yearn to live in a town with actual non-chain, non-fast food restaurants where I could possibly get something other than a burger!

Anonymous said...

It's my first time on your blog and I'm glad I stopped by. The corn pudding is intriguing and I'm glad you give hints on good restaurants in an area I am prone to visit. Thanks!

Pam said...

Sarah, I've always heard people complain that Boston is not the best city for food, but I think there's tons here if you're willing to look for it. And hey, if you can't eat out, you can always cook it at home!

Thanks, blue cat! Let me know if you do visit, I'd be happy to give you suggestions.