Iâ€™m just back from Aura in the Seaport Hotel and feel like I should write my review while the tastes are still on my mind and my pants are still a little tight.
First off, the best part of the meal was our waiter. I didnâ€™t catch his name, but he was a 30-40ish year old Italian man who was just hilarious, accomidating and nice. I would go back just for him!
The restaurant itself is so nice. Clean, quiet, great dÃ©cor â€“ just the way I like my restaurants. Although not quite for lunch. I felt very business-womanish.
The host was extremely accomadating, as we showed up for our 14 person reservation with only 10 people (ooops!). He changed the settings immediately with no complaint and they put us at a huge round table, which was great for conversation.
For my appetizer, I got the Verrill Farm bibb lettuce and spinach salad with marinated red onions, cherry tomatoes and roasted peach vinaigrette. I have to say I was disappointed in this. I am a HUGE fan of onions, but these just tasted weird, and the peach vinaigrette was thick (I expected it to be thin, like raspberry vinaigrette) and not all that appealing. Maybe because I ordered it on the side? Not sure though. I would not get this again.
For my main course, I decided to splurge on calories (I will have a date with the elliptical later tonight) and I got my first ever Reuben! Corned beef with fresh sauerkraut, Russian dressing and cole slaw. Now, I was worried that the slaw and sauerkraut would be a bit much, as a normal Reuben has sauerkraut and a Rachel has cole slaw. However, the slaw was on the side, and was not mayonnaise-y at all. Very nice. I had asked for the dressing on the side (yes, Iâ€™m like Sally in â€œWhen Harry Met Sallyâ€ and get almost everything on the side) and the waiter told me he couldnâ€™t do that, as itâ€™s baked in or something. I said fine. However, when it arrived, the Russian was on the side! That made me so happy, as I was able to dip at my own desire and not get too much. Thatâ€™s my way of cutting down on calories. The bread was SO good and the Reuben itself was very enjoyable. I wouldnâ€™t get this again at Aura, just because itâ€™s a fancier restaurant and Iâ€™d want to try other menu items, but it was definitely a tasty treat.
For my dessert, I opted against the chocolate coffee bean ice cream sandwich because, as much as I LOVE an ice cream sandwich, I do not like coffee. Good choice, as the coffee flavor was overwhelming (I tasted a coworkerâ€™s) and the orange blossom anglaise tasted just like sunblock (seriously). I got the buttermilk panna cotta with house-made organic blueberry jam and Fleu de Sel shortbread.
Now, the only thing I recognized about this was blueberry and shortbread. Those are what signed me up. I had looked up panna cotta before going, and according to Wikipedia, itâ€™s â€œan Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, mixing this with gelatin, and letting it cool until set.â€ I assumed it was like flan. The panna cotta itself was pretty tasteless, but the blueberry jam was pretty good and they complimented each other nicely. The shortbread, which had a layer of sugar on top (the sugar hill COULD be another reason Iâ€™m motivated to write this right now), was definitely the best part of the dessert.
So, while a 3-course meal is definitely a bit much for a work-day lunch, Iâ€™d say it was a really good deal for $20.07. I was super impressed with the hospitality of the staff and the presentation of all the meals. It makes me want to go back to Aura for a nice dinner one night.