34 E 61st Street
New York, NY, 10065
Aureole has become a Manhattan institution over the past twenty years. This Upper East Side townhouse restaurant burst upon the scene when Charlie Palmer elevated American cuisine to the levels previously reserved for French and occasionally Italian cuisine. This elegant place has evolved and after a period of "attitude", it has reclaimed its hold on both a high level of service, and very friendly service. Reservations are honored and special requests become an opportunity for the staff to excel.
The prix fixed menu is expensive, but the value is well worth the steep fee. Menu choices are varied and interesting, including seafood, poultry and meats (and vegetarian if you ask). The execution by the kitchen is outstanding. First courses are as large as most mains. And mains are also somewhat over sized, but nonetheless totally satisfying. Desserts are equally large and equally outstanding.
The wine list is long, interesting and while priced high, also has some outstanding values. Interestingly the list is dominated by European wines and not nearly as many American wine choices as we would like to see from such a great American restaurant. We discussed the lack of quality American wines with the wine director and he expressed an interest to strengthen the domestic content of the list.
Aureole will relocate to the new Bank of America building across from Bryant Park, and will have three separate sections; fine dining room, casual dining room and private dining room, to address the fact that a high level of fine American dining is becoming more and more challenging. So if you want to experience true elegance, reserve soon and be prepared for a wonderful dining experience.
Aureole - Highly Recommended