Aquitaine is the kind of place where it's nice to linger over every scrumptious bite on your plate without any hurrying. Standout dishes include the petit tart, made with artichokes, asparagus and Gruyere cheese; the Muscat poached pear salad; and the emotion chocolate mousse.
Get things started right with the petit tart ($7), which delivers a delicious blend of Gruyere, tender artichokes and small, fresh asparagus bits that give way to a tasty, crunchy crust. Although it is an appetizer, chances are you won't want to share it, so order your own. Other appetizers on the menu include a demi-baguette ($4) topped with butter, goat cheese and marsala onion jam; potato and blue cheese fritter ($5) with fresh herbs; and saffron cream mussels ($9) with fresh herbs, tomato and crustini.
Then try a soup or salad. The Muscat poached pear salad ($8) is satisfying with pear slices, honey walnuts and greens dressed up with Roquefort cheese and a balsamic dressing that isn't too acidy-tasting. Three onion soup ($4) and smoked mushroom soup ($4) also tempt the tummy.
If you're still hungry, nine entrees dot the menu. They include a roasted half chicken ($19) with artichokes, olive, tomatoes, mushrooms and potatoes; crispy duck breast ($21) with stout hazelnut sauce, roasted squash and seasonal greens; and seafood linguine ($15) with shrimp, mussels, calamari, greens, tomatoes and champagne truffle butter.
End your meal on a good note with emotion chocolate ($8): Chocolate hazelnut cream, milk chocolate mousse and crispy chocolate combine for a luscious, memorable dessert.
Centerstage Reviewer: Mary Susan Littlepage