Daily Archives: 7 December 2010

Restaurant Review: AKA Bistro

Yesterday was my birthday. To celebrate, we went out for a nice dinner. Sometimes we go to somewhere we’ve been before, but sometimes we try somewhere new. This year I was in the mood for somewhere new. It was a weeknight, so I really didn’t want to drive into Boston, so I tried to find somewhere in the nearby suburbs. I struck gold with my choice!

We went to AKA Bistro in Lincoln. A restaurant in Lincoln, you say? Besides the fact that it is probably the only restaurant in Lincoln, it was a hidden gem. With bistro in its name, of course, the menu is French, but they offer an extensive Japanese menu as well. We stuck with the French menu last night.

Our meal was GREAT! The food was solid French bistro, but imaginative at the same time. To start, Howard ordered a beet salad with goat cheese. It had tiny roasted baby beets. At first, he couldn’t find the goat cheese, but it was sandwiched inside a beet ravioli made, not of pasta, but of thinly shaved beet. I ordered an endive, blue cheese, and walnut salad. It was not quite as creative, but the flavors were what I was after on a cold evening.

The main course (Howard’s actually) was the star. He ordered duck confit with potatoes roasted in duck fat. There is no question that it was rich, but it was “too die for”. Typically, we switch plates during the meal, but we both really wanted this one. When it was time to trade back, I tried to play the “it’s my birthday” card. But Howard countered with the “I’ve got the car keys” card. I begrudgingly gave him back the plate, but my fork continued to visit.

I had ordered the scallops with fennel and carrot puree. I feel like I’m giving the scallops short shrift after gushing about the duck confit. The scallops were really good. It was a much lighter choice. The scallops were extremely fresh and cooked perfectly. I liked the whimsicality of the carrot puree which was arranged on the plate in the shape of two carrots. Very cute!

It was a birthday dinner, so we had to order dessert. We couldn’t agree on something to share, so we each ordered our own. Howard had the chocolate mousse. The mousse was made from 60 and 70% chocolate. It was rich but good, even though I’m not a chocoholic. I ordered spiced apple crepes, particularly because it was unusual.

The best part of dessert was the tea. Howard likes to order green tea for dessert, but only if it’s Japanese. He doesn’t care for the Chinese style. Because AKA Bistro is also a Japanese restaurant, they had not just sencha, but also genmaicha, which is sencha with toasted brown rice. The restaurant brewed an excellent pot of genmaicha which complemented dessert nicely.

Our waitress was delightful. She answered our many questions, supplying information about the farms that supplied different ingredients, the cooking process, the ingredients, and the restaurant.

Finding this restaurant was a happy accident. While we pulled out all the stops and enjoyed a special occasion dinner with a bottle of wine and lots of courses, we could have had a much simpler meal as well. I can’t wait to go back.

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