Last-minute dinner reservations at Aquitaine in Boston’s South End did not disappoint. It was a wonderful surprise, but more importantly, a truly memorable dining experience. It was about a year since our last visit. We found a familiar environment, but with a twist. The restaurant was closed for six months and was renovated and semi-transformed. The restaurant did not lose its authentic french ambiance – cozy and intimate.
They moved the bar and relocated and expanded it on the opposite wall, with a great deal more space to walk in the door and interact with the hosts. It also seemed that they were able to make the bar a bit larger, although, it seemed that it was only in length. It certainly looked to be a lot more spacious – additional seating was added, providing for more people to sit, stand and have a drink as you wait for a table. Prior to the change, there was simply not enough standing room to interact with the host and get a drink at the bar. A truly welcome change – especially during the winter.
A few things did not change. The food and the quality of service. The service was consistently attentive, friendly and just simply outstanding. It’s one of those areas where I refused to make a sacrifice. Excellent service could smooth over many of the rough spots restaurants usually encounter – slow service from the kitchen because of a busy night, or the high price of the wine.
Aquitaine is one of my favorite french restaurants. I’m anxiously looking forward to another special occasion for a repeat performance and spectacular dining experience.
The long awaited season has arrived with a slow and arduous climb to warmer temperatures. The past few weekends were filled with anxious folks clamoring to get out of the house and get closer to the waterfront or to simply be able to dine outdoors.
Restaurants are slowly preparing outdoor dining areas with a glimmer of hope – flowers, plants, tables, and chairs and music. The anticipation is growing and outdoor venues are filling up quickly in anticipation of enjoying the freedom of getting back to wearing shorts and flip flops.
The wait to get a seat with a view of the water is definitely worth the 25 – 45 minutes, which is often given in anticipation that the previous diners, will be conscientious, and not stretch out their time. As the temperatures improve and hover around 69 – 79, the challenge to get a table with a view of the water, or just to dine outdoors, becomes increasingly more difficult.
This past weekend, the temperatures did not disappoint. We saw and experienced temperatures up to 85 degrees. Waterfront cafes were buzzing with tons of very happy people.