2009-12-23 / Restaurant of the Week

(aged.)

(AGED.) IS THE NEWEST ADDITION TO FOREST HILLS‘ RESTAURANT ROW AND MAKES QUITE A STRIKING FIRST IMPRESSION ON THOSE WHO ENTER. The combination of fine wines, steaks and seafood along with a décor worthy of an award for its design, make for a singular dining experience close to home. The dining room at (aged.) features lots of rich, dark wood, from the beamed ceiling to the floors and tables, all tastefully crafted along with sumptuous leather banquettes. A sleek, backlit bar offers imported and domestic beer, your favorite cocktails and a well-chosen wine list with vintages from around the world, starting at $24 a bottle. The overall look is sophisticated and masculine, yet warm, inviting, and yes, romantic.

Owner Paul Singh Dhillon and General Manager Vishal Sharma have got a winner on their hands, and since they opened last June, have been building a solid clientele with new faces showing up each night. They come for delicious food and wine, the excellent service and the feeling of luxury at prices that are reasonable for a meal of this caliber. We settled into glasses of wine while we pored over the simple menu that includes a nice selection of steaks, fish and seafood, and pasta.

For our first course, we shared an order of the crab cakes and could easily see why they are so popular. Jumbo lump crabmeat is blended with mild spices and pan seared, then beautifully presented with remoulade sauce on a gleaming white platter. The baked clams are also a house favorite, topped with roasted red pepper, spinach, bread crumbs and beurre blanc sauce ($12). We soaked up every drop of the sauces with warm rolls. Blue point oysters were fresh and briny, served on a bed of ice with lemon and cocktail sauce. Crispy tuna is wrapped in nori (seaweed) and bread crumbs and cooked until crisp on the outside and medium rare in the middle. Crabmeat cocktail or classic shrimp cocktail are served in martini glasses and make an elegant starter. Cool Caprese salad is composed of beefsteak tomatoes and buttery mozzarella, basil and aged balsamic vinegar. Hot clam chowder, New England style, is hearty and delicious ($6).

(aged.) offers six cuts of meat, cooked to your liking and served sizzling hot. I went for the signature NY strip steak, dry aged for 28 days, imparting a distinctive flavor that many people love. It was 16 ounces of tender, juicy steak, with great texture and flavor, due to the aging process ($32). My companion dug into the 14-ounce hangar steak, perfectly cooked and sliced. (aged.) offers six different sauces to complement the meats. The chimichurri sauce, made with parsley, garlic, oil and vinegar is perfect for the hangar steak. The accompanying mashed potatoes and sautéed broccoli rounded out this meal. Buttery filet mignon is available in two sizes and tastes even better when drizzled with the house’s mushroom demi-glace. If you’re into classic steakhouse fare, you can’t miss with the 22- ounce rib-eye or the 42-ounce Porterhouse for two. I love their house made steak sauce for its sweet, tangy flavor. Next time I’ll try the double cut lamb chops with mint jelly. The waiter told us about the special steak of the evening; the rib-eye with a gorgonzola crust, garlic mashed potatoes and mushroom demi-glace.

If you prefer fish, the Atlantic salmon is seasoned with herbs, expertly grilled and served with asparagus and an Asian sauce ($24). Tilapia is a white, flaky fish, prepared Italian style with artichoke hearts, black olives, capers, roasted tomatoes and shallots. Jumbo shrimp scampi is served on a bed of linguine with white wine and lemon sauce ($19). Linguini can also be topped with clams, mussels, shrimp and calamari in spicy fra diavolo sauce. Non-meat entrées include homemade porcini mushroom ravioli, creamy fettuccini Alfredo and baked eggplant parmigiana.

There’s a cleverly-named menu for children called “under-aged” so you can bring the kids along. The lunch menu offers smaller portions of the dinner menu and there’s a fantastic brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 3pm, featuring classic eggs Benedict, steak and eggs, omelets aux choix, BLT’s, crepes suzette and more, from $7 to $15. Each night features a relaxing Happy Hour at the bar with specially priced mojitos and beers, and 20% off the bar menu, from 3 to 7pm. Mid-week dinner specials are available Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday where you’ll pay just $22 to $25 dollars for a complete meal with wine.

Save room for decadent desserts. We shared a warm apple tart, but were tempted by warm chocolate lava cake, chocolate mousse, créme brulee and NY style cheesecake. (aged.) can deliver to your home or office, or prepare orders to take home, as they are conveniently located near public transportation.

(aged.) is accepting reservations for New Year’s Eve with two different price fixed menus, at $75 and $95 with champagne toast. For fine wine, steak, seafood and more, visit (aged.) with its impressive décor and attentive service. Dig in!
(aged.)
107-04 70th Road, Forest Hills
718.544.2433 (aged)
www.agednyc.com

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