Sunday, Sunday…Where to Eat?

With so many Sunday-night offers from restaurants these days—special menus, special atmospheres, special wallet-friendly prices—I’ve been Sunday shopping for my fave. At last…two days ago…I found it!

It’s at the New York outpost of one of my favorite chefs on the national scene, Charles Palmer. Charlie grew up in upstate New York, lives in California now, with outposts all over the country…but maintains his high-end New York City showcase, Aureole.

By all means, hit Aureole anytime, Monday to Saturday, for great food, comfortable dining, serious wines, wonderful service (on Sunday, my waiter Sean was insanely polished!).

But Sunday is special. That’s the night that the large room where the bar is located…

The bar at Aureole
The bar at Aureole

…called the Bar Room, naturally…

Dining in the Bar Room at Aureole
Dining in the Bar Room at Aureole

…fills up with casual diners enjoying a merry feast of…steak and Bordeaux…for $49 a person!

It’s not just any steak, and it’s not just any Bordeaux. The steak is a côte de boeuf, or rib steak, served for two, and the Bordeaux is something yummy out of magnum poured to your heart’s content!

Let’s start at the top, to see what you get for $49 a person.

First there’s bread…unusually delicious bread, four kinds…better than the bread I know in any New York steakhouse.

The bread at Aureole
The bread at Aureole

Next up is a first-course salad…

The first-course salad at Aureole's Sunday-night dinner
The first-course salad at Aureole’s Sunday-night dinner

…sparkling in the spring with tender greens, yellow string beans, English peas, and, of course, fava beans. Lovely lemony dressing.

We started tasting our magnum at this time, and was delighted to find…

The bottomless magnum at Aureole's Sunday-night dinner
The bottomless magnum at Aureole’s Sunday-night dinner

…that the 2004 Chateau La Vielle Cure they’re serving is a great wine for food! Made almost ten years ago, it displays the tertiary notes on the nose that turn Bordeaux-lovers on: in this case, hints of meat and leather. But it’s light, graceful, elegant…light enough, and sprightly enough with acid, to partner a spring salad! This wine, by the way, will be poured at these Sunday dinners until the magnums run out. One of Aureole’s great sommeliers, Sheri Griffith, told me that they expect the supply to last another 6 weeks or so. After that…”we’ll pick another Bordeaux magnum with some age.”

On to the steak. Fueled with Fronsac, I was ready as hell. And, three minutes later, happy as hell.

The rib-eye for two at Aureole
The rib-eye for two at Aureole

Oh my, was it good. Delightfully marbled, as you can see. Cooked exactly as ordered: crispy outside, rare inside. It was all those things you want steak to be: juicy, velvety, beefy, sweet. Insanely good with the Chateau La Vielle Cure, to be sure. And how comforting that you don’t have to think about things like…should we get a glass? A half-bottle? A full bottle? It just flows, jackson!

In order to be thirsty for a bit more…don’t miss the excellent pile of accompanying french fries served for each diner, along with a little plate of perfectly cooked spinach!

Individual cone of french fries, with garlicky spinach on the side
Individual cone of french fries, with garlicky spinach on the side

Room for dessert? It was also quite delicious on my Sunday night…

Baba Bouchon at Aureole
Baba Bouchon at Aureole

This is a super-flavorful (but not too-soaked baba) served with a delicious crème Anglaise, marinated berries, and a house-made vanilla-bean ice cream.

$49 bucks. Think about it. All the good Bordeaux you can drink, out of magnum.

It’s a deal!

One Bryant Park
135 West 42nd St.
New York, NY 10036