Poached Mussels with English Peas, Shaved Radish and Vinaigrette | Photo via Aldine
When I heard that Aldine was changing its menu format, I thought maybe that meant the menu would no longer feature stupid colons in between ingredients (like sorry but,”sugar snap peas : pickled chili : smoked almond milk : rhubarb,” just does not look right). But alas, that was too much to hope for. Instead, Aldine is abandoning its unique tasting menu, which was divided into either the “omnivore” or “herbivore” menu, in favor of a more traditional format.
Chef and owner George Sabatino’s new menu is divided into first, second and third courses. First courses are either served cool or room temperature, second courses are slightly larger and served warm, and third courses are really the bigger main courses.
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Okay, so this whole snow thing is getting old already. And the cold? Tired of it.
Apparently, so are George and Jennifer Sabatino, because they’re bringing in their buddy Scott Schroeder and the three of them are throwing a backyard, 4th of July-style barbecue at Aldine on February 2nd.
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Photos by Courtney Apple
Everyone knows that opening a restaurant is the surest path to an empty checking account, but George and Jennifer Sabatino know better. For truly shredding your bankroll, nothing beats not opening a restaurant — as the couple spent an agonizing year doing before the first customers finally came to Aldine in October.
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Two of the Sabatino’s dogs | Emily Teel
In the run-up to George Sabatino’s Aldine, the chef promised a tasting-menu dining option. But when the restaurant opened a couple of months back it was a la carte only. Now, Sabatino has rolled out his first tasting menu. The five-course dinner is $55 per person and a drink pairing is available for $30.
Aldine has also rolled out something else, bread! Sabatino posted to Instagram his sourdough Parker rolls with coffee salt.
The tasting menu »
Photo by Emily Teel
George Sabatino’s Aldine is offering three tasting menus on New Year’s Eve. The first seating at 5:30 p.m. is three-courses and $55 per person. The second seating is at 7:30 p.m. and features a special four-course tasting menu for $75 per person. The final seating is at 9:30 p.m. and includes the $100 per person dinner will feature five-courses of primo ingredients like uni, foie gras and lobster. A Champagne toast will also happen at midnight.
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Aldine opens | raw beef : mushroom : gribiche : quinoa
Aldine officially opened to the public yesterday afternoon at 4pm, and we were right there to witness it.
As a matter of fact, we were the first, official paying customers in the place, and so felt it our duty to give the kitchen and the bar a bit of a workout. Wisely, we also had our cameras with us. So in order to help you decipher (at least a little) the heavily colon-ated menu (rabbit : sour cherry : turnip : brioche is actually one of the more descriptive of the minimalist menu items, but it still doesn’t explain that you’re getting a terrine, or how excellent the vinegar-brined cherries are), we offer you this–our photo tour of Aldine’s opening menu.
We didn’t eat and drink everything on offer, but we did get most of it. At least enough to give you an idea of what’s you might be eating this weekend.
Menu photos, right this way
It was a rush to the finish line, but Aldine–George Sabatino‘s new, second-floor restaurant in the old Noche space at 19th and Chestnut–got open late on Friday afternoon for its first night of service. And while the official first night of business isn’t actually until tomorrow, we’re happy to report that the Aldine crew managed to get through the weekend without burning the place down.
Now we’ve already been inside to snap some photos of the interior. And we’ve been tracking Sabatino via Instagram as he did some menu testing. But now, for those of you maybe thinking about heading over to Aldine to check it out tomorrow night, we have an official version of the opening night menu.
Show me the menus
A first look at the elegant interior of Jennifer and George Sabatino‘s first solo project at 1901 Chestnut (in the space that formerly housed Noche). Aldine isn’t open yet. They’re still waiting on some inspections and are tinkering with the menus. But the way things are looking right now, they’re aiming to open maybe by this weekend, but certainly by next week.
That said, the opening will also be a kind of half-soft event, with the kitchen only doing a la carte service. Originally, Sabatino wanted to launch with two tasting menus–Omnivore and Herbivore–but now they’re planning on sticking with a la carte through their soft-opening period.
Oh, and the portraits of the couple’s dogs you’ll find hung on the walls? Those are by noted dog portraitist (and food shooter) Neil Santos.
Show me the photos already
Okay, so it’s still not much. But considering how long we’ve all been waiting for Aldine–George Sabatino‘s much-delayed, often sidetracked follow-up to the award-winning work he did at Stateside–something is better than nothing.
Sabatino posted this snap of the Aldine dining room, with all the tables and chairs in place, to his Instagram feed yesterday. Tables and chairs are a good sign. That means all the major renovation work has been done. All the big equipment is in place. And, in related news, the Foobooz Mobile Party Unit ran in to George’s wife Jennifer on the street last week while we were skulking around the neighborhood looking for been and octopus, and she said that the actual, official, no-bullshit opening of Aldine was “Close,” so, you know… There’s that, too.
Rex 1516 is continuing its guest burger chef series through August. This month, chefs Jeremy Nolen, Kevin Sbraga and George Sabatino will be participating.
Sabatino, who’s Aldine project is moving forward, will be the featured chef tonight. He’s crafted “the Livin’ La Vida Local” burger that’s topped with heirloom chile relish, Green Aisle summer pickle medley and fresh Jersey milk cheese.
The burger costs $15 and includes a pint of Newbold IPA and a shot of Buffalo Trace. Each week, the burger and an accompanying pun will be posted on chef Justin Swain’s Instagram feed.
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