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>> Aujourd Hui
200 Boylston St.
Tel: +1 617-351-2172
Now old-fashioned, now new-fangled, hotel dining is alive and well at Aujourd'Hui. The large, decadently appointed room overlooking the Public Garden recalls the Maison de La Casa Houses that Calvin Trillin sent up in his heyday. No doubt some of the buttoned-up crowd may very well prefer it that way. Service is tuxedoed, orderly and professional. Celebration is in the air, and often couples are smooching by the windows. We love the unabashedly decadent appearance of the place. Thankfully, the flashback to the days of Continental cuisine ends there. France supplies the technical backbone, which is fleshed out by a Contemporary pantry. And while his predecessor had more delicate sensibilities, chef de cuisine William Kovel loves ultra-rich touches and rustic paraphrases. Among the appetizers, sardine escabèche with bacon shortbread and caper vinaigrette couldn’t be punchier. The humble bacon-and-egg sandwich becomes an appetizer with truffles on brioche. Lobster bisque is crowned by flan but brought down to earth with butternut squash. Entrées are subtler---take roast halibut with artichokes barigoule, tweaked with pork cheeks. Meanwhile, every Sunday, Aujourd'Hui's buffet brunch justifies its fame anew with a weekly changing repertoire of items like seafood-and-spinach crêpes, mussels in saffron-Pernod vinaigrette and chocolate waffles.
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