I had passed by A.O.C. (L'Aile ou la Cuisse) a few times and had always wanted to eat there, more so recently given my increasing interest in la cuisine francaise. The restaurant resembled your classic neighborhood French bistro, the blue color maybe? Looking up the intriguing name in my French-English food dictionary yielded "The Wing or the Thigh", coincidentally my two favorite chicken parts. That settled it - I'm going in!
The front area of A.O.C. was fully occupied, and after a few minutes waiting at the bar and overhearing snippets of French conversation, our party was led into the spacious dining room at the back. The contrast was from the noisy, jampacked front area was a pleasant, if startling, surprise. There is also a seasonal outdoor garden ideal for peaceful summer dining. So, the place is huge! Couldn't have figured that one out just by casually walking past it on the street.
For starters, had the delectable escargots with garlic and parsley. Instantly reminded me of my trip to Paris, and I wish the order came with more than six escargots. Made up for it by mopping up the sauce with the bread, so much so that I became almost full from that alone. But wait! The main course is still coming - confit de canard or duck confit.
Doesn't that duck confit look mouth-watering? Well, trust me - I still remember the crunchy skin crackling as I chewed, and the moist, flavorful duck meat. It came garnished with frisee salad, cauliflower gratin, and sweet Grand Marnier sauce. Not really knowledgeable about wine pairings with duck (note to self: ask Kiki), but opted to treat myself to a glass of Rhone Valley syrah to finish off the superb lunch at A.O.C. in style.
For more information about A.O.C., check out their website.