Recession? What recession? There was no belt tightening going on during a recent Wednesday evening at Aged, Forest Hills’ newest steak house. Without reservations, it would have been touch and go securing a table at 6:30 on a weekday evening.
Aged has done up the former Rouge location with lots of fashionable, dark-stained rough wood, giving it a look somewhere between rustic and industrial. The noise level is commensurate with the establishment’s popularity. The fussy baby at the next table posed no problem for us. With the ambient decibel level such as it was, our only clue to his distress was to lip-read his howls.
With its classic, maybe even retro, steakhouse menu, Aged is satisfying a heretofore unmet demand for American-style fine dining in the Austin Street commercial area. Is it possible this style of dining is new to a whole generationi
The appetizers here, both hot and cold, are all veterans of the life aquatic. The seafood platter for two is a complete survey of all their cold options in pairs — lump crabmeat with remoulade sauce, Alaskan king crab legs, raw oysters and little neck clams and very colossal shrimp. All was as fresh as one would hope, devoid of any off note.
We’re still wondering what to make of their Caesar salad. It arrived as a more or less intact head of romaine lettuce with Cesar dressing, one very small round of a crouton, a scattering of Adriatic white anchovies, one cherry tomato and a few shavings of Parmesan. We don’t demand supersizing of every menu ingredient, but one croutoni One cherry tomatoi After chopping up the lettuce and tossing everything together, it wasn’t bad. The dressing was a little too sweet, but we appreciated the anchovies. They should just call it a do-it-yourself Cesar salad, and please, toss in a couple more croutons.
Despite the restaurant’s name, only one of the steaks offered, a 16 oz. New York strip steak, is described as aged — 28 days dry-aged, to be exact. It turned out to be a hefty hunk of tender, flavorful beef, nicely charred on the outside, with a medium rare interior as ordered. A choice of sauces is offered for the steaks, including béarnaise, hollandaise, mushroom demi, creamy gorgonzola and house made steak sauce. We recommend their own steak sauce, but you can request more than one, so sample away.
Don’t worry if not everyone is your party is an enthusiastic carnivore. There are three types of fish on Aged’s menu as well as eggplant parmigiana. The miso-glazed sea bass proved the kitchen’s way with fish equaled its expertise with steak. The exterior of the bass was crusted with miso, the interior lush and juicy, and a sweet, Asian-inspired sauce completed the dish. The menu promised a bed of seaweed, but in actuality it was a serving of seaweed resting on a bed of sea bass.
Side dishes are a la carte here. The good news is that each one is ample for two diners to share. We found the creamed spinach as indulgent as you would expect. Hand-cut steak fries were generously proportioned with crisp exteriors. The only disappointment was the sautéed mushrooms and onions. The onions were sweetly caramelized, but the mushrooms tasted iodiney and bitter. Too bad. We tried to separate the onions from the mushrooms so we could still enjoy them, but where they had touched, the mushrooms imparted their flavor to the onions.
Desserts here claim to be homemade. The cannoli we tried had a thicker but lighter crust than the usual Italian bakery ones. The filling was also a little less dense, but very pleasant.
The Bottom Line
Aged delivers well-prepared classic steakhouse fare and plenty of attractive options for non-steak lovers. Their prices are less formidable than some of the more well-known steak houses. They offer prix fixe lunch deals that include a soup, salad and coffee or tea for the price of the entrée, which ranges from $12-$18. The atmosphere is noisy, and the tables are close together. Still, if you’re looking for a night on the town in Forest Hills, it’s a great location for a dinner and a movie date.
Suzanne Parker is the TimesLedger’s restaurant critic and author of “Eating Like Queens: A Guide to Ethnic Dining in America’s Melting Pot, Queens, N.Y.”She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
107-02 70th Rd.
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Price Range: Appetizers $10-$14, entrees $14—$34
Cuisine: Steaks, seafood American-style
Setting: Hip décor, close quarters
Service: Well intentioned. Needs more polish.
Hours: Lunch and dinner daily
Alcohol: Full bar
Credit Cards: Yes
Noise Level: Noisy
Handicap Accessible: Yes
©2009 Community News Group
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