Last night Kirsten and I enjoyed a great meal at Aida Bistro in Columbia, MD. It was the restaurant’s 5th anniversary, and they had a special fixed-price menu (3 courses with wine for $30).

First Course (pick one):

Chilled Asparagus and Cucumber soup, with white balsamic pickled cucumber and asparagus tips. [John] This had a nice presentation: the pickled cucumber and asparagus tips where stacked in a pyramid in the center of a small soup bowl. The pureed (cold) soup was poured over this at the table. The soup was very tasty and refreshing – and I normally don’t like cold soups. The soup tasted very “cucumbery” – like a sweet pickle. Very nice.

Romaine lettuce and local Larriland Farms Strawberries drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette and lemon ice Granite. [Kirsten] Tasty.

Wine: Huber Austrian Gruner Veltliner ’06: Very nice white wine. Crisp, dry, with just a touch of sweetness. We are going to try to find this for home.

Second Course (pick one):

Duck confit spring roll with spiced mango and sweet soy sauce. [John]: Quite delicious! Melt-in-your-mouth tender duck. The Mango and sweet soy sauce was a great complement.

Crab and Mango spring roll with sweet chilli sauce. [Kirsten]: Delicious.

Wine: Tangent Edna Valley Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc ’05: Just ok. 1st course wine was much better. This one is too dry for my taste.

Third Course:

Spice rubbed and grilled sushi grade Tuna served with fresh berry compote. Side of horseradish whipped potatoes and fresh asparagus [John and Kirsten]: Absolutely Fabulous. The tuna was perfectly cooked: seared on the outside and rare and warm in the middle. I would never have thought of pairing berries with tuna, but it goes very nicely. Wow. Best tuna ever. The whipped potatoes and asparagus were also perfectly cooked – the asparagus was slim and tender, but with a very slight crunch. Yum.

[there was another selection: lamb, but we didn’t try that]

Wine: Santa Martina Toscana Rosso ’05: blend of Cabernet, Sangiovese, Merlot, and Syrah. Ok wine, but the first wine is still my favorite of the three. In reds I prefer a straight merlot or pinot noir. Kirsten really liked this wine, and it tied with the first as her fav.

Dessert wasn’t included, but I had a bread pudding with strawberries, and Kirsten had a cannolli. The desserts were ok, but didn’t quite match up to the (wonderful) three other courses.

This was a fabulous meal, and Kirsten and I had a great time.