The first thing to know about this restaurant is that there are several sections. There is the bar, that offers some food, a sushi area, and the actual restaurant. We dined in the formal restaurant, which is what I will review here. Looking at some of the bad reviews, they may have been from a different section of The Aerie.
We made reservations at this restaurant, but it was Spring so only about 25% of the tables were filled. The atmosphere is pretty traditional with booths and folding screens. The tables were set traditionally and the music seemed to be new age in genre.
The wine list was impressive, with very unique selections like white Burgundy bottles and very old offerings. There were over 600 bottles on the list. The menu was short, but had something for everyone who expects fine-dining fare. There was one soup offered, several salads, four appetizers, four entrees (that ranged from lasagna to a fish special), and four beef/meat entrees.
My boyfriend and I each ordered a soup or a salad. The mixed greens salad was good, and the tomato basil soup was exquisite. We also spilt a scallop appetizer, which was expensive but excellent ($18). The scallops were perfectly cooked and served in a delicious sauce.
For entrees, my boyfriend got the ahi tuna special, which he thought was one of the best cuts of ahi he had been served at a restaurant...ever. I got the lasagna. It was non-traditional with blue cheese and a puff pastry (instead of noodles). Our waiter explained these differences, so I expected them. It was delicious.
The restaurant offered many after-dinner drinks, liquors, and desserts. By that time I was so stuffed that I declined.
The waiter was very professional and obviously took his job seriously. He offered to decant our wine and was knowledgeable about everything on the wine list and menu. He offered to answer questions many times and timed the meal well (we ordered everything at the start, and each course came in just the right amount of time). The only strange thing was that he actually seemed to ignore me as the meal progressed. He specifically asked for my boyfriend's order before mine. I'm not a super-traditional woman, so it didn't bother me. But I think it would bother some ladies. Also, as the night went on the waiter began to talk just to my boyfriend when asking how things were and explaining the specials. We both noticed it on our own, and I finally brought it up to my boyfriend at the end of the night. I can certainly overlook it because the food was so great and the waiter did do a great job. However, I think some people would have been really bothered by it.
This restaurant is very expensive, especially if you plan to go all out with drinks, wine, salads, etc. However, it really exemplifies what fine dining should be. For us, the food is the most important thing, and this place had great food.