What's it spell????
Seriously - what do you have planned for the weekend? Drop all the plans and get your sweet ass to aqua!
We had planned to go to Nectar for the "thank
you" dinner that was owed to me. We walked
down and were told that tonight was a special dinner party and they were booked for the evening. (There were over half of the tables open - they couldn't fit us in? Whatever...)
So - we walked 2 steps and went to aqua and THANK GOD WE DID! This was literally one of the best dining experiences EVER. GO GO GO!
We started with island style ahi tuna poke and the fried tofu with spicy peanut sauce. They are both pictured in the blog. The poke - A-FREAKIN-MAZING. Click the picture - the chunks of tuna were HUGE and soooo fresh. There was this wonderful sauce and all served on
top of crisp and salty/sweet plaintain chips. Seriously - I can't tell you how good it was. I'm not even a huge fan of raw tuna but I was NOT sharing this!
The tofu - also excellent! Perfectly fried but not a drop of oil on them - light, crispy - just wow - again! Good sauce.
But if you're getting an appetizer - get the POKE!
Next up - first course - to the left - warm napa cabbage salad for my friend and I tried the
Dynamite Roll (Aqua is known for their sushi). The salad - again - crazigood! It was so refreshing and different. It's the way the whole night was - just unique and delicious. The salad had a warm bacon vinaigrette that just made it perfection on a plate. It looks like any other salad - but whoa - trust me - it's not!
The sushi - wow - if this is a hint of their sushi - I can't wait to go back! The Dyanmite Roll was $7 - which is the same price as a salad - so good swap out. The mayo was dolloped on top and then it was sprinkled with this fantastic spice...DELISH!
At this point - we're thinking - WTF - when did aqua become the best place in town? I mean this food had such different flavors and was very fresh - plus it's not a chain! w00t! And we hadn't even gotten our entrees yet?! But we were in love!
So the entrees - first they all looked soooo good! We had a very hard time deciding. Guest 1 chose chicken, chicken, chicken - a
trio of chicken all prepared differently (stuffed, braised and pan roasted). Guest 2 chose the macadamia nut crusted sunfish (a holdover from the old menu). I chose the seared black cod (lobster on cod - really - 'nuff said).
I tried the chicken - it was good. I tried the sunfish - it was better. But the cod - I'm biased - it was the best!!! I mean - this was delicate, flavorful, sweet, succulent and just perfection! I enjoyed each bite - savored it - relished in it!
After dinner - we got dessert - one option was a bread pudding with a side of Kahlua hot chocolate to pour overtop. Wow - the chocolate sauce was amazing!
So - as I've said - I kind of liked the dinner. Seriously - it just kept getting better throughout the evening! Now how about the extras?
Ambiance: aqua is pretty and has great art and 3
very unique seating areas.
Service: OUTSTANDING! Misaki was our waiter - he was perfect! Extremely knowledgeable and friendly and very attentive.
(that's my cod/lobster to the left - wow - i'm so sad I don't have it now)
Value: It isn't cheap - but I think there are a couple of ways to go about aqua. If you want a nice dinner and are prepared for $40/person (without alcohol) - you can do that! If you're not on that kind of budget - you can still do Aqua! Wednesday is half-price sushi (although it's much busier) and you could definitely get a combo of 2 (appetizer/salad/sushi) or just go for sushi and split an entree and you can probably come in around $25/person.
But again - let me tell you - get off your butts and get them into aqua. The food was so special - I really can't wait to go back. I honestly think it was better than Pigalls. Is that possible? Pigalls is obviously fabulous - but this was just different. I know I'm overusing that word - but it was. Pigalls is always great but tends to have a consistently heavy taste - this was all light and so flavorful!
So I'm giving aqua an unprecedented 5 stars!!!!! Now granted - I didn't pay - which always helps but it was just fantastic!
Stop by and tell Brian you heard it from the Food Hussy! (And ask for Misaka - he's great)
1020 delta ave.sqaure
cincinnati, ohio 45208