If Summer Restaurant Week weren't enough, this month adds the centennial of American culinary icon Julia Child, who would have been 100 on Aug. 15. A national celebration of the Cambridge habitue, who died in 2004, gives chefs an excuse to dig out her recipes and bring on the butter, bring on the cream!
The atmosphere at Aqui-taine in the South End echoes the beloved Parisian brasseries where Julia found her passion -- food. Aquitaine and newer sibling Gaslight pay tribute via a three-course prix fixe that includes a glass of wine and dishes such as steak tartare -- chopped not minced, of course. Both restaurants follow up with Restaurant Week menus this month, too. Most prices range from $22.12 to $43.12.
Back Bay French outpost Clio isn't doing Restaurant Week, but in memory of Child, it adds specials Roquefort gougeres -- choux pastry puffs wrapped around that king of sheep's milk cheeses -- and a classic sole meuniere -- that is, sautéed in butter -- with oyster emulsion, lemon balm and flowering squash. Asian- themed sister restaurant Uni takes up the slack with Restaurant Week menus.
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Harvard Square's UpStairs on the Square combines Summer Restaurant Week and a tribute to Julia by including her dishes on both its Soiree Room and Monday Club prix fixes. The event starts on Child's birthday and runs through the end of the month with classics such as French cut bavette steak in a shallot and Chenin Blanc butter and a dark, rich mousseline au chocolat with port poached cherries and chantilly cream. As Child would have said, bon appetit!
National Julia Child Restaurant Week:
Summer Restaurant Week:
Aug. 19-24, Aug. 26-31
Julia Child Tribute
569 Tremont St., Boston 617-424-8577
Julia Child Tribute
60 Harrison Ave., Boston 617-422-0224
UpStairs on the Square
91 Winthrop St., Cambridge 617-864-1933