According to this restaurant's menu, A.O.C stands for "l'Aile ou la cuisse" (The wing or the thigh). French wine drinkers, Roquefort eaters, and Dijon mustard spreaders, however, will recognize the three initials as meaning "appellation d’origine contrôlée" (controlled designation of origin), which is a certification handed out by the French government that ensures, among other things, a product's terroir. Details. All you really need to know is that if you ever find yourself hungry in the West Village you should eat at A.O.C.
Hungry and in the West Village is exactly where a DC-based friend and I found ourselves yesterday afternoon. The menu looked good and the prices looked reasonable, so we decided to give this corner bistro a try. We opted to sit in their garden patio out back, which was a excellent decision considering NYC weather has finally gone from miserably hot to pleasantly summer. I ordered the merguez frites for $13.50 and she had the soupe du jour and 1/2 sandwich for $11.50. Both meals were delicious, not to mention excellent values considering the amount of food we received for what we paid in an expensive part of town.
A.O.C's interior looks like it was flown in from Paris, while the garden patio lets you soak in this beautiful New York City neighborhood. Other menu items that I wanted to try were the demi poulet, the salade de chèvre chaud, and the croque monsieur. And while A.O.C offers many of the French classics - coq au vin, and entrecôte, par exemple - not to mention American favorites like les burgers, they unfortunately don't prepare my favorite French dish: boeuf bourgiugnon. Nevertheless, a stellar find in one of my favorite areas of the city. I'll be back.