Situated in the lush first-floor confines of the Ritz-Carlton, just steps from City Hall, Aqimero has made some changes to its menu to capitalize on the recently added wood-burning grill.
For professionals on the go who want something upscale, Aqimero offers a Power Lunch menu ($25), which starts off with a seasonal soup, salad or sushi roll; a choice of sandwich or tacos; and a dessert, which you can take to go. The angry tuna roll we tried hit the sushi spot decently enough for a place that doesn’t specialize in raw fish. The jidori chicken sandwich was solid as well, and the cookies we got to go were pleasantly gourmet in quality. Other sandwich options include a wood-fired burger, pork belly or chicken tacos or a catch-of-the-day sandwich.
For something more adventurous, come back for dinner for the other new addition to the menu, the Social Plates, shareable dishes in a wide range of flavors. The traditional guacamole ($12) and swordfish dip ($17) were flavorful and well-seasoned, kicking off an atmosphere of noshing and conversation in fine fashion. Salads at Aqimero are visual works of art. You almost don’t want to dismantle the Aqimero Salad ($12), a craveable Caesar salad with queso-fresco mousse and a spicy dressing, or the smoked burrata salad, which is bright, subtle and refined in flavor.
Deeper into the menu, the grilled melon ($15) is quite refreshing and savory at the same time, with the smokiness of the melon balanced out by the saltiness of the serrano ham with which it is served. Another notable dish is the cauliflower steak ($13). Cut to the thickness of a massive chop, there is little chance you’ll mistake it for beef, but it does deliver in terms of flavor with lime crema and tempura-fried pickled mushrooms complimenting the grilled slab of the versatile veggie.
Oh, and if you happen to be dining with a large party, definitely try the large-format cocktails ($150), a massive dispenser filled to the brim with fruit, juices and various liquors that will quench the thirst of at least three people. The Paradiso is a tasty concoction of rum, strawberries, pineapple and ginger beer. The Sunset is equally sip-worthy, with vodka, blood-orange liqueur, passion fruit and lemon.
Aqimero has definitely set the table for a quick business lunch or a post-work get together. If you happen to work or stay in Center City, get a bunch of friends or colleagues together and get social.