Saturday, May 4, 2013


Aurora is a modern Italian restaurant in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, NY.  Committed to only serving the freshest ingredients available on the market, Aurora imports items daily from Italy such as mozzarella di bufala, burrata and fior di latte cheeses.  Most of the pastas are hand made on the premises and they serve locally grown organic products, hormone and antibiotic free meats as well as biodynamic and organic wines from all over Italy.

Keith's parents, J & B, were both turning 60 this year, and so his siblings wanted to throw a surprise birthday party for them.  J's actual birthday is in early April and B's is in late May. So we planned for a date in the middle.  J & B both grew up and met in Brooklyn, and are still friends with many of the "kids from the block" today, so we thought it would be fun to host the party at a restaurant in Brooklyn and invite all their friends and family.  I helped narrow down the restaurant choices and we just fell in love with the decor, menu, and service options offered by Aurora.  Italian fare is always a winner with this group, so I knew the food would not be an issue.  Additionally, the covered garden patio seating area was the perfect ambience to host our party of about 40 people.

After months of planning, we concocted a story that involved me winning a gift certificate to this restaurant in Brooklyn and with me having a food blog, we just had to all go and check it out in person. And it must be on this particular day because we were unavailable other weekends/the certificate was to expire soon/some other weird excuse - anything just to get J & B to agree to 1) drive all the way out to Brooklyn from Massapequa 2) on this exact date and be there 3) at the exact specified time we stated. Oh and 4) they had to come by themselves because we were "meeting up with friends in the city beforehand, so it would just be easier for us to meet them at the restaurant."  Phew! How they bought all that - I don't know - but needless to say, our plan worked! And since we swore everyone to secrecy, they were totally surprised to see both old friends and other family that they haven't seen in a while.  J & B were so thrilled and we were just so happy that everything worked out as planned.

The party was a huge success! We used the "Brooklyn" theme throughout the party in the invitations, menu design, place cards, etc. Having the party in a charming Brooklyn restaurant like Aurora just pulled it all together.  Now on to the food...We enjoyed five different appetizers shared family style: Pizzetta Bufala e Pachino (grilled flatbread), Supplì (mushroom croquettes), Insalata di Funghi (mushroom salad), Fave & Pecorino (fava bean salad), and Salsiccia (house-made pork sausage).  Of the antipasti, my favorite was the mushroom croquettes as they were filled with rice, cheese, and mushrooms.  Keith surprisingly enjoyed the fava bean salad as the fresh ricotta cheese and lemony dressing really brightened the dish.  Another star appetizer was the house-made sausage.  With a hint of spice from the Calabrian pepper, the sausage had great flavor.

We also shared two different pasta courses: Paccheri alla Norma (eggplant pasta) and Pappardelle al Ragù (pasta with traditional Bolognese sauce).  Both pastas were incredibly fresh with authentic sauce that satisfied both the vegetarians and meat-lovers alike.  Then everyone had a choice of entree from Capesante (seared Montauk scallops),  Pollo al Mattone (cast iron seared half chicken), or Tagliata di Vitello
(grilled veal loin).  There was plenty of food to go around and too much to write in detail about (see pictures of each item below), but I will say that everyone raved about the menu and truly enjoyed themselves.

Whether it's a wedding, birthday, corporate event or any other celebration, Aurora offers several options to accommodate your group's needs. The event staff will help you plan every detail of your party and even design a customized food and beverage menu and guide you through every step involved in hosting your event at their venue.  We couldn't have been more satisfied with the service and attention to detail provided by the staff of Aurora. They were very attentive the whole night and made sure everyone's wine glass was full and dirty plates were cleared right away.  We all had a great time and the garden setting was the perfect atmosphere for our surprise birthday party for J & B.  The food and service at Aurora definitely made the trek out to Brooklyn worthwhile.

Total Rating: 4.43
Food: 4.5, Price: 4, Service:4.5, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 4

What I ate:
Pizzetta Bufala e Pachino
grilled flat bread with pomodorini, buffalo mozzarella and arugola

Vialone nano rice croquettes with wild mix mushroom
and Fior di Latte mozzarella

Insalata di Funghi
roasted Hen of the Woods and King Royal Trumpet mushrooms
with raddichio trevisano, burrata cheese and black truffle vinaigrette

Fave & Pecorino
fresh fava beans, sugar snap peas, mint and pea shoots
with lemon marinated fresh ricotta and pecorino Fiore Sardo

house-made heritage pork sausage with broccoli rabe,
bread crumbs and Calabrian hot pepper

Paccheri alla Norma
Gragnano pasta with roasted eggplant,
melted tomato, buffalo mozzarella and pesto

seared Montauk scallops with fresh corn pudding,
grilled asparagus, pickled fiddlehead ferns and mushroom-truffle vinaigrette

Plus others ate:
Pappardelle al Ragù
house made hand cut pasta with traditional Bolognese ragù

Pollo al Mattone
cast iron seared half Crystal Valley Farm Chicken
with lemon, Calabrian chili and broccoli rabe

Tagliata di Vitello
grilled naturally raised veal loin tagliata
with salsa tonnata, arugola and parmiggiano

 Aurora on Urbanspoon


  1. sounds like J&B have some great kids!

    1. Yes - they do! (Corrine, is that you?! We all know you are awesome!)

  2. Looks like the party was a success!! The food looks to die for. Tell them Lucinda and James wish them a very Happy Birthday!!!

    1. Thank you! Yes - the food was way better than expected. His parents are still raving about it.

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