Open everyday, 11:30AM - 11:00 PM
Modern, clean, and very, very white, Aida Trattoria is a gem of an Italian restaurant in the heart of Apkujong-dong. Located in an area littered with notable Italian restaurants, Aida Trattoria stands out for it’s wonderful California-esque presentation of food with a taste reminiscent of any fine Italian eatery back home. The restaurant has your typical modernist look with everything done in black and white except for a few sparse pieces of modern art on the walls.
If you’ve been craving real Italian food, Aida is the place to go. Their selection covers all facets of fine Italian fare, with the menu split up into appetizers, soups, salads, pastas, Risotto dishes, meat & fish entrees, and a nice selection of desserts. The servers were all very polite, as is the standard of service in Korea, and a number of them speak English. To give that extra touch of authenticity, Italian music is played in the background and water is served from Italian bottles.
The wine list is not very long but the restaurant features champagne from the great house of Moet & Chandon. The Moet & Chandon White Star was a little expensive at 95,000 won, but the Dom Perignon was a virtual steal at 195,000 won. If you need to go somewhere to celebrate, this might well be one of the cheapest places to get a bottle of the Dom.
The selection of appetizers at Aida is extensive and includes mostly Italian starters with some Asian specialties thrown in. Also on the menu is a Calamari Fritti that was surprisingly wonderful - The calamari is neatly arrayed over a bright red sauce and surrounded by a ring of olive oil, which makes for a remarkably beautiful dish. If, like me, you’ve been sadly disappointed by calamari fritti served at other Italian restaurants in Korea, you won’t be here; the calamari wasn’t overly salty, and the batter was very light and crispy, not weighed down with oil.
The soup selection is reasonably priced and offers quite a few choices. If you’re a clam chowder lover, I’d recommend the special clam soup - It’s a little watery, but it’s not salty like chowders at other restaurants and you can actually see the clams.
Aida has a nice selection of salads. Try the Insalata Di Pollo if you like a nice balsamic vinaigrette salad; crisp and tangy, it is a perfect accompaniment with the large selection of pastas available. Aida also offers an Oriental Salad and your basic Caesar salad.
When it comes to Italian restaurants, the quality of the food can be seen from the quality of the various pastas served. At Aida Trattoria, the pastas were tasty and the servings were larger than normally found in Korea’s Italian restaurants. The Con Segreto here is wonderful, with chicken and spaghettini served in a delectable spicy tomato creme sauce. The restaurant offers spaghetti, fettuccine, angel hair, and gnocchi in various guises and most dishes can be ordered with tomato or cream sauce. There’s also a Shanghai pasta on the menu, again, for those who prefer more traditional Asian fare. There is also a number of risotto dishes available and the quality of the food matched those of the pastas. Pasta and risotto prices range from 9,500 - 18,000 won.
There is also a number of pizzas and calzones available for 11,900 - 16,900 won.
If it’s meat you crave and not pasta, Aida Trattoria has a good selection to satisfy your hunger. We found the entrees to be a little pricey, with a selection of chicken, steak, and veal dishes ranging from 26,000 - 36,000 won. If seafood is your pleasure, there is a selection of fish, shrimp, and lobster dishes available from 29,000 - 32,000 won.
To finish off your meal, the Trattoria offers teramisu, cheesecake, and dessert pizzas for your after-dinner enjoyment.
Aida Trattoria is open for lunch and dinner. They have a lunch special available until 2:00 PM that’s a great deal with two full-course selections offering soup, salad, entree, and coffee or tea for less than 20,000 won.
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