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L'Espalier

Why did I get deleted?

I'll again recommend that you consider lunch at l'Espalier for $30 if it happens that you can not save enough money to afford dinner when it comes time to celebrate your PhD.

Feb 20, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Starbucks testing in Boston (like, really long)

Exactly, I think a lot of complaints came in as it was explained to me because people had to pay $.55 extra for an additional shot to regain the taste they used to like.

Feb 20, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Starbucks testing in Boston (like, really long)

Well on the same subject, I heard that in April Starbucks is going to recalibrate their machines to make their espresso drinks stronger. Since they overhauled all their stores with automatic espresso machines, people have been complaining about the weakness of their shot and a lot have been buying an extra shot to make up for the lack of taste in their lattes, mochas, etc.

It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Feb 20, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Farfalle Italian Market in Concord

I did try this place recently and found it very pleasing as well. The ravioli in a butter sage sauce were very good and my wife's eggplant Panini was delicious (unlike any eggplant usually served in a sandwich, neither greasy or breaded)

Feb 20, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Croissants & French baguette

Framingham in an odd location next to Taco Bell

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Has anyone done a cooking class at Stir?

I already do that all the time. I'd be most interested in a class on a subject that I overlook in my cooking repertoire (like the bread making class offered by Clear Flour at BU or a very ethnic style of cooking that I don't often dabble in)

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

(Another) new visitor to Boston...

He's talking about $30 for his main course not for the whole dinner. Please re-read his OP. :)

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

(Another) new visitor to Boston...

I highly disagree about your assessment of Boston's ethnic food scene. Here's one place to try in that style that will fit your criterias: Oleana.

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

What are the best authentic Spanish Restos within 128

Dali

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

First time visitors to Boston...

I'm a vegetarian and I wouldn't step foot in that place. :(

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Has anyone done a cooking class at Stir?

is it hands on or is it only the instructor that partakes in the cooking?

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Croissants & French baguette

Agree. B&R is better than Clear Flour. Still two great bread makers in their own rights.

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Croissants & French baguette

I agree 100%, their bread is terrible and on par with the crap that Nashoba Brook Bakery sells even if you do store it properly out of the oven.

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Clio vs. L'espalier: Boston's Best?

One thing that sticks in my mind, is a few years back when my wife was pregnant (about 4-5 months), we dined at l'Espalier. When one of the dishes was uncovered at the table, the waitress immediately took it back to the kitchen because she deemed--as she told me later on--it wasn't cooked enough for a pregnant woman (and it wasn't). We hadn't even mentioned that my wife was pregnant and that she needed foods well cooked. The belly wasn't out in full force at that time but the staff picked up on it without so much as a word from us. I think because she wasn't drinking and the hint of a belly. I was very impressed by the attention to detail in a situation like that.

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Sofra

Do you know where it's going to be located?

And yes, she is one of the most talented chef's in the city.

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Sofra

So is anyone excited about this opening? Does anyone know where it's physically going to be?

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Molecular gastrotomy: where to experience it?

Restaurant L's MG menu did not work because Restaurant L did not work. Nothing to do with the lack of interest in this cooking technique in Boston. Every week on CH, people come and ask where they can experience MG in Boston. There is a market for it, just no good chef to take it past the gimmick that it can turn into if prepared poorly. And understand that you do not need a huge market like Legal Seafoods to be successful at it. Alinea for example, still only appeals to a very very small portion of food goers. It's not like they are threatening Pizzeria Uno.

I agree in Boston, Clio is your best bet but it's really only barely & sometimes scratching the surface when it comes to MG.

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Clio vs. L'espalier: Boston's Best?

I certainly respect your opinion and I hope no one here wishes to engage in shouting matches. Clio and L'Espalier are clearly the contenders for best restaurants in Boston. I find l'Espalier more consistent, service clearly a step above (if the food isn't maybe clearly a step above for everyone, no one will deny that the service is) and the setting in the old townhouse is unique and much warmer & romantic than the Eliot Hotel. You can clearly envision a business meal at Clio, I think it's inappropriate for l'Espalier.

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Clio vs. L'espalier: Boston's Best?

Never said it was but that's traditional French cooking. L'Espalier is nowhere near traditional French cooking.

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Where can I find excellent hors d'oeuvres? (take-out)

For bread, pastries and some cakes (and even pizza: not Greek greasy pizza) definitely Iggy's bakery in Fresh Pond (La Patisserie & Modern have nothing on them.) For quiche/salads I would recommend La Provence in Concord, MA. Whole Foods' prepared food is pretty mediocre. Trader's Joe frozen stuff is you know, frozen stuff...

Eastern Lamejun is a good option for some hummus & middle eastern offerings.

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Clio vs. L'espalier: Boston's Best?

I agree that Craigie Street is a very special restaurant in Boston and an asset to our food scene. It doesn't compete with L'Espalier but that's not their intent either. In terms of mid-priced high-end cooking, they are one of the strongest forces in Boston.

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Clio vs. L'espalier: Boston's Best?

But Troquet is nowhere on the same level as L'Espalier or even the next level that Clio is on.

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Clio vs. L'espalier: Boston's Best?

and by classically French he means New French, Contemporary French or Nouvelle Cuisine. L'Espalier is not a traditional French restaurant. If you want traditional French cooking in Boston, go to the Hungry I or a place like that.

Feb 19, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Clio vs. L'espalier: Boston's Best?

Zagat rates L'Espalier higher than Clio & No. 9 Park if you need to know.

They also describe L'Espalier as New French.

Feb 18, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Clio vs. L'espalier: Boston's Best?

Not in the same league either imo.

Feb 18, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Clio vs. L'espalier: Boston's Best?

But if you want the best meal, best setting (well at least before they change venue this summer) and best service, go to L'Espalier.

Feb 18, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Clio vs. L'espalier: Boston's Best?

It's barely a matter of opinion. L'Espalier is in another class than Clio.

If you don't trust me read what Andy Hayler (and independant food critic that once dinned at all 3 star rated Michelin restaurants in the same year) had to say of both:

http://www.andyhayler.com/show_restau...

http://www.andyhayler.com/show_restau...

And to answer chrisinroch , I wouldn't consider Number 9 in the same category either. And here's what Andy had to say as well:

http://www.andyhayler.com/show_restau...

Feb 18, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Dinner suggesions in/around Concord area?

If you are into decent, average or passable food, you need to move to the Concord, Acton, Maynard, Bedford area.

Feb 18, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

Mamma Maria - Great

Understand that what I like most about Piccolo Nido is the relaxed atmosphere, the good service and the attention to detail. The food is not outsanding but it's very good. You don't feel like it's a factory and that they you need to clear your table in 60 minutes tops. Mamma Maria makes too many reservations for the same table in one night (what do they shoot for? 4 servings per night?) That's unacceptable for the premium they charge!!!

Feb 18, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area

L'Espalier

Be adventurous. Try types of foods you wouldn't try somewhere else. Let your preconceptions about ingredients at the door. Trust the chef, he will reward you for it.

Feb 18, 2008
joebelt in Greater Boston Area