Sometimes the best laid plans are no plans at all. This past Friday, I finally took the leap and took a half day off. No one told me how difficult it would be to walk away from your work when you work for yourself, but it is pretty daunting. It feels like the second you step away, everything could come crashing down and be gone when you get back. Hence the 12 hours at the computer per day.
But, it is summer for not much longer, and I decided it was time to enjoy a leisurely afternoon. The initial plan was to meet Daisy and Megan for some rooftop sunning at the Colonnade, but changes in plans, and ultimately crazy storms ended that.
Instead I met Megan in town, and we wandered up Boylston Street looking for lunch. When we happened upon L’Espalier, they had room for us, AND they were featuring a three course Restaurant Week lunch menu, we looked no further.
Since I was on “vacation”, at least for the afternoon, we decided to add two wine pairings to our lunch. For $14, the wine pairings were a steal, especially in such an elegant and high-end space.
For the first course, we both had the Apple Street Heirloom Tomato Salad with chevre panna cotta.
For our first wine pairing, our server suggested bubbly, and who were we to say no? Starting a meal off with a glass of sparkling wine is always a delight, and the Louis Bouillot Crémant de Bourgogne was a perfect pairing. The panna cotta in the dish was light but had that goat cheese tang that really added a lot of flavor to the dish. It was beautiful to look at and to eat.
For my second course, I had the perfectly cooked salmon with ratatouille. The salmon was flavorful with a crisp skin and certainly cooked to order, something that does not always happen during Restaurant Week. Clearly, L’Espalier does not lower their standards though they are offering such an exceptional deal.
My wine pairing was a Poggio Amorelli Chianti Classico. I enjoyed the wine, but I felt as though it might have overwhelmed the flavors of the salmon just a bit.
I was eating lunch with Megan, so of course dessert was a must. Both of these dessert photos are courtesy of her post.
I tried to take my own photos, but as Megan mentioned, the weather from the time we arrived and ate lunch to when dessert arrived changed from humid, sunny summer day to a complete downpour, dark skies, and thunder.
We each ordered one of the dessert options, wild strawberry-vanilla mousse with lychee foam and raspberry-balsamic vinaigrette and an untraditional sachertorte which was far prettier than the sachertorte I made last winter.
I liked the fresh, lightness of the strawberry dessert. The strawberries themselves were summer perfection, and the layers beneath took their cue from the berries.
The sachertorte had that dense, somewhat dry, crumbly chocolate characteristic of the traditional Austrian delight, but was paired with mango gel which was an interesting twist. While I enjoyed this dessert, and I am all for innovation, I will be very honest in that I prefer a slice of the sachertorte as the Hotel Sacher does it. Preferably AT the Hotel Sacher.
L’Espalier does Restaurant Week right, with the same level of service and food as they always offer. It was my first time at the restaurant, but I was incredibly impressed, and despite being dressed in my beachy best, felt elegant and important, just by the way the staff treated us.
Have you dined our for Restaurant Week this year? How was your experience?