Lunch at L’Espalier

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.

Lunch at L'Espalier

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.

Lunch at L'Espalier

For our first wine pairing, our server suggested bubbly, and who were we to say no? Winking smile 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.

Louis Bouillot Crémant de Bourgogne

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.

Poggio Amorelli Chianti Classico

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. Smile



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?

L'Espalier on Urbanspoon

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Tags: Dining out, Food, L'espalier, Lunch, restaurant, wine

  1. Jean | Delightful Repast’s avatar

    Aah, Meghan, you have not yet discovered (it takes time) that the greatest perk of self-employment is to take time off whenever you like (within the bounds of common sense, of course)!


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      I literally felt like I was doing something wrong for most of the afternoon! Hopefully I will start to “get” it soon!


    2. Michelle’s avatar

      I love L’Espalier! Went there for my birthday last year :)
      Sadly, I don’t get into the city to enjoy Restaurant Week. I did go to Portsmouth earlier in the year for their Restaurant Week, though. Its so fun!


    3. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

      Glad you had a great experience. Restaurant week really is a hit or miss thing. I had a great meal at Gargoyles this year.


    4. Michelle’s avatar

      I always have such mixed experiences with Restaurant Week that I haven’t really been participating in it but it looks like you ladies picked a winner!


    5. Daisy’s avatar

      your spontaneous decision to dine here was a good one. I only wish i could have been a part of it! we will make it to the Colonnade pool one of these days, I don’t care if that ends up being next summer!!


    6. Molly Galler’s avatar

      This meal looks incredible! I’ve never been to L’Espalier but have always wanted to go. The presentation is stunning. I agree, the best restaurants are the ones who treat Restaurant Week diners with the same respect they would a diner on any other day of the year. Thanks for sharing!


    7. Megan’s avatar

      So does this mean we should plain to head to the Hotel Sacher soon? ;) Thanks for being such a great lunch companion… and I’m glad you took a little time off!


    8. Charlene’s avatar

      Glad to hear you had a great restaurant week experience at L’Espalier! I went to Asana last night with my husband and a friend and the service was very friendly but a bit too leisurely for my liking. I ended up not ordering off of the restaurant week menu but my dining companions enjoyed those options.


    9. Elizabeth’s avatar

      I’ve never been to L’Espalier and I really should go. Looks like a lovely lunch!


    10. Emily @ A Cambridge Story’s avatar

      What a great lunch! I went there for restaurant week (for dinner) last summer and it was so-so. Glad your experience was positive!


    11. Kerstin’s avatar

      Restaurant week is so hit or miss, glad L’Espalier didn’t disappoint! Sounds like the meal was meant to be :)


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