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“Elegant Special Night Out”
Review of L'Espalier

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Ranked #168 of 3,328 Restaurants in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$41 - US$100
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Groups
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighbourhood: Back Bay
Cross street: Fairfield St.
Transit: Copley Square T
Reviewed 2 August 2017

If you're looking for the ultimate special restaurant experience, L'Espalier is it! We took our son here for his birthday. We ordered the 5-course tasting menu and our son also ordered the wine pairing. Every course was a work of art for the eyes and the taste buds. The whole experience left me feeling like I was in a fairy tale or movie.
Enter the unassuming front door and you are greeted by a hostess who summons the elevator for you. You are greeted by another hostess at the third floor. This starts the royal treatment. Each of us had our very own waiter and each course was delivered by the three and then our course was explained to us. Every course was also accompanied by the pleasant and friendly sommelier. We came to be wowed and we were. We had no dietary restraints and we love food. Our son is a chef and appreciates fine food and its preparation. Like others have said, the courses are small, but I was overly full when leaving. The bread and roll were served warm, as they should be. The bread was whole grain with pumpkin seeds. Two butters accompanied it. I'm a connoisseur of salads. This one with cherries in champagne and smoked ricotta to the side did not disappoint. We especially enjoyed the Point Judith Squid. (I wish I'd saved some of my bread to sop up the broth) The duck and farro course was another favorite with our group. This was my first time eating duck and I loved it. Although we usually pass on dessert at restaurants because we are too full, we continued to eat the delicious salted caramel souffle with tahini sauce. YUM!
Yes, this was the most we've ever spent on a meal or probably will again - - but it was worth it! Hint: the restaurant fills up as the sun goes down. If your schedule allows, reserve for 5:30 or 6pm for the best experience.

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Thank Diane P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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19 - 23 of 653 reviews

Reviewed 25 July 2017 via mobile

Every course was described as if it were a work of art blended with science. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The courses were disappointing. The lobster and duck were both tough and chewy. I've had better lobster at Legal Sea Foods. The duck was undercooked and very tough. It was inedible. One of my fellow diners left almost everything on their plate.

The service was most disappointing. We had to ask 3 times for more water to two separate people. The limes for our sparkling water arrived at dessert. They served the wrong orders to the six of us, something that should never happen in a restaurant like this on a slow night. It took them so long to bring us coffee that we all cancelled it.

Overall I was most unimpressed with the food. When the bread was the best thing on the menu that tells you everything you need to know. For $200+ per person I shouldn't leave hungry, frustrated and disappointed.

I would never return despite the pretty atmosphere and great location. Serve better food, less pretentious and provide better service.

Lest you think I am unfamiliar with fine dining, I regularly patronize the best restaurants in the country including The French Laundry, Gary Danko, spago, Per Se,Providence, and Eleven Madison Park. I am no stranger to 5 to 14 course tasting menus and French cuisine. This was a very unsatisfying poor imitation. Rarely have I felt that I wanted a refund. This is one time.

4  Thank John L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2017

Second time at L'Espalier was not a disappointment! Tried out the 5-course tasting this time and was very pleased. Such interesting creations that don't leave you feeling overly stuffed at the end. Loved the palette-cleansing treat, too. Love the European-style approach to dining -- about the experience, not the table turnover. Will be back!

Thank Boston_2_Ibiza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2017

This was my recommendation for my nephew's graduation celebration with the family. The food was uninspiring and I regret recommending this restaurant. The sommelier kept insisting we had ordered a bottle of wine which we hadn't as we don't drink - eventually resolved 20 mins later, she had the wrong table! Service was far too slow and staff quite mechanical. Ironically the nicest thing we ate was the amuse-bouche. In short for a meal that cost just under $2000, I did expect more than the unmemorable and uninspiring meal we had.

    • Value
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    • Food
Thank Arbysims
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2017 via mobile

We went for afternoon tea. The tea selection is rather limited but they're very good and all house blends. The savory tea sandwiches were very good. The sweets were only okay. The scones were burnt. Very friendly and kind staff. Although a nice experience, there are nicer (and less expensive) places for afternoon tea.

Thank Alice_Mary1990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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