On marathon night, we had a very late dinner so my father could relax for a few hours after finishing his race. We celebrated at L’Espalier, a fine dining French/Italian restaurant on Bolyston Street just a few blocks from the finish line of the race.
At L’Espalier, they have three menus: a three course prix-fixe, a spring tasting menu, or a more elaborate chef’s tasting menu. We decided to try the spring tasting menu.
The meal started with a few snacks: a mini éclair filled with creamy smoked Gouda cheese, short pastry with fish roe and tangy crème fraîche, and a financier with sweet balsamic reduction.
The amuse bouche was white tuna and lobster pieces under an airy light citrus foam.
After the complimentary snacks, the first course was the beurre noisette poached Maine lobster. Butter poached lobster tail served with a sweet shrimp dumpling, a vibrant asparagus nage, sharp grapefruit segments, and fresh aromatic basil.
Next was the foie gras torchon. Decadent smooth foie gras in between crunchy feuille de brick crisps with candied walnuts, sour rhubarb, and yuzu, which balanced the richness of the foie gras.
The Wild Columbia River salmon was lightly cooked with a perfectly rare center accompanied by black poplar mushrooms, fresh asparagus juice, sweet tender Maine crab morsels, and oniony ramps.
The last main course was the Jamison Farm roasted lamb loin; perfectly browned on the outside with a pink center served with their homemade garlic sausage, a piece of glazed “lamb bacon” (really intense and tasty), fava beans, and broiled baby onions.
Following the main course, we sampled various American cheeses, all beautifully crafted and outstandingly scrumptious.
The pre-dessert was a house made meyer lemon yogurt with granola and meyer lemon tuile, extremely light and refreshing.
The meal ended with an éclair filled with kumquat pastry cream and served with a delicious yet interesting sourdough ice cream. They even offered a piece of their sacher torte as a congratulatory dessert for my father finishing the marathon earlier that day.
Even though the dishes weren’t the most innovative and creative, they were executed well and delivered on flavor and presentation. Service was also great so my rating for L’Espalier is a 8-8.5/10.