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774 Boylston St. (Fairfield St.) Send to Phone
Frank McClelland offers creative New American-French cuisine in stylish environs.

Lunch Tues.-Sun., Dinner nightly, Afternoon Tea Sat.-Sun.

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L'Espalier, Boston, MA

L'Espalier Restaurant Review

About the restaurant and décor: L'Espalier is the kind of experience most patrons reserve for big-number birthdays, anniversaries or business deals. Stylishly spare dining areas in austere gray and taupe tones dominate the space, while the book-lined back room provides a library-like oasis. Dinner may also be enjoyed at the Chef's Table inside the kitchen.

About the food: Chef/proprietor Frank McClelland's French-inspired New American cuisine is exquisitely built from impeccable local ingredients. At lunch, you’ll find à la carte options, a five-course tasting menu ($68) and chef’s tasting journey ($108). Dinner presents a five-course prix-fixe menu ($98), eight-course tasting menu ($118) and chef’s tasting journey ($208). (Wine pairings are available for an additional charge.) Prices may be steep, though few would challenge their value given the parade of topnotch meat, fish, shellfish and produce embellished with luxury flourishes like foie gras, all beautifully plated. (Vegetarian gourmands can also dine exceptionally well here.) First courses like Georges Bank scallops with cauliflower “risotto,” saffron and smoked uni might precede mains ranging from slow-cooked king salmon with peas, lemon nage and capers to roasted pork rack with green chickpeas, ricotta gnudi, artichokes, olives and espelette. Anything from the cheese cart, meanwhile, is sure to delight. Pastry chef Maureen Hobby presents desserts such as lemon-poppy almond cake with blood orange and coconut crème, orange puffs and black sesame ice cream.

About the wine: While the superb wine list counts classics from Burgundy, Bordeaux and other French wine regions among its collection, there is also a contingent of bottles from California, Oregon and Washington. The subtle, highly polished service doesn't miss a beat.


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