Dish Gal's guide to getting the most out of life, one meal at a time...

L'Espalier for lunch- Restaurant Week

Z was quite jealous when he found out that Chloe (don't forget to check out the cast of characters in the right hand column...) scored us restaurant week reservations for lunch at L'Espalier, even though OpenTable reported no availability.Through some connections, fellow-foodie Chloe had gotten us in, during L'Espalier's final weeks at its famous Gloucester St. location.

The first thing that you notice upon entering is how everyone says hello to you. In some restaurants, it seems like the wait staff are trying not to make eye contact, attempting to pretend you're not even there. Here, the maitre-d even introduced himself as he walked us up the grand staircase and into the back room where our table was.

We summed up the restaurant in one word: classic. In a good way. The room we were in was romantic, with decor like you've stepped back in time to the days of corsets and powdered wigs. Of course, the other diners-- stylish "ladies who lunch" and men in power suits-- kept us rooted in 2008.

The waiter came over to our table: "So, three gazpachos to start?" I couldn't tell if he was mocking us, or such a good waiter that he could read minds? In any case, he was correct; we all opted for the gazpacho. Julia had never tried gazpacho before, and when it arrived looking like creamy tomato soup, we had to explain that this is not your standard roughly chopped tomato soup. However, it was delicious-- so good that we forgot to take a photo, so here's one of it partially eaten (all photos courtesy of Chloe's iphone):

Next up, my ladies went with the salmon, and out of journalistic interest (and fear of the waiter making fun of us again), I went for the pork belly with german potato salad and haricot vert. The thing I find funny/slightly disappointing about any fancy restaurants is that the meat portion of the meal usually takes center stage, whereas I usually enjoy side dishes the most! I guess it's the inner vegetarian in me.

In any case, Chloe and Julia reported back on "super moist" salmon that melted in your mouth. My pork belly was tender and smoky; I didn't even miss the side dishes this time!

However, hands down my favorite part of the meal was the dessert, which also is unlike me. It was described as chocolate cake, but it tasted like slightly cooked brownie batter-- one of my favorite delicacies in the world. Who doesn't love to lick the spoon? =) The soft "brownie batter" was complemented by fresh pieces of blueberries and raspberries and little crunchies that I forget what they were called... Beautiful presentation, too:

Gloucester St. L'Espalier will surely be missed.

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