L'espalier - Boston MA
Fine dining can mean different things to different people. For me I look for impeccable service, inviting atmosphere, high quality ingredients, and innovative food.
We recently tried L'espalier in Boston to celebrate Greg's birthday. Unfortunately, the dinner was almost a complete letdown. I made a reservation noting the celebration as well as my dairy allergy. The day before our reservation we called to confirm my dairy allergy. The staff member noted our reservation and clarified that I couldn't eat any dairy (including butter and goat's milk cheese). An hour later another staff member called to confirm our reservation and our dairy allergy but didn't ask any questions this time.
We arrived on time for our reservation, checked my coat, and were shown to our table. Our waiter came over to welcome us and again asked if I could eat butter. That would be a no. We opted for a bottle of wine and the chef's tasting menu (our preference is always a chef's tasting or an Omakase).
The inconsistencies in service and food prep, along with the lack of high-quality ingredients (note that it is truffle season) left us disappointed and we wouldn't return.
Tapas at Matadora - Woburn MA
30 hours in Quebec City Canada
We easily drove up to Quebec City and checked into the Hilton Quebec City. The check-in staff was busy and when it was our turn one of the staff members went on break or left. Finally, we checked in and went up to the executive floor. Our room had a lovely view of the city! Greg went and spoke to the concierge in the executive lounge for lunch ideas. The wonderful concierge gave us a few names and after a little research, we picked one that sounded good.
For dinner we had reservations at one of our favorite restaurants. Le Lapin Saute is the perfect spot for a comforting atmosphere, friendly staff, and delicious food. We started with the smoked salmon and the foie gras torchon. We cleaned the plates entirely! For our entree we ordered the Confit duck leg, braised rabbit leg, duck sausages and bacon cassoulet. For dessert we couldn't pass up the salted honey pie.
The next morning we decided to head to the top of Montmorency Falls. Unfortunately, mother nature wouldn't cooperate with the our hopes for views. The fog wasn't great for photos but it did add some mystique to our walk.
After our sightseeing we were pretty hungry and after we dropped the car at the hotel we ventured to 3 Brasseurs. We settled in with a couple of drinks and started our lunch with the Toulouse sausage. The Toulouse sausage comes out on a hot plate and is delicious! For entrees we decided on the fish and chips which were also very good.
Unfortunately, our drive back home started during rush hour and so the easy ride turned into a long ride! In the end no matter how short or long of a stay we have in Quebec City it's always an enjoyable one!