Permanently Closed - L'Espalier

4.5
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2659 Reviews
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$50 and over
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French

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. L'Espalier can be found at its new home on Boylston Street, adjacent to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. L'Espalier is a culinary exploration, featuring sophisticated and modern New England-French cuisine, with an emphasis on artisanal and New England ingredients.

**Please note we are not able to accept reservations for the Chef's Table, Wine Monday, or Cheese Tuesday on OpenTable.com.
What 2659 people are sayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Quiet
72% of people would recommend it to a friend
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K
vipKitty
New England
2 reviews
Reviewed on January 2, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

So sad it closed its doors. I had a lot of good memories dinning here.

CM
ChristopherM
New England
6 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sorry to see it go, I knew the previous owners, Moncef and Donna, from the first year, and Chef McClelland recently. 40 years of impact, delight, and hospitality. Thanks for the run. Truly the end of an era.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really sorry to see L’Espalier close. A special place with very good food and atmosphere.

TK
TimothyK
New England
7 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Really enjoyed our visit to L'Espalier. We waited many years to final visit, and it's sad to see them go after so many years. Great food/culinary experience with fantastic service.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a wonderful evening to celebrate the fantastic L’Espalier as Chef McClellan ends his run.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New England
5 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall2food4service1ambience2

I was there for afternoon tea with my son. Was seated at a table that was next to a large pillar in the middle room, right in the walkway area. We felt like we in the dead zone. Very poor service. It took 20 minutes to get a refill on a cup of tea. Clearly the restaurant is going out of business, which I just discovered after the visit. The tea service was so overpriced for such poor service.

D
Done
New England
30 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall1food3service1ambience2

So very disappointing, we have been many times and thought once more before it closes. Our main server, Kathleen B. was so unfocused, our table location was ?, we were given Tea not Lunch menu, then no choice as we thought 2options. Libation book had no cocktail list, wine chosen not available, water spilled on seat splashing onto me, “sorry” with not wiping up! When asked if we would like more bread, my husband replied yes, however he had to ask twice more, his entree, beef was a very large chunk of fat with a small amount of well done meat. Our wine arrived after entrees and glasses were poured uncomfortably full! We always enjoyed the cheese course and inquired, “four cheeses” we had to ask what types also asked about sorbets, again had to ask three times what kind. We tried to make the best of an awful experience, which is why my husband didn’t complain, the food was warm never hot. You’re asking so please share with Mr.McClelland

G
vipGinettev
New England
13 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We made reservations to dine there one last time before the doors closed. My husband was at home in bed with an injury but he insisted that our son and I go . Although we missed him and he was sad that he missed dining at one of his favorite restaurant we had a wonderful time. Our son has always been exposed to fine dining since he was a baby but for some reason he never went with us to L’Espalier . He enjoyed the experience and I enjoyed dinner bing with my son who wore a Tux for me but in his own style . Thank you kindly for giving me that experience with my only child . Thank you Drew for treating us with such care and attention ♥️

MF
vipMaryF
New England
23 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I will be sad to see this iconic restaurant retire.. the food is exceptional, the service can’t be beat.. the end of a very special era in Boston.

MR
MarisaR
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing in all regards. Impeccable service and creative, delicious food. So sad this was our only meal here, but very fortunate to get in before closing.

JR
vipJoeRichard
New England
12 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We will be sad to see you close!

F
vipFenbuddy
New England
16 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another perfect, if last-chance meal at my favorite restaurant.

AF
AlFi
New England
3 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our last meal at this institution of refined excellence! As this adage goes, all good things must come to an end. And so it goes here. We hope it’s only au revoir for a brief while.

D
vipDexter
Glasgow
29 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall3food4service3ambience3

What to say since the restaurant is closing after 40 years? Clearly they went out with a whimper instead of a bang. It seemed at first that we were being rushed for our 7 pm seating, the amuse bouche coming before we'd placed our wine order. We had to ask twice to have the sommelier come to advise us. The butter poached lobster and the halibut course were both excellent, but lukewarm; my wife has made a better show of the butter poached lobster. One of the servers, whom we've had on previous occasions, spoke English so poorly that we had to ask several times to repeat what was being placed before us so that we could understand (and I'm a huge supporter of immigration). The duck and beef were both delicious, but service was so inattentive that nobody noticed when my wife spilled a water glass. The Grande Fromage, a staple of the restaurant all these decades, was not on the menu, but when asked I was told that it was available on request. What came was a pale shadow of its former self--no cheese cart, but an anemic (though tasty) selection of four cheeses. The shock was being charged $42 for this paltry sampling.

We first dined at L'Espalier 35 years ago, and have returned over the decades for numerous special occasions. We couldn't let the restaurant pass into oblivion without one more dinner once we learned of its pending demise. Sadly, it seemed that the restaurant was already running on fumes 5 days prior to the last act. I will cherish the memories of past meals, but not this one.

TC
TraciC
New England
17 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dinner was outstanding! Truly sad to see this establishment closing. Elegant decor, impeccable staff
and a wonderful experience. Thank you.

KS
KatieS
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Wonderful experience start to finish! We are sorry to discover L’Espalier before it closes. The staff were top notch and wanted to please. Loved it!

AN
AN12
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lunch date. Excellent.

LR
vipLanR
New England
6 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Not even close to a fine dining restaurant. It seems they are trying to be something they will never be. A fine dining experience should surprise you, but there is nothing out of the ordinary and dishes are poorly executed. The service was not up to the standard either, the way the bring and take each plate was not smooth and not properly described. The food is tasteless. Repeated ingredients multiple times in the dishes. Today they had a dish of just potatoes, really, the foie gras tarte was crumnling with a crust with way too much butter, anything that was supposed to be crunchy like potato chips and duck skin was soggy, the steak was overcooked in the edges and blue in the center. Overall really horrible. Don't go to this place.

MR
MeghanR
New England
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall1food1service1ambience2

We’ve been almost everywhere in Boston for afternoon tea and this was our least favorite by far. We were expecting a festive holiday tea and walked into a mad hatter tea that we specifically asked not to be a part of. When we informed our server they took off all the decorations and left us with nothing festive. The food was incredibly sub par and smaller than any tea I’ve ever been to. The service left much to be desired, filling our cups with the wrong tea or just not at all. We will not return and would not recommend this to anyone.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best restaurant in Boston

BS
BobS
New England
5 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always exceeds my expectations

J
Josephpicante
New England
26 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Greatness. Grieving or a this sad loss.

k
vipkeithm
New England
253 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall3food3service5ambience4

It was good, but better last year. We decided to do the holiday tea again this year. It was scheduled for Dec. 23, but we needed to reschedule to this past Sunday, which was not a problem. We started off with the Cognac infused Eggnog, which was excellent...A warning to those ion the future: They may offer to refill your glasses again with the Eggnog. If you do just plain Eggnog, its fine. If you do the Cognac Eggnog, you'll get hit with a $14 surcharge & they will not "offer" the fact you'll get charged. The teas we chose were outstanding. I did the holiday tea, which had a nice Smokey cinnamon aroma & taste. The savory treats were very nice & flavorful. The sweets afterwards, were frankly quite disappointing. I hate saying it, but they looked more outsourced than made in house. Richard being a pastry chef was quite disappointed. I feel we'll still do tea on occasion, but likely skip the Holiday Tea, as it's $110 price was certainly not worth it. The ambience was nice, but the Taj tea is the best one around. Unfortunately, the hotel is going to undergo a 15 month shutdown & transformation. I hope the timeless tradition of the Taj is not thrown by the wayside.

TP
vipTPatel
New England
8 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2018
Overall3food2service4ambience3

I don’t think the menu is worth the price, food was okay, experience was better in terms of doing a Chef’s Tasting.

LM
LindaM
New England
5 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely champagne and truffles Monday night dinner. The quail was especially outstanding and the champagne paired perfectly. For Monday night special dinner it’s a set menu and everyone is served at the same time with a quick explanation of the wine. The service is less personal than a normal meal but still excellent. My only disappointment was dessert. I didn’t especially like it even though it was chocolate - an odd smoky flavor- but I was full by then anyway.

w
vipwecap1
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall3food2service5ambience5

Understand concept here, chefs choice. Real real real small portions. For gods sake a bite of lamb for a main course. Fancy food, not that good. Way way way overpriced. 700.00 with tip. Service. Ambiance and Romantic- Yes. Overall, will never go back, better off going to a good steak house. Thumbs down.

j
vipjohnk
New York Area
32 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience and food.

SF
SimonF
London
2 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and brilliant service we really enjoyed our dinner there (is that 50 workloads yet?)

DC
vipDeepakC
New Orleans
6 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Good but overpriced

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
5 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent Thanksgiving dinner!

GM
vipGermanMoyer
New York Area
34 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall2food2service1ambience1

Tourist trap.
Seriously disappointed. There are many lessons to be learned here....

DS
vipDavidS
New York Area
33 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall4food4service4ambience5

My 5 courses lunch took me 2 hours which I think was too long, the connection between each course can be better. My first course was a lobster bisque which was too salty, but they replaced me with another lighter appetizer which was awesome, Lubina fish was great, very impressive, but beef was way over cooked, almost medium well. Cheese tasting was great, and dessert as usual, not very good, panna cotta was too thick and lack of anise hyssop flavor.

JF
JohnF
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall1food1service3ambience2

Not worth the money and food was not good at all. Try to be fusion and use repeatedly nuts.

C
Cazza
London
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall2food3service2ambience1

I had visited a year ago and had the most amazing dining experience. However, the recent experience was a rather expensive disappointment. It did not help that I was freezing and sitting in a draught all evening. The waiter was slightly officious and the food too salty, on the whole. I think we got the chef on an “ off night”.

S
vipSilke
New England
153 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Sadly, L'Espalier is past its prime, doesn't have a special feel or pzazz to justify its price and pretension. Three of us had a nice lunch with good food and service, but in a quiet, rather sterile atmosphere. Servers were competent or workmanlike, but not polished or especially gracious; unfortunately trained to use phrases like, "Are you joining us for lunch today?" (No, I'm having lunch with friends in yr restaurant). Open Table site says L'Espalier has a Sunday brunch, but it doesn't. Disappointing for a brunch lover. Maitre d' blamed OT for this rather than apologizing. The tasting menu lunch was nice, not that special. We loved L'Espalier @ Gloucester St. but it still doesn't seem to have gotten its groove back in the 3 times we've visited since it moved (long ago now).

D
Dmytro
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Its a good restaurant but not for this price. After visiting multiple Michelin restaurants in Europe, this gives usual food for the high price.
With all the respect to Chef, but this menu is average.

M
Miloche
Atlantic Canada
5 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful experience from start to finish. The service was astounding and the Chefs menu was absolutely fantastic. We would certainly return!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
3 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect from start to finish. The food was delicious and aesthetically pleasing. Service was superb. Will return again for future milestone celebrations.

F
vipFrancois
New England
9 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall3food2service3ambience5

We've been going to L'Espalier for over 6 years and what we used to take for granted as one of the best destination in Boston for the total dining experience is no more. It used to be the reference for ambiance, service, presentation, and food tasting. The ambiance and food presentation are still tops, but already last year we started experiencing the decline with the staff and some of the food. This year, out of 8 courses (I think) on the tasting menu, I could only come up with one outstanding item, and 3 well below average. Moreover, the staff now makes mistakes and doesn't even know their stuff. Very disappointing for a $500 dinner for 2. What used to be a special destination for birthdays and anniversaries, may have to be replaced by a better venue. Very sad!

F
vipFoodman
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Pear cider and sparkling grape juice on the wine pairings.....they seriously need a new sommelier!!! Stuck up wait staff might be ok at Ledoyen but they have really good food and wine pairings! Can’t recommend this place....food was fair and not very impressive. They also charge 2% for the kitchen.... really? Most restaurants take care of their kitchen staff!! Maybe that is the problem.

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Permanently Closed - L'Espalier is rated 4.5 stars by 2659 OpenTable diners.