Today I came to Boston to be with my hubby, on the way out to Boston we dropped the baby girl off at her school because tomorrow and Friday are her finals. My hubby dropped me off at the hotel and off to work he went. We left at 4:30 this morning so when we got to the hotel, I was tired, I thought that I would get breakfast and then go to sleep, I did the breakfast part but the sleep didn’t happen. I spent most of the day reading, writing a little bit and walking around for a little while, waiting for my hubby to come “home”.
The reason why I was here with my hubby was that my hubby had been invited to a special dinner by his colleagues and all the wives were included in the invitation. The invitation to dinner was at the French restaurant L’Espalier located at the Mandarin Hotel on Boylston Street. It turned out to be a party of twelve at the table and the whole evening was one of the most enjoyable that I have had in a while.
Each one of my dinner companions, whom I have never met before, were interesting, kind and engaging. The wives and I connected immediately; talking non stop about a variety of subjects; food, recipes, cooking techniques, gardening, traveling and cultural influences.
The restaurant, L’Espalier, offered not only a prix fixe menu but also different tasting menus with wine pairings. Everyone at the table decided to try the tasting menu and no one was disappointed. The wine was certainly flowing all around me, it is so gratifying that I don’t miss wine what so ever, I was very happy with my sparkling water. The ladies by the end of the meal were laughing because they all had three or four glasses in front of them filled with different wines from different dishes.
The food was excellent and the portions, even after all the courses, were in sum, just the correct amount of food. We all started with these small amuse bouche; cream puffs filled with various savory whipped creams and savory petit fours. We were then served a sublime bite of fluke sashimi, it was covered with crispy flakes of something and dotted with a reduction of something, making all together a flavor profile that was more than just the sum of its parts. Every nuance of flavor came together and made complete culinary sense. The fluke sang in my mouth.
That was followed by trays of WellFleet oysters dotted with caviar and when that was gone a small sampling of American caviar was presented with all of its accoutrements and my hubby took it on himself to make little bites of caviar covered blinis with creme for everyone.
The next tasting course was butter poached lobster with mussels and a foamy holland aisle sauce. There were elements to this dish that worked so well together and I lack the imaginative vocabulary to adequately describe how wonderful it felt in my mouth while I was eating my tiny dish of lobster. I do know that the table was oohing while we were eating, all in a good way.
The next course was an introduction to what foie gras au torchon means; duck liver terrine wrapped tightly in a cylinder, presented with Sauternes gelee and a fruit chutney. One of my favorites as usual; I could eat foie gras in any way imaginable, I love it that much.
Our two other courses were very nice; one was a grey sole and the next was a deconstructed cassoulet. A small presentation of cheeses followed by a caramel pot de creme that had a zucchini and carrot spiced cake on the inside with a scoop of burnt orange ice cream on the side. In the midst of all of this creative, flavorful and intriguing tasting and eating, the conversation flowed with such ease that before I knew it, it was 9:00 o’clock.
I am so happy that I got this chance to meet such lovely people. This evening was truly a wonderful experience.