Restaurant review: L’Espalier (new location)

Last Friday, April 17th, was our 4th anniversary.  w00t 😉

To start our celebrate, we went to L’Espalier for dinner.  Besides being one of our favorite restaurants in Boston, this place holds a special significance to us, because that’s where I planned to propose.  I ended up proposing later the same night, but that’s still where we went when we got engaged.
L’Espalier has since moved to a new location in the Back Bay, adjacent to the new Mandarin Oriental hotel.  We both really loved the old place.  It had unique old Boston charm.
The new place is much more modern, spacious, airy, and “clean” in its feel.  The waiter mentioned the kitchen is way bigger, giving the chefs more room to do their thing.  I’m not sure which place and which ambiance I like better.
The place was half empty, which is somewhat surprising on a Friday night.  But given the economy, maybe it’s not that surprising.
We had an excellent dinner, as anticipated.  The chef’s tasting menu was delicious, and the matching wines were very good.  The lobster was delicious, the pork belly amazingly tender.  The 2005 Bell Claret was an excellent match for the pork, and in fact we ordered a couple of bottles for ourselves through our new wine contact the next day.  (More on this in a subequent blog post.)
L’Espalier is not Alinea, Per Se, or Dal Pescatore.  But it’s probably the best classic food in Boston, along with Meritage.  It’s a reliable pleasure for foodies and the curious.