Elizabeth (greyautumnrain) wrote,

Restaurant Data

Yesterday we went to L'Espalier for Warren's birthday, thus furthering our slow but ongoing quest to find a replacement for the sadly closed Julien.

The quick summary is that we both liked it better than Aujourd'hui. Warren liked it about the same as he like the Oak Room, and I liked it better since I had preferred Aujourd'hui to the Oak Room, so L'Espalier is clearly the first place contended at this point, though there are a few other options that we have yet to try.

Major points in L'Espalier's favor were that the ambiance was nicer than Aujourd'hui. It was a more old fashioned setting. It was also quieter, though that may well be a function of it being a Monday night; the tables were small and close together, so it might have been noisy if it had been crowded. It felt more intimate to me. Still, not as nice as those little semi-circular sofa booths that the Julien had that let us snuggle while we ate. The service was also good, though they didn't give off the air of being career waiters that the people at the Julien did.

They scored major points with me when after I asked about what cheeses were safe for me to eat during the cheese course (there being a concern cheese made from unpasturized milk during pregnancy), they brought me a plate of fresh fruit made by their pastry chef just for me because it turned out that three of the five cheeses were not safe. This was worth extra bonus points because I have been craving fruits and fruit juices all pregnancy.

One thing I thought was particularly clever was their juice tasting option. In this kind of restaurant it's not uncommon to have the option to do the tasting menu and have it accompanied by a glass of wine with every course. I did this once at the Julien, and it was fabulous, though much more wine than I was physically able to drink. (I have this thing where I just find it hard to drink the stuff after about a glass and a half, like my body just doesn't want to let me ingest it.) Clearly any wine at all was out of the question given my current condition, and Warren doesn't drink at all. L'Espalier had another option other than just wine or nothing: juice. You could get each course accompanied by one of their specialty juices. I forgot what all of them were, except that the guava lime was very good. This seemed like a particularly brilliant option, and we both chose it. Did I mention the part about the fruit and fruit juice craving?

So, in summary we still miss the Julien a lot, but L'Espalier is currently the next best thing of the options we've tried.

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