July 30, 2006
30 Gloucester Street
Boston, MA 02115
Dear Mr. McClelland,
It was with great anticipation that I planned to host my birthday dinner at L’Espalier on the evening of Friday, July 28. I had, of course, heard many rave reviews of your restaurant, and I looked forward to an evening of amazing food and service.
I am, therefore, extremely sorry to report that I will not return to your establishment, nor will I recommend it to my friends. While the food was acceptable, I am sure that you can understand that, from a restaurant with a reputation like that of L’Espalier, I expected more. There are any number of restaurants that can, for less expense, provide an acceptable meal. From L’Espalier, I was expecting a meal beyond the ordinary, and in that, I was greatly let down.
Additionally, my party of eight was crowded around a table more suited for six. Perhaps you do not often host larger parties, but I would expect that one those occasions where you do, you should have a table suitable for the number. The alternative, of course, would be to inform your guests that you cannot accommodate a group of that size. As a result of our too-full table, one of our servers spilled wine on one of my guests. No doubt, you can understand the distress this caused us all.
Fortunately, it was not all disappointing. I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to mix-and-match elements in the Summer Degustation from the regular menu, and both of the foie gras appetizers that were enjoyed at my table were outstanding.
As one who loves good food, and good food experiences, I am always sorry to be disappointed, and it is, therefore, with hopes that my comments may help you to improve L’Espalier so its reality may rise to match its reputation that I write you.
We'll see if and how they respond. In the meantime, I strongly disrecommend L'Espalier for folks in Boston looking for truly fine food.