Fantastic RW Lunch at L'espalier
Ok, I know that a lot of RW bashing goes on around the board, and oftentimes the lack of service and lower quality menu items deserve this ire, but I had a RW lunch at L'espalier yesterday that was absolutely superb. The service was top-notch from beginning to end (which can sometimes be a problem for my bf and I regardless of when we go to a restaurant since we are on the young side), with a very attentive waitress. The courses came out quickly without making us feel rushed, but rather that the food runners kept a good eye on everyone. For the first course, we both had the seared shrimp served in a chilled watermelon/canteloupe soup. The shrimp was nicely seasoned with lemon and cooked perfectly, while the soup was crisp and sweet without being overpowering. We both had the fennel poached salmon for main course, served with a ratattouille and I believe a small piece of polenta. The salmon was perfectly cooked, and the ratatouille was nicely seasoned without being overly salty, which is something I've run into before at other restaurants. For dessert, I had the peach and yogurt parfait, which was a peach cake layered with a yogurt-based cream and topped with a peach gelee of sorts. The flavor combination was outstanding and the cake was quite fluffy while still having a good amount of weight to it. My bf got the decadent chocolate cake for dessert, served with chocolate rice puffs and an apricot sauce. The cake was made with bittersweet chocolate and paired nicely with the sweetness of the apricot sauce, plus the rice puffs made a great textural contrast. This meal was all-around the best RW lunch I have experienced, from the service to the menu options to the execution of the food, and I will keep L'espalier on my list of RW front-runners for next year.