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cheese course at L'Espalier and Menton

q
quads32 Oct 10, 2010 09:45 AM

My birthday is the Monday following. Lunch will be at L'Espalier (prix fixe and grand fromage) a cocktail at Drink and then dinner at Menton. The cheese course is $17.00 at L'Espalier. Menton does not indicate that a cheese course is even on offer. Other chowhounds have posted that one is offered. What is the cost? Thanks in advance!

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L'Espalier
774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

Menton
354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

  1. k
    kimfair1 Oct 11, 2010 09:44 AM

    When we ate at Menton, we added the wonderful cheese course which was $6 per selection (we had 4 = $24).

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    Menton
    354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

    1 Reply
    1. re: kimfair1
      q
      quads32 Oct 11, 2010 11:42 AM

      Thanks kimfair1!

      To cambridgedoctpr: I can only say that I like cheese in restaurants in particular because I often still have red wine to finish. I was only asking for the price of the course not whether I should order it.
      One of the great charms of dining in France whether at L'Ambrosie, Taillevent, Michel Bras or a small bistro in Strasburg is the cheese course. I am always happy when I have the option in America. It provides a pause in the meal to slowly finish my bottle of wine and reflect upon the meal before the closing movement. Would a Mozart symphony be as beautiful without the slow movement? Thanks for your opinion all the same.

    2. c
      cambridgedoctpr Oct 10, 2010 04:29 PM

      you know that you can buy cheese at Whole Food, Formagio, or the Wine Cask. i prefer to eat things that I do not eat at home.

      7 Replies
      1. re: cambridgedoctpr
        a
        ac106 Oct 10, 2010 05:19 PM

        By that logic why eat out at all? Everything at the French Laundry can be bought at Savenors

        1. re: ac106
          c
          cambridgedoctpr Oct 10, 2010 07:14 PM

          first, the food at the french laundry is generally grown locally; you are not going to get that at savenor's. And even if you did, you would not be able to prepare it that the way it is done a the F.L..

          In general, that is not true of the cheeses. Admittedly, some of them may come from out of the way places, but I find the cheeses at Formaggio or the Wine Cask to equal the quality of any cheese course in a restaurant in Boston.

        2. re: cambridgedoctpr
          lipoff Oct 10, 2010 05:27 PM

          Some of the cheeses at restaurants like L'Espalier and Menton cannot be found even at a world class cheese store like Formaggio Kitchen (and vice versa, of course). Either because they are exclusively provided to the restaurant by a small farm, or because the fromager has found something off the beaten path. Also, a knowledgeable fromager may suggest something unusual or complementary after the meal. I know that I have been introduced to cheeses at L'Espalier that I doubt I would have tried otherwise.

          But much like some people will pay a premium to have a wine with a meal that they could buy at a cheaper price to drink at home, I think there's a real logic to ordering cheese at a restaurant, even if you could buy the same thing at Formaggio Kitchen. Even if it's not consumed along with the food, the right cheese can really be satisfying after a particular meal.

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          L'Espalier
          774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

          Formaggio Kitchen
          244 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

          Menton
          354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

          1. re: lipoff
            c
            cambridgedoctpr Oct 11, 2010 12:28 PM

            I like bringing my own wine and do so frequently, even at Jean-Georges, my favorite "local" French restaurant.

          2. re: cambridgedoctpr
            MC Slim JB Oct 10, 2010 06:01 PM

            Regardless of whether I could source it at retail, sometimes a few bites of a few nice cheeses is just the thing after a meal at L'Espalier or Menton, especially since they both serve them properly.

            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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            L'Espalier
            774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

            Menton
            354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

            1. re: MC Slim JB
              c
              cambridgedoctpr Oct 10, 2010 07:15 PM

              your point is well taken but i prefer to get something that i do not eat at home. Chacun a son gout.

              1. re: cambridgedoctpr
                MC Slim JB Oct 11, 2010 10:11 AM

                I take your point, which is why I generally shun the North End red sauce palaces: I'm skilled enough a home cook to do that kind of thing in my own kitchen.

                For me, a cheese course at a high-end fine dining place like Menton or L'Espalier is hard to skip, even though I have an awesome cheese shop in my neighborhood and routinely make a supper out of a selection of great cheeses and bread and a few other things. It's easy for me to justify paying the premium for similar cheeses at these restaurants, as I can't have cheese at home as the conclusion to a fine multi-course French meal, properly served on beautiful tableware.

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

          3. lipoff Oct 10, 2010 10:29 AM

            If I recall correctly there is no set "cheese course" but rather you can pick as many or as few cheeses as you want from the extensive cheese cart, with a charge for each cheese. To create a cheese course of similar size, I think the price is similar. For a $100+/pp meal, I don't think there will be a significant difference in the price between the cheese courses. L'Espalier's cheese selections are justifiably legendary, and I have discovered many wonderful cheeses there. I am no cheese expert, but I certainly enjoyed a few selections from Menton's cart just as much.

            -----
            L'Espalier
            774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

            Menton
            354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

            1. MC Slim JB Oct 10, 2010 10:26 AM

              Definitely a cheese course at Menton. I don't have those receipts handy, but I believe it's roughly the same price as L'Espalier's.

              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

              -----
              L'Espalier
              774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

              Menton
              354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

              1 Reply
              1. re: MC Slim JB
                q
                quads32 Oct 10, 2010 10:30 AM

                Much obliged sir. I'm but a poor Maine lad and wanted to make sure that my accounts can withstand the blow.

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