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Best Sunday lunch/brunch spot: Craigie on Main or L'Espalier?

Will be in Boston and I am looking for a great Sunday lunch/brunch spot. Looking at Craigie on Main or L'Espalier. Is one better than the other? Any other options I should consider? And finally, are reservations necessary at that time? Thanks!

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L'Espalier
774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

Craigie on Main
853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

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  1. I haven't been to L'Espalier for brunch so I can't really compare. But I really love Craigie's brunch. It is a great way to experience CoM without the high dinner prices. Its been a while since I've been but the house made dimanche sausage is excellent as is the pork belly if your not sick of that sort of thing by now. I know EVERY place serves bloody marys at brunch but CoM are notable as they have some unique infused gins and vodka's.

    I have been to L'Espalier for lunch. It's much fancier than CoM. Personally, at brunch I like a little more laid-back atmosphere. CoM has a more neighborhood-y feel which I think is another reason to go there.

    If its just me or me and Mr. then I usually just walk in for brunch. But if you have a bigger party I would certainly make reservations. I also prefer the bar side of the restaurant (same menu) as it is a little roomier.

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    L'Espalier
    774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

    1. I also have not been to L'Espalier's brunch, but the brunch at Craigie on Main is my favorite of the few spots I have been to for brunch. Excellent food, especially the house made hash.

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      L'Espalier
      774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

      Craigie on Main
      853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

      1. Have never done brunch at the new L'Espalier. The Craigie brunch is outstanding. Two completely different restaurants in approach, one more formal, New French, and concerned with ornate compositions, the other more haute-bistro, informal, and nose-to-tail. Price-wise, L'Espalier is higher, though the gap is narrowing. Make reservations regardless.

        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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        L'Espalier
        774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

        1. None of these posts are terribly useful, since I, like the other posters have never done brunch at L'Espalier. However, the brunch at Craigie is superb. I would personally recommend the corned beef hash over the dimanche sausage.

          However, the reason I'm posting is that although I've never been myself (planning to), a few months back someone recommended that the brunch at Mistral was even better than Craigie, so I wanted to just mention, and perhaps entice those that have been to chime in.

          tb

          7 Replies
          1. re: trueblu

            having just had the tasting menu lunch at L'Espalier I can attest to its excellence. It is a more formal atmosphere than Craigie and it wasn't brunch, so I'm not sure how to compare the two. L'Espalier's lunch was a long and lovely journey through luxurious small courses: plan on 2 1/2 to 3 hours! There were oysters, lobster, foie gras, and a host of other small and lovely plates.

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            L'Espalier
            774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

            1. re: teezeetoo

              I've been to both and they are great...

              Though I still prefer Cafe Fleuri's brunch at the Langham hotel as the best in boston....diff. kind of experience though...

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              Cafe Fleuri
              250 Franklin St., Boston, MA 02110

              1. re: teezeetoo

                I've eaten (as have several of the other posters) at L'Espalier several times -- just not had brunch there.

                tb

                1. re: trueblu

                  honestly i don't think L'Espalier serves anything they call brunch though I might just have missed it. Thanks for the Cafe Fleuri and Mistral suggestions. We'll put them on the "try it" list.

                  1. re: teezeetoo

                    L'Espalier serves lunch, not brunch; there's an afternoon tea on weekends, too (starting at 2pm, after lunch ends), that looks modeled on a British cream tea, sans clotted cream.

                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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                    L'Espalier
                    774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                      Yes, from the menu, L'Espalier has lunch on Sunday while Craigie has brunch. The menu from Mistral looks interesting as well! Thanks for all the replies!

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                      L'Espalier
                      774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

                    2. re: teezeetoo

                      Just realised the OP mentioned lunch as an option, my error. In which case, brunch at say, Craigie is a very different beast to L'Espalier. I would rate the former, since although I like L'Espalier a great deal, I have had considerably better within the same genre, whereas the brunch at Craigie is truly outstanding.

                      tb

              2. Here's an update. We ended up going to brunch at Craigie on Main. First time at the restaurant. The wife had the haddie hash and I had the scallops on grits. Also ordered a side of the pork belly. Everything was really exceptional. I thought the portion sizes were good (although, I will say that I decided not to order the beef hash based on a smaller portion size I saw at an adjacent table). Restaurant was packed at 1pm, so very happy to have called ahead for a reservation. Nice atmosphere and great service. Definitely need to try dinner.

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                Craigie on Main
                853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

                1 Reply
                1. re: elctrnc

                  thanks for reporting back. glad you enjoyed.