Marathon Mania!

•April 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The third Monday in April is known by many in the U.S. as President’s Day, but in Massachusetts, and especially among Boston area natives, the holiday is better known as “Marathon Monday.”

For some, this early spring day marks the culmination of months of qualifying, training, and sheer determination to finish a 26.6-mile running race up and down the hilly terrain from Hopkinton to Copley Square in Boston. The rest of us trade sideline water tables and running sneaks for mid-day beer drinking and rooftop barbeques, craving much needed sun to tint snow-white skin from months of hibernation. Marathon Monday is the Bostonian’s first excuse to venture outside, hopeful for warm weather after a long New England winter.

If you’re among the many (stats say there are upwards of 500,000) who gather to cheer on the perseverant runners from beyond the sidelines, now is the time to plan where to soak in the day’s festivities.

You can either park your lawn chair and picnic blanket at the wee hours of the morning to be swarmed by a sea of on-lookers, or set up camp at Sel de la Terre where you can watch all the action on Boylston street from expansive floor-to-ceiling windows from the second floor dining room.

Seek shelter from the unpredictable Boston weather in our bar or dining room where we’ll be offering up the delicious deals on our popular bar menu all day long.

We promise you’ll have enough elbow room to enjoy a beer from the tap or a classy cocktail, and be able to cheer them on without spilling a drop.
For reservations call (617) 266-8800 today!

Sel de la Terre Back Bay
Monday, April 19, 2010
774 Boylston Street, Boston

Sel de la Terre Turns 10!

•March 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Just four months after we left our scrunchies and pogs in the decade past and partied like it was 1999, Y2K saw the first dishes go out of the kitchen at the flagship location of Sel de la Terre.

Sel de la Terre was born by Chefs Geoff Gardner and Frank McClelland while Gardner worked under McClelland at sister restaurant, L’Espalier.  The two envisioned a French brasserie with a relaxed atmosphere and chose the waterfront location in Boston’s downtown Financial District as the setting to launch the idea.

Today, we still offer affordable Southern French cuisine made with the freshest New England ingredients.  It is, and will continue to be, important for us at Sel de la Terre to support local farmers and vendors and build strong relationships within our community.  To uphold these values, our chefs continually revolve their menus around the seasonal ingredients produced by our local suppliers and often peruse farmer’s markets for the most quality offerings.

We are proud to offer chefs the culinary freedom to interpret our decade old philosophy giving each Sel de la Terre menu and environment a unique personality.  While our chefs’ interpretations vary slightly, there are a few staples that can be sure to please your palette at any location of Sel de la Terre. These Sel de la Terre staples have stood the test of time, and we have been happy to feature these favorites for the past ten years: our award-winning bread basket full of our homemade artisanal French bread varieties, classic steak frites, and the rave-worthy SDLT burger on a homemade brioche bun with a side of our famous rosemary pommes frites.

Over the years, we can thank our successes to our loyal patrons who have been dining with us since the very beginning, but we still love meeting new faces every day.  We have endured the economic ups and downs with our customers, which have sparked the creation of some of our most popular events including Wine Wednesdays and Tuesdays at SDLT Long Wharf and Natick, and occasional events like $1 Oyster Night and Trivia Thursdays.

Join us for a special anniversary dinner to commemorate the last 10 years at each of our locations of Sel de la Terre throughout the month of April.  Each location’s celebration will support a different local charity with a portion of the proceeds.  Call today for reservations!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010:

Sel de la Terre Long Wharf

Click here for menu!

Boston, MA

255 State Street

(617) 720-1300

Charity: Hospitality Homes

Tuesday, April 13, 2010:

Sel de la Terre Natick Collection

Click here for menu!

1245 Worcester Street

Natick, MA

(508) 650-1800

Charity:  Yoga Reaches Out

Tuesday, April 20, 2010:

Sel de la Terre Back Bay

Click here for menu!

774 Boylston Street

(617) 266-8800

Charity: Yawkey Family Inn



A case of the Wine Mondays

•March 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Wine Mondays have always been a favorite among L’Espalier staff and patrons since the first bottles were cracked around communal tables back in 2002.  It’s no wonder that over the last couple years, when recession buster deals and steals hit an all time high, that the idea is catching on in restaurant dining rooms in cities across the country.

The concept offers a less expensive, less complicated, yet no less delicious version of classic L’Espalier cuisine paired with different wines for each course that reflect a revolving theme.  Guests are sat around large tables where resident wine expert, Erik Johnson, leads lively discussion.  It’s an opportunity for the whole gang to let their hair down and start the week off on what would otherwise be a run of the mill Monday night.

Chef Frank McClelland’s first cookbook, Wine Mondays, is a seasonal journey through his most favorite Wine Monday menus and wine pairings.   Adapting each recipe to fit the freshest ingredients and personal tastes is a necessity in recreating the same feeling at home; and he suggests matching the weight of the food to the weight of your favorite and readily available wines.  There’s no real hard and fast rule here, just tips for enhancing your personal tastes and culinary identity.  That’s why “Have fun,” is the most important sentiment that McClelland emphasizes in this book, and the reason that Wine Mondays has been a playful part of our lives for almost 10 years.

This month, to pay homage to the wine dinners that started it all, we will be hosting two Wine Mondays Cookbook themed dinners.   At Sel de la Terre Back Bay enjoy a four course tasting menu using recipes and pairings from the cookbook, and at Sel de la Terre Natick, a usual Wine Tuesday will revolve around Wine Mondays recipes, as well.

Sunday, March 14th, Chef Louis DiBiccari runs the show at Sel de la Terre Back Bay.  You won’t be bored as he discusses each of the courses and wine pairings with his energetic personality.

Tuesday, March 16th, Chef Daniel Bojourquez of Sel de la Terre Natick Collection takes his turn at Chef McClelland’s recipes as the theme of his weekly Wine Tuesday.

Advanced reservations are required for these events.  Each seat is $38 including dinner and wine pairings for each course, but for just $10 more, get your very own autographed copy of Wine Mondays to bring home!

For reservations:

www.seldelaterre.com

Sel de la Terre Back Bay: (617) 266-8800

Sel de la Terre Natick Collection: (508) 650-1800

SDLT is in Full Party Mode!

•March 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Although the very successful Sazerac Ball is behind us, we’re not taking off our party shoes yet! In March, SDLT Back Bay will host the Anniversary Brunch for the Boston-Strasbourg Sister City Association. We’re delighted to have been selected the site of this champagne brunch celebrating the organization’s 50th year (www.boston-strasbourg.webs.com) and look forward to welcoming the president of the BSSCA, Mary Louise Burke, and helping to start off their 50th anniversary year with a bang.

We have an incredible menu planned for the guests who we understand will include members and friends who have taken part in BSSCA’s culture, cuisine and art offerings over the years – including alumni of the Boston High School exchange program. The celebratory menu is designed to incorporate traditional French items such as quiche, with local ingredients including Vermont maple syrup and new tastes such as graham cracker ice cream.

As the Boston-Strasbourg Sister City Association says on their website, Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Stay tuned as we party on this spring with a trio of 10th anniversary dinners in April to benefit three local charities, a marathon party to cheer on the runners in the home stretch, and a special brunch to honor our mothers on Mother’s Day. Come by to join our celebrations or to help us make one for you!

An evening of intrigue and dancing at The Sazerac Ball

•February 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Masquerades have provided colorful settings throughout history, both in art—like Guiseppe Verdi’s opera A Masked Ball and Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death” —and real life. In 1951, multi-millionaire art collector Carlos de Beistegui held a masquerade in Venice still known as “the party of the century.” In keeping with such glamorous heritage, on February 28th Sel de la Terre Back Bay presents the Sazerac Ball, a masquerade-themed evening of indulgence, intrigue, and dancing.

The focal point of the evening is Sazerac, which is both a brand of rye whiskey and the name of a cocktail. The Sazerac cocktail is thought to have originated in pre-Civil War New Orleans (which, like Venice, is known for its salacious celebrations). The original cocktail was made with French brandy, but today the recipe consists of 1 ½ oz. Sazerac Rye Whiskey, ¼ oz. Herbsaint, 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters, 1 sugar cube, and a lemon peel garnish.

Festive fare will herald from New Orleans as well, including jambalaya, Porchetta po’ boys, muffaletta, charcuterie, Cajun shrimp, croquettes, and pralines. Boston-based DJ Cousin John will be spinning a custom blend of jazz and contemporary music for dancing into the night and Sel de la Terre’s private dining room will be transformed into a speakeasy offering the illicit: poker and beignets. Come dressed to impress with vintage flair like seamed stockings, silk, fedoras, and feathers. And complete your look with a Venetian mask handmade by SDLT resident artists Ashley O’Reilly and Carol Prado. In such stylings and sensational surroundings, you may find yourself starting a little scandal of your own…

Sunday, February 28th, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. $45 per guest includes admission, food, and mask. Advance ticket purchase recommended—please call Carrie Weed at 617.266.8800.

Squash, beets, and…Big Macs?

•February 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The eat local movement is undeniably rooted in good intentions, but can be challenging to sustain in day-to-day life. Like plants themselves, eating local requires planning and attention. This is especially true in winter, yet, despite the deep freeze of the past week, there are still some ways to nurture your socio-gastronomic ideals. Squash, apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, and kohlrabi are some of the wintry produce still in abundance. Boston Localvores suggests visiting the North Attleborough Winter Farmer’s & Artisan Producers Market on Sundays (January 10th-March 28th) and the Winter Farmer’s Market in Wayland on Saturdays (January 16th-February 27th). For a full list of ongoing winter farmers’ markets, check out www.massfarmersmarkets.org. And don’t forget to be on the look out for other local offerings available year-round, like cheese, meat, canned or pickled products, beer, and wine.

In addition to seasonality, eating local can be a challenge due to our cultural expectation of instant gratification. A recent Huffington Post item reports that McDonalds in Italy will be offering two new burgers featuring Italian produce (artichoke spread, asiago cheese, and lettuce on one, olive oil, onion, and smoked pancetta on the other). The partnering between McDonalds and the Italian government has been mostly met with cynicism, and it is indeed likely more a business transaction than an indication of true commitment to local eating and sustainability. But the situation brings up important questions. Is it possible to reconcile a commitment to eating local with mass production? How can we create a meaningful collaboration between slow food and fast food? Or are the two mutually exclusive? Salt News invites your thoughts.

Spicing up dinner and a movie for Valentine’s Day

•January 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment

When it comes to dating, dinner and a movie is the standard. It’s a potentially mundane recipe, unless, of course, you pair a truly delectable dinner and a fabulous film. With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, Salt News offers some suggestions to transform your meat-and-potatoes date into, say, braised boneless beef shortrib with potato-quince gratin and truffled consommé.

For Valentine’s Day dinner, all three Sel de la Terre locations have lovely prix fixe menus prepared. On Saturday the 13th, Natick will offer four courses for $55 and on Sunday the 14th Long Wharf and Back Bay will offer five courses for $78 and six courses for $85, respectively. Salt News is particularly excited for the fish course at Back Bay, for which Chef de Cuisine Louis DiBicarri will prepare a silky Georges Bank diver scallop with crayfish ravioli, rich uni butter, and tender pea shoots.

After your meal, check out one of the four films below. Each blends food and romance—perfect for post-dinner spooning!

Chocolat
Described as a “sinfully scrumptious bonbon” by Rolling Stone, Chocolat features a beautiful, mysterious chocolatier and her young daughter, who together open a chocolaterie in a morally rigid 1950s French village. The chocolatier embarks on a hungry romance with a drifter musician and slowly liberates the village with her ambrosial confections.

Lady and the Tramp
This 1955 animated canine love story features the often-parodied but oh-so adorable spaghetti kiss.

Like Water for Chocolate (in Spanish with subtitles)
Based on the novel by Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate is about Tita, a young woman bound by tradition to care for her mother. To express her forbidden love for her sister’s husband, Tita prepares evocative dishes like quail in rose petal sauce. It’s the perfect blend of desire and the culinary arts, peppered magical realism.

Delicatessen (in French with subtitles)
If your sweetie likes dark comedy, check out this film which revolves around a butcher shop in post-apocalyptic France. Cinematically distinctive and deliciously strange, the film features romance, cannibalism, tea parties, and underground revolutionaries who proselytize vegetarianism.

Make your reservations and update your Netflix queue today!