Boston >Food & Dining > Sel De La Terre
255 State St, Boston, MA | Directions 0210942.359496 -71.051022
Daily 11am-10pm; late-night menu Wed-Sat 10pm-12:30am
Neighborhoods: Central, Downtown
Love it! – I can always count on Sel de la Terre for a great meal. Last time i ordered the antipasto, which was fantastic. It took a long time for our entree (they were very busy since it was the weekend) but they didn't charge us for it and gave us a selection of desserts (the salted caramel icecream was delicious). Love it. Such a great menu I never know what to order but the mushroom truffle soup is a must (i'm so happy its back on the menu)!
Clamour of patrons and flavours – The staff can sometimes be swamped by the weekend crowds, but I never found them to be consciously rude or negligent. The harried sommelier (Mr Meagher) found time to discuss the 'Limited' selections offered on the wine list and recommend a pinot noir from the Vendee -- hardly an obvious wine region. On a second visit, we were not seated till almost half an hour past our reservation, but the maitre d' strove to reassure us throughout our wait, and eventually obtained for us a choice corner table. To make amends he also offered complimentary aperitifs and a couple of amuses-bouches ...so the wait was readily forgiven. As to the cuisine, one could never accuse Sel de la terre of serving bland food. If anything the flavours can seem a bit overeager, the individual ingredients so pronounced they threaten to come out of balance. Nevertheless, anyone looking for vigorous bistro cooking should certainly book a table -- just be ready for a certain degree of bedlam at the weekend.
Loved it here! – I've been here once and fell in love with it. The food is spectacular, very yummy. I like the ambiance very much - there's just enough conversation/music going on, but still very private eventhough you're side by side with other people dining there. The diners here were not condescending nor snooty; sometimes if you dress to casual other tables would start looking at you, but it wasn't the case here - it was very relaxed.
The waitstaff were very attentive and food came exactly when you were craving your next morsel. Glass was never empty.
Overall I will definitely return to Sel de la Terre..
Great Fries! – My friends and I had a great time and the food was fab. You have to get what I think were chickpea fries. I wish we had had room for dessert.
A clean glass too much to ask? – I've never had a bad meal at Sel de la Terre. I have always thoroughly enjoyed the food there. And the dining room is lovely. The quality of the service has waned a bit over the years. During my most recent trip to the restaurant, we waited a long time at our table before we were greeted or offered water. And my sister's wine glass arrived with lipstick stains on the rim. She didn't drink it; rather, she politely asked the waitress for a replacement and the waitress politely agreed. But then we watched from our table as the bartender examined the glass by holding it up to the light and then poured the wine into another glass which was then brought to our table. Is it too much to ask for fresh wine as well as a fresh glass? I would expect much more from a restaurant of this caliber. I have been a big fan or Sel de la Terra, but this incident left a sour taste in my mouth (pun intended).
Rustic Provencal fare enthralls the downtown crowds at this pedigreed country cousin to famed L'Espalier. – The Scene
Downtown workers and gastronomically adventurous tourists (the aquarium's around the corner) fill Sel de la Terre's relaxed, warm-hued dining room to feast on award-winning, country French cuisine. The handsome bar area is ideal for those looking to sample from an impressive, all-French wine list while nibbling on flatbread pizza. Efficient, black-clad servers are intimately familiar with the menu's many nuances.
Talk about a pedigree: Sel de la Terre is owned by L'Espalier's Frank McClelland; Geoff Gardner, a former L'Espalier sous chef, mans the kitchen. Accordingly, diners enjoy inventive, affordable interpretations of French faves like roast chicken--served with zesty lemon-herb gnocchi and a tasty melange of plum tomatoes, green olives, and arugula. Flavorful fillet of sole arrives sauteed with lemon atop jasmine rice, pine nuts and poached figs. Patrons try their best to leave room for light, refreshing desserts, including homemade strawberry-lemon sorbet and bruleed peach melba.
great casual place for a NICE dining experience – Sel de la Terre has amazing pomme frites. I'm willing to take a $25 cab ride from Cambridge just for those fries. They're absolutely delectable and every guest whom I have brought to this restaurant with me agrees. On top of that, sel de la terre has great prices for what you great. Their breads are amazing as well. The main entrees are done well. I've come here many times, and enjoyed lunch and dinner. They have a good wine selection. The only negative is their bar menu, which is mainly just sandwiches. It's hard to get to as well since its out by the Aquarium, but its never hard to find a cab since the Marriott is right next door. I undoubtedly reccommend sel de la terre. It's a presentable, classy place for any guest and has a tasteful menu at a great price.
Delicious entrees, great service, and fun, elegant atmosphere... – We got here well before our reservations, and found very cozy leather seats in the lounge area. We ordered some yummy cocktails, and an okay appetizer (the taste was good, just not sure if it was worth the price). Our table was ready early, and the waitstaff was wonderful. We easily transitioned over to the dining room, then had plenty of time to finish enjoying our cocktails and apps before placing our dinner order. We wanted a relaxing, long evening out (kids were with grandparents), and didn't feel rushed at all. Our entrees were amazing!! We had the lamb and venison (we ordered both meats with the sides that usually come with the venison on our waitress's recommendation). Our waitress was very friendly and informative as well. The only negative part about the meal was the dessert. I would definitely recommend going elsewhere for the dessert... Overall, we had a great time and will be back.
Late night dining makes the staff grumpy – It's diifficult to find quality food when dining late in Boston. Sel de la Terre features late night dining hours, Wed. - Sat. from 10:00 to 12:30 pm, which is a godsend in Boston. I'm wondering if this works against them. We arrived around 9 pm last night (Friday) and were greeted effusively by the hostess. Things went downhill from there. The dining room was packed and service staff taxed. Our order wasn't taken for 20 minutes and was only taken after my husband spoke to the hostess. We were in a prominent section of the restaurant, not in some hidden corner. One of our orders didn't arrive, which was fine since we were full. The goat cheese tartlet and forest mushroom soup was fabulous (the soup was very salty, though). My husband raved about the Eva's salad. I asked to see a dessert menu after we ordered our entrees, nothing came until our plates were cleared away and another 20 min. passed. The dining room thinned out and still service flagged. Another waiter came to ask about dessert, gave us the menus I requested earlier, but was very rude when we placed our order for dessert and coffee/tea. At that point, I decided not to spend another dime (or in this case $15) or 20 minutes. I had heard that the food was fabulous but wasn't prepared for the poor service so I am truly disappointed.
Amazing food and great service both lunch and dinner – So I was lucky enough to go to Sel de la Terre twice in 2 weeks, once for lunch, once for dinner.
Their lunch prix fixe is the best value in town ($19 for 3 courses) and the rest of the a la carte menu sounded most appetizing. We thought service was knowledgeable and efficient, I loved that they managed to get us in and out in under an hour so we could get back to the office, without making us feel rushed...
Dinner was a different pace, slower but not too slow, we had plenty of time to enjoy the great cocktails, wine and food and we were not pressured to leave so they could turn the table. Every question we had about the food or the wine were answered by the very courteous and knowledgeable waitstaff, and we appreciated that the manager checked up on us even though we weren't vips.
In both cases, I found the food to be amazing, full of flavors without being overpowering, delicate and rustic at the same time. And that bread! Oh that bread! The hostess told us that the bread they make in-house is actually sold to other restaurants and is retailed in some of the local Whole Foods stores.
All in all, both experiences were great and I will definitely go back to try their other menus and events.
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