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
second thoughts – This was my second visit to Sel De La Terre. First experience was positive. True, a bit pricey as can happen in Boston. The main course and the wine were wonderful. However tonight we decided to order a couple of appetizers and split a bottle of wine. $15 for two scallops? $15 for 1/2 doz oysters the size of a quarter each? $6.95 for six overcooked asparagus stalks? What a disappointment. I've worked and dined in Boston for more than 25 years. Unlikely I’ll return to Sel De La Terre.
Excellent Food, Service, Good Value for Money – I organized a christmas eve dinner for 10 people, and Rob was seriously very helpful in with getting the reservation done, especially as I kept calling to change the reservation.
The food was really excellent, especially for a prix fixed christmas eve dinner, and really good value for money compared to other christmas eve dinners that night. We all really enjoyed ourselves and the service was good. I would definitely recommend it and am coming again.
Two hour wait for food! Skip this joint. – After arriving at 11:30 for brunch with out of town guests, our meals finally arrived at 1:30! The server apologized but there was no excuse. It was an awful wait and I will not go back to this restaurant. To top it off, the food was cold! the quiche for brunch was terrible and the omelette was passable but way too small for the $14 price.
I have tried this restaurant in the past and have enjoyed the bar, but my last two times eating there were bad experiences with either rowdy crowds or bad service.
Maybe the management is distracted because they are opening another restaurant in Back Bay, but I would recommend that you go to Legal around the corner or any restaurant in Fanueil Hall. These guys do not know how to run a restaurant.
Great French fare in your own backyard! – My boyfriend took me here for my birthday because he knows how much I love classic French food ever since I studied abroad there during college. And, let me tell you, I was reminded of just how much I have missed the rustic flavors of Southern France with every bite, and it's a good thing I'll be able to savor a slice of Provence at Sel de la Terre without ever leaving the city!
Must, must, must try the steak frites (even if it's just a bite off your neighbor's plate), never had better!
And feel free to ask about wine pairings - waiters always have good suggestions, and you might just get lucky like my boyfriend and I did, and get a personal recommendation from the chef!
Great if you're a male diner – A business colleague invited me to lunch here....we had reservations and were seated almost immediately. That was the best part of the lunch. After that, service was non-existent while we noticed that the server's other tables (all of which consisted of male or male/female parties) were receiving better service. I usually don't notice things like this, but it was so horrendous that it was difficult not to. As others have commented: save the large plates and nouveau presentation and invest it in more substantial portions. Definitely not a place I'd ever return to with some many other great venues in Boston.
Lost their touch... – When reviewers complain about the small portion size of over-reaching restaurants, this is the place they mean. Sel de la Terre is sometimes referred to as a ?moderately? priced place, but it is not. First, there is no such thing at the bar as a glass of wine under $10, apparently, and the glass is only half-full, and mixed drinks are even more. 20 minutes at the bar before seating cost $68. Appetizers averaging $11 were served on oversized plates which only dramatized how incredibly meager the portions were: one came to $5.50 per scallop (got 2!). Since this didn?t even whet the appetite, more were ordered. You just spent $70. Main courses (app $25) were tempting and perfectly prepared and cooked, and, while size isn?t supposed to matter, in this case, compared to the appetizers, there was plenty. The steak frite is Bistro-perfect and hefty, and the braised lamb was exactly right. Desserts were terrible. The ?Warm biscuit with vanilla pastry cream, brown sugar streusel and rhubarb compote? was washed out. Outstandingly bad is the misnomered special menu Profiteroles, which was a) not pastry, more like stale tough bread, b) dark-colored funny-tasting bread at that, and c) filled with a tasteless cream slime. If you are serving French or Provencal food, and one orders a classic dish, doesn?t the chef have an obligation to at least ?approximate? the original? If you had ordered the Creme Brule, would you pay for the jello they served you? In a recent Top Chief competition, a team was thrown out because they were told to prepare a certain dish, and their imaginative, edgy, creative, innovative result?didn?t taste like the requested dish. Goodbye! Advice: Have your drinks elsewhere, skip the appetizers, drink water, focus on the very good main courses, and finish with coffee. You?ll have a good time. Dinner (only) for four: $324
Excellence sans egal ! – With new locations opening (Natick and Boston Pru) my secret is out! This is my favourite restaurant in Boston period (and the new location at the Natick collection continues the culinary excellence). You simply can not go wrong here. When you visit the boulangerie for that quick morning coffee and pastry or maybe an on the go lunch special you'll be amazed at the quality and professional service for a take-out window. Sit at the bar and have a cocktail and some Petits GoUters and I tell you it takes a strong man or woman not to have dinner too! The dining room is a restful space with well orchestrated and attentive staff. The menu provides options for everyone. I recommend this place for lunch to visiting business people because your party can choose from a range of a gourmet sandwich all the way to a three course prix fixe! Where can you get that range of a selection?? Plus in Boston they have a late night dining menu. Fab wine tasting events are held on Wine Wednesdays. Private parties are done with great attention to detail. My partner Didier's mother was treated to a special birthday celebration complete with personalized menu cards for the entire party (and all the other diners were made aware of the milestone birthday celebration and joined us in complimentary birthday cake. You just can not to any better than this gem @ 255 State Street in Boston. The Natick location holds its own as well and I am excited to see what will take place when the next location opens at the new Mandrian Oriental Hotel. Only good things I am certain! Manger bien !
Horrible. – Absolutely horrible. My wife and I actually walked out on dinner (with leaving payment of course) due to many reasons. First off we live in Boston and have heard many mixed reviews from friends and as well family. We love trying all different restaurants everywhere and incredibly easy going however tonight there was an exception. We first arrived and gave our name to the reservation which we had booked several days in advance. Upon waiting an older, very rude and ?snooty? couple attempted to get a table however they had no reservations, hostess gave several options to either sit at bar, lounge, (which all serve full menu) and that wasn?t good enough so they sat them before us. No problem. We sat and had two glasses of Champaign that without doubt was the flattest, warmest champing I have ever tasted. We didn?t mention a thing. Forty five minuets after our reservation we were seated to at first a very nice server which instantly lost that charming attitude for no reason. Once again we said nothing about complaints, were very nice to him etc. We ordered appetizers which I must say were just fine. Moving on to dinner- It took exactly one hour to receive our main course after our appetizers had been cleared. We never once complained. Main course: horrible. Our plates were dropped before us, presentation completely destroyed, (ok not a big deal) but my wife?s fish special was disgusting, scales all throughout filet and to top it off a long black hair mixed with her beautifully drizzled glaze (yum) and for my lamb? dryer and tasteless beyond words a. I say no more. Our reservations were for 8pm and we walked out at 11:00 with our plates hardly touched and the check signed. Thanks Sel de la Terre!
We reserved lunch on Sunday for the restaurant week almost two weeks prior to the restaurant week start. I saw the menu on the web site well (there are no indications of no lunch nor dinner on Sunday on any websites including official, non official website of restaurant week and the Sel Dela Terre web site). We were very excited about this opportunity. However I received confirmation call from the restaurant on Sat night and they mentioned that they don?t participate on the restaurant week on weekend. When I called Sunday morning, they mentioned that they prepared for the dinner since they found discrepancies between the websites, so they decided to proceed on the dinner but not lunch. Their attitude was ?If you don?t like it, leave?. I guess famous restaurants can indicate to participate and back out anytime. I was very disappointed on the customer service over the phone and I would not go there any more. I can imagine what kind of customer service and management policy from the restaurant.Disappointed Restaurant Week
Worst service I've ever encountered – I've heard positive things about this place but when I brought my mother and her friend, who were both visiting from Japan, there for wine and appetizers, we encountered the WORST service I've ever experienced in a restaurant of that caliber. To begin with, the two hostesses did not greet us at all. I had to request a table. They gave me a look as if I had asked if I could let my dog urinate on the bar. The hostesses were busy discussing something and seemed like they did not want to deal with customers at all. They pointed us in the direction of the bar, did not budge or smile, and said no more. When I inquired about sitting outside, one of them said nastily that I had to order food to do so. Mind you, it was about 3pm on a Wednesday and there was no one sitting outside and few people inside. We walked toward the bar. It's not easy for two older women with bad backs to sit on the high bar stools and when I asked the bartender to kindly see if we could sit with our feet solidly on the ground, he was confused. Thank god there was a Legal Seafoods around the corner where we promptly went and had a wonderful meal and superb overall dining experience. Our money was well-spent at Legal Seafoods. I will absolutely never go to Sel de la Terre or recommend anyone to go there for a meal. How could I ever enjoy my food with such terrible service?!
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