Every weekend L’Espalier has Tea Time…. Which, as much of you guys know, is my favorite luxury……. some of it might have to do with my crazy Alice in Wonderland obsessed syndrome [and this was BEFORE the Johnny Depp movie mind you...]
My date and I both each ordered a Red Riding Hood’s Basket [which is what people most usually get anyways.. it's sammys + pastires, nom!] & a Three Blind Mice [cheeese] to share.
Linden Flower Tea for me and Jade Oolong “Ti Kuan Yin” Tea for R – we shared [of course]
Curried Egg Salad
[the menu says brioche but I feel like there was some last minute changes... the bread was like a pound cake... but fluffier] This was really good :] Very light… usually things like egg salads scare me [the texture and the mayo] but this didn’t :]
Cucumber and Cream Cheese on White
This is such a typical tea sammy. So simple and creamy with the fresh crunch of the cuc. The cream cheese isn’t overwhelming either.. just gives enough creaminess to the bite…
Ham and Vermont Cheddar with Grainy Mustard on Buttery Toast
This was the only warm sammy on the plate and it was bursting full of more flavor than I expected.. a tad on the salty side [but then there's me and the whole salt problem anyways] but it was delish. The creamy cheese.. the chewy flavorful ham.. the grainy mustard [LOOOOVES] and just the CRUNCH of biting into the toast.. the butteriness that just envelopes the whole experience of that one bite. MMM….
Smoked Salmon, Spinach, Red Onion on White
My second favorite. of the bunch… I actually traded half of my egg salad for half of R’s smoked salmon :] And then half of my cuc for half of his pretzel roll… hahahaha :] We share cuz we care – and he’s such an awesome boyfriend that knows me way too well with what I love.
And the favorite sandwich goes to……
Lobster Salad on Pretzel Roll
This was my favorite because I loooove L’Espalier’s pretzel rolls.. dough, salty perfection with that nice slippery but firm crust on the outside. YUM! The lobster wasn’t all salty or mayo-y or anything.. just delish and full of fresh chunks of lobster…
Candied Walnuts, Honey with Pinenuts, Golden Raisins
Always the perfect accompaniments to fine cheese.. altho the cheeses are usually so good, it doesn’t need all the extras… hehe.. of course R ate all the nuts cuz he loves candied walnuts ;D
Three Blind Mice – L’Espalier Cheese Tasting
I had been craving cheese + wine like crazy… but decided to skip on the wine and just go straight for all cheese… hehehe…
Left to Right… from Mildest to Strongest…
1. Organic Triple Cream, Champlain Valley Creamery, Vergennes, VT – Cow’s Milk; This cream-added cheese is lush and buttery with a smooth and creamy interior and a bit of tangy bite. Carlton Yoder has been hand-making this delightful cheese since 2003.
This was literally just like butter. I could just take a chunk of this and eat it with a spoon like ice cream… or def rub it on some bread/toast/crackers…
2. Lake’s Edge, Blue Ledge Farm, Salsbury, VT – Goat’s Milk;
Greg and Hannah keep 60 goats on their Lake Champlain farm. Lakes Edge is ash rubbed and soft/dense in texture with a satisfyingly earthy and tangy flavor. The pure white interior paste is bisected with a thin line of ash.
You’re supposed to eat it with the rind/ash which helps make the goat cheese a bit milder…
3.[top] Pecorino Gireppro - Italy – Sheep’s Milk
This wasn’t on their regular cheese menu so there’s no description from them but it’s really really good :] Some sheep cheeses are too strong for me but this was great!!!
4.[bottom] Castelinhos, Azore Islands, Portugal – Cow’s Milk;
This typical Azorean cheese is semi-firm and very creamy, with subtle yet complex flavors.
Wish there was more of this, but it was really tasty, firm but creamy… mmmm I love creamy cheeses…
5.[top] Cabot Cloth-Bound Cheddar, Cabot Creamery Jasper Hill Farm, Vermont – Cow’s Milk; The collaboration of Vermont’s largest cheese maker and the Kehler brother’s small, innocative artisan operation yields traditional cheddar of incomparable quality. Winner in 2007 of the American Cheese Society’s “Best of Show”
This was SOOO good :] My second favorite cheese of the plate…. my most favorite was the next….
6.[bottom] **FAVORITE** Gouda, Aged Five Years, Holland – Cow’s Milk; Crunchy, with a sweet caramel flavor. Eat it like candy **FAVORITE **.
I’ve bought gouda like this before, possibly the same kind… and I do eat it like candy. Often times you can find me an insomniac gnawing at a block of cheese on my bed…. *cough cough blush*
7.[top] Colorouge, Mouco Creamery, Fort Collins, CO – Cow’s Milk; Reminiscent of Epoisses, this washed rind cheese has a bright orange exterior and a soft creamy paste. Unctuous and mildly assertive.
8.[bottom] Fourme D’Ambert, AOC, Auvergne, France – Cow’s Milk; This semi-firm Blue is one of Frances oldest cheeses. It is moderate veined with a pronounced but not overly sharp flavor.
R said that it’s not as strong as the usual blue cheese.. and def a lot less stronger than the Goat’s [hmm, why was it called mild then?]
And then came the delicious plate of desserts… I wanted to dig into it so fast I forgot to take a whole picture of the place.. it’s okay, I got the good closeups tho ;D You know that’s what you’re really into….
Chocolate Decadence Cake
Creamy and totally sinful. We were trying to figure out the bits on top of the cake and completely forgot about Jiho came out to say hi… but this was soooo good :]
Coconut Raspberry Zinger
Actually a cake on the inside.. I thought it was gonna be a fruit pate or something but it’s yellow cake :D All toasted coconut-y with raspberry jam over it.. cute and bite-sized :D
Panna Cotta with Lychee Foam
LOVED this. So good and jiggly like a woman’s breast [hahahaha.. okay, only funny if you're a Top Chef fanatic like me... it's from last season tho...] SOOOO tasty… just tart enough, AMAZING silky texture and the foam was delish! Hehehe it kept sliding around my plate as I tried to cut it tho…
Chocolate Mousse Cake with Blood Orange Sauce
Really really good.. creamy, perfect balance of cake to mousse.. the tang added flavor of the blood orange on top….
I love how these desserts aren’t chokingly sweet and they’re perfectly sized :]
Cherry Ginger Scone
My favorite thing at their tea time is this… their scones :] They give you this devonshire cream or something of the similar on the side with jelly and honey and I spread it all over and just… MMMM, enjoy the flakey, scone-y yumminess. This always makes me miss Sydney… and teatime and scones there…
L’Espalier Espresso Cream Swan
For some reason, and I’ve had tea time here maybe 3-4 before this – I always eat the swans last :] It’s like the end of a great performance.. bowing out?! :] Hahaha.. I duno.. but I love it.. it seems like they’re always different creams too :] NOM NOM NOM….
I was in a happy state of bliss…..
We got to chat with the Pastry genius himself, Jiho Kim for a bit :] — *waves* HI IF YOU’RE READING!!!! YOU KICK ASS!!!! see you ASAP!!!… most likely this coming Saturday!!!! — If you want some good desserts, he’s your man.. not only are his desserts sooooo creative and delicious… they’re absolutely gorgeous too… ahh genius!!! :] — he’s the one that made ice cream & sorbets tableside for me at the Chef’s Table dinner…
Had a delicious time and decided to walk it off by shopping for more apartment stuff at Crate&Barrel, Anthro, Williams, etc… :] Hung around Copley/Pru until it was time for dinner… [which I was STARVING for by then… 9pm reservations suck.. and eating past 930 every night sucks big time… but sooo worth it.. read about my amazing dinner at Craigie on Main tomorrow…
Until then, What’s your favorite place for Tea Time? And favorite thing to eat?