We were able to get reservations at Clio on short notice via OpenTable though the only times available were after 8pm (weekday). The ambiance at Clio is nice though not as "special/formal" as L'espalier. The tables are pretty close together but we managed to get a cozy table in the corner of the restaurant.
Clio certainly lives up to its name as one of the best restaurants in Boston. I like cuisine that is more creative and Clio certainly fits the bill. SO got the lobster and uni casoulette and I got the lacquered foie gras for appetizers. Of course I sampled his as well. The cassolette was delicious! It was a little frothy and the flavor seemed to change with each bite?! Fascinating.
I was disappointed with the foie gras. It was lukewarm, the apricot accompaniment was overpowering, and the cut was chewy. Definitely wasn't the melt in your mouth kind of foie gras.
Casolette (L), Foie (R)
Fortunately however, the main courses and dessert saved the day. I ordered the butter basted lobster while SO got the pork rib (or pig as they called it on the receipt!). I loved my lobster, it might just be the best cooked lobster I've had! The meat was really tender and slightly undercooked towards the center. Wow delicious! I wonder how they do it?
SO's pork was also a winner. The pork had three layers, the crispy skin, the fatty layer and the meat. Perfectly done! It also came with some interesting sauces on the side, I think there was kumquat, an olive like sauce, and maybe hoisin.
Lobster (L) and Pork (R)
We wanted to get the fruit capsule and rooibos ice cream (I don't remember what was in the capsule) for dessert but it was sold out! * Grrrr * Ended up sharing the bon bons with sarsaparilla ice cream which was pretty good.
Oh yes, I also had the nitrogen frozen chocolate cocktail which was fun. It's all smoky when it arrives and the liquid gets frozen. Looks a little like the surface of mars!
370 Commonwealth Avenue
Highly recommended! We're thinking of trying the tasting menu some time. I wonder however if our dining experience would have been different if we ordered some of the other items on the menu that Clio may not be as well known for. Well to be safe, get the pig and the lobster! :)
So how is Clio compared with L'espalier? Clio is more inventive and the food was more memorable (for us). SO and I were trying to remember what we ate at L'espalier in May and none of the dishes really stood out. However, L'espalier was more distinctive in terms of service and ambiance. Don't get me wrong, the food was excellent too and perfectly done. Both restaurants definitely are some of Boston's best, I suppose it just depends on what you are in the mood for!