Local produce, meat, and fish are the sources of the extra freshness sealed, as if by Ziploc, in each Sel de la Terre dish. Chef Louis has built the regularly changing menu around Vermont-raised pig, defining dishes such as coriander-spiced pork with pommes Robuchon, Swiss chard, and baby turnips ($29); braised bacon served with air-dried chicken and a coddled hen egg ($26); and charcuterie terrine cut from the cheek ($3). Freshly hauled Moon Shoal oysters (a half dozen, raw, $14) make for a perfect meal-opener, as does the Cape Cod bluefish pate ($3). Toasted coriander-spiced pork mingles with pommes Robuchon, Swiss chard, baby turnips, and carrots ($29), while the house potato gnocchi features homemade ricotta and mushrooms gathered from New England woods ($19).
Praise doesn’t come easily from the restaurant tastemakers at Gayot. But, when faced with the delicate preparations of Pierrot Bistrot Francais, they not only awarded the restaurant a spot on their list of the Top 10 French Restaurants in Boston, but also praised the eatery as “a French bistro in the truest sense of the term.” Secluded from the exposed brick and coral tones of the dining room, chefs toil in the kitchen to bring that authenticity to dishes. From dry-aged beef sirloin to jumbo sea scallops and veal scaloppini, his locally sourced menu items find their mates in a large wine list.
Inside Chez Henri, owner and chef Paul O’Connell draws on his training at Johnson & Wales University to add Caribbean flourishes to classic French fare, earning his restaurant press accolades and seven Best of Boston awards. Appetizers include braised wild-boar sausage served over cabbage escabeche, and the pan-seared flounder entree arrives with house-made chorizo and West Indian spices. Wash down international flavors with signature cocktails and spirits or a pitcher of fruity sangria from the full bar.
Inside Chez Henri’s simply decorated dining room, handblown glass lighting illuminates warmly colored walls, and huge windows proffer views of the bustling streets between Harvard and Porter Squares. Paul and his staff also transport their delicate fare to catered events of up to 400 people, such as weddings, graduations, or the shared birthday of an NFL team made by cloning Joe Montana.
After graduating cooking school in Paris and testing his skills in French brasseries, Ian Just made his way back overseas to Les Zygomates and has been providing patrons with authentic French cuisine since its opening in 1994. The dinner menu is served starting at 5:30 p.m. and kicks off tastebud tournaments with a smorgasbord of small plates, such as the savory lobster and creamed leek crepe with black truffle sauce ($14). Munch on a bowl of mollusks with parsley and garlic butter ($10), discover a new appreciation for root vegetables with a plate of roasted beets paired with aged goat cheese ($9). The main meal stage pleases palates with plates of scallops accompanied by celery root puree, haricots verts, and brown butter sauce ($28). Molars and incisors exercise their functionality by working on grilled lamb chops with fava beans, leeks, fingerling potatoes, and bordelaise ($28), while swiss chard, potato mousseline, and reduction sauce ($23) saves chicken from its reputation on the worst-dressed list.