Mother’s Day brunch is a must, and the first place that came to my mind was Sel del la Terre in the Back Bay. I’ve been there once with mom already and we sat at the bar for lunch; who knew there was a beautiful restaurant upstairs overlooking Boylston Street. A warm & casual atmosphere, we were seated at a high top directly on the window with a gret view of the busy street below. This French restaurant’s cuisine focuses on rustic fare from the South of France; all ingredients are fresh, and some locally grown.
Bread: Since it was brunch, we received a basket with a French croissant, blueberry muffin, and cinnamon scone (all homemade) with a side of strawberry jam. Each could have easily been split between 2 people. Mom & I immediately devoured the light & fluffy croissant, and I had no choice but to try the other 2 treats. The scone was crumbly & delicious, and the jam made for a perfect spread on the moist muffin.
Menu: Their menu is quite specific so I recommend checking it out online before making a reservation. The brunch menu had 3 sections: small starters, more traditional brunch items, and main courses. Mom went for the “Brioche French toast with apricot compote, honey roasted almonds, vanilla butter, & Vermont maple syrup”. I’m an egg girl and always will be; I opted for the “Apple Street Farm coddled eggs (which I changed to poached), potato hash, & house-made English Muffin”.
Presentation: My poached eggs came in a small cast iron skillet over the potatoes & onions, with the English Muffin on the side. The eggs were so delicate they looked like meringue! I placed the eggs on the muffin and was pleasantly surprised by my first bite: the bottom of the muffin must have had some salt or something that I couldn’t put my finger on, because it was the most delicious English Muffin I’ve ever tasted. I usually prefer to top it with some jam or butter, but this needed no add ons. Potatoes could have been crispier, but I really didn’t care since the eggs/muffin combo stole the show.
Bathroom: There’s something about using shutter doors on stalls that pleases me. And it’s always nice to see clean & bright tiled floors/walls. The paper towels were arranged in a wicker basket next to the sink.
Wait Staff: An old co-worker of mine came over to say hello and surprised me as the manager of the neighboring L’Espalier and was filling in at Sel de la Terre to help with busy Mother’s Day brunch. I learned that the chef delivers many ingredients fresh from his near by farm in the North Shore. Turns out my eggs came from straight from the hen! Our actual waiter was great and you could tell he had a love for the restaurant and it’s food.
Overall: The main reason I choose Sel del la Terre for brunch was because I was craving their Bloody Mary. It’s tough to find somewhere that makes them right, and while theirs could use a little more spice, it’s one of the best I’ve tried. The menu is creative and breaks the norm of typical French cuisine. Dinner is a little pricey for my blood, but it’s a great spot for lunch with their varying combos of 1/2 soup, 1/2 salad, 1/2 sandwich deals (and I hear the “SDLT Burger” with rosemary pomme frites is incredible).
The Perfect Bite: Poached Egg on top of the delicious English Muffin. No condiments needed.