Explorateur Cafe, Restaurant and Bar Boston Ma

(reposted from another site, with a few edits)

We had matinee tickets to the Phantom today…The opera house is a beauty.

Then we headed over to Tremont to check out Explorateur.

Our reservations were for 6:00. We arrived a little before 5:00 and headed to the bar for a drink. Which was pretty full except for the 2 ladies who felt their bags deserved seats.
We started to sit at one of the high tops and the host (Frank) came over…to steer us away. He was really nice about it and as we were talking 2 seats at the bar opened up.
And Frank promised us a nice table when we were ready to be seated.
The bar is a pretty good size stainless top but with a hammered, edged style that fit into the space nicely.

Its a good wine, beer and cocktail menu.
I had a Kronenbuger lager draft and my husband had a rose. Service was great, attentive but not too fussy.

Once the kitchen was open, the menus came around. We were perusing a small plate to share before dinner
when Frank (you remember Frank?) came around to see if we would be eating at the bar or if we wanted to be
seated. Which we did.

The formal dining space is really nice. Great banquets for larger groups, tables for the 2-4 dinners.
Frank gave us a very nice corner table.

We liked the menu a lot and settled on a steak frites for him and the chicken paillards for me and the Brussels sprouts for the table.
It was all really well done, the steak a perfect medium rare served with hotel butter, crispy fries and a herbed mayo for the fries.
The chicken came with crispy skin (yum!) and a vegetable slaw. I brought one of the paillards home.
Another rose for him, a pinot noir for me.
Service was attentive and timely.
The dessert menu was pretty tempting but we were full.
Next time maybe a salad and a flat bread, save room for the fig cheese cake or the peach crepes.

We did snag a few croissants for breakfast tomorrow morning.

Overall, its a place we could visit every day at a different time and never be tired of the offerings.

I think once the theater crowd discovers Explorateur it will be hard to get a seat.



This place was not on my radar at all but looks great. Thanks!

Hey, gp, you can actually use the name Chowhound on here. Sampson said it is actually helpful because when people do a web search, hungryonion is more likely to show up if the word Chowhound is used here. Plus, this isn’t a paranoid place!


We stopped in for coffee and a pastry yesterday. It is a really cool space and a neat concept. It’s basically three spaces in one: a lovely bar area to the right, a counter-order cafe on the left, and a dining area in the back.

The whole menu is available in the cafe area, which is a nice option for people looking for a substantial meal while plugging away on a laptop. The coffee is La Colombe and is very good. The pastries are gorgeous. We had kouigin amann, which was tasty but we prefer the version at Flour. There were lots of other tempting things to explore, including trays of breakfast flatbreads and a nice mix of sweet and savory. We’ll definitely head back, and it sounds like dinner is worth checking out.


I met a friend here for lunch yesterday. We walked in at 11:30 AM and they gave us a banquette with a good view of the room. Very personable service from a nice young guy. He told us that some of the portions were on the small side and that we would need a soup or salad to supplement. Normally I would be suspicious of an upsell but once we got our food, I saw that he was being honest. I got the bacon lettuce avocado tomato sandwich with bacon on the side. It was just OK and rather small. I’d prefer a heartier bread. Nothing to write home about. I got a side of fries for spring onion to nibble on and they were rather on the limpid side (oil not hot enough?). My friend’s meal was really disappointing. She got the chicken paillard salad. I’m no chicken expert but even I could see how flabby the skin was. She ate around the skin and devoured the slaw underneath. I gave her my bacon which I was saving for B who was trying to join us but was running late. I know this place is run by a glitzy restaurant group not known for their food, but I was hoping for something better especially since it’s near our office. The place filled up to capacity by noonish. B finally arrived after my friend left and he ordered to counter burgers which we were small as our server told him but he liked them.


Limp not “limpid.” I had to correct myself.