Finding ourselves footloose and hungry on the waterfront the other night, we snagged a booth late at Sel. As is my tradition, I ordered soup, and was again rewarded: a silky, rich artichoke puree, with the presumed float of sharp, creamy goat cheese on a slice of French bread wisely provided on the side.
Charcuterie of three had two winners: a stunning, ever-so-creamy liver puree with a thin layer of truffle-scented aspic, and a chunky, country-pate-like number with an almost-Virginia-ham-smoky pork component. The loser was a bacon-based concoction, beet-colored and unpleasantly textured (like dry deviled ham), icky. Lots of pleasant accompaniments: little gherkins, good mustard, a confit of some fruit (apricot? pear?) studded with tiny currants. Oh yeah, and the bread on which to spread it all: all baked on the premises, including the sublime fig-anise bread, which we immediately sought out and used the very good butter on by itself. (South End Formaggio retails this stuff: it's awesome toasted for breakfast.)
Spectacular gnocchi with pigmy fresh favas, small morels, and tomatoes, and a smoky flavor we guessed was attributable to the cheese in the sauce.
Fresh-cherry clafoutis was unimpressive, with a stale pastry crust, but the fudgey chocolate pyramid was very nice indeed. Good service at a late hour (half-empty room), marred only by a phantom cocktail charge which I spotted and was quickly redressed. Overall, another exemplary meal.