Guy Laval recreated a corner of his native France in the basement of the former Wellesley Hotel more than 25 years ago & grills of lamb or beef & thin, crispy frites still draw the faithful to the cellar-warren of shabby-chic cream-painted rooms. There’s a bar area for meeting & drinking & chefs work in full view in one of the dining areas – the simpler their dishes the better they are. Still impressive after two decades is the bitter green salad with its pungent mustardy dressing, as authentically resonant as the proprietor’s accent. Chateaubriand (for two) is an equally popular fixture, as is cote de veau poelee au citron, or look to the daily changing specials board for canard a l’orange, bouillabaisse & the like (the amiable French staff are happy to translate). Raspberry creme brulee & chocolate mousse are popular desserts, but it’s the legendary cheeseboard, the result of Laval’s extensive research traveling throughout France to find the best examples, that wins praise. & those award-winning wines from south-west France? They’re from his own Languedoc vineyard.