Ah, restaurant week. It’s that magical time when if you don’t have a lot of money but want to enjoy quality food at some of the city’s amazing restaurants then Your in luck! Over 200 restaurants partake in this event that happens in March and August and lasts for two weeks each time. Sweet! Granted I’ve known about restaurant week since 2010 but I first attended in 2012. Even though I’m a late bloomer, that didn’t stop me from jumping in headfirst! To end winter restaurant week I chose to dine at Mistral in the Back Bay for dinner. I finally got my chance to try out this “Best of Boston French Bistro” which I heard about two years prior.
Now, because of Mistal’s popularity of offering a fabulous dining experience I must start off by saying it’s imperative to make a reservation! It’s highly recommended for dinner. I booked my 10:30 dinner the very first day of restaurant week for the LAST Friday of the two weeks and THAT was the Only opening they had left. Keep in mind, I booked at 10AM.
The ambiance was a perfect mix of upscale meets contemporary. Their website says it perfectly with, “Gracious. Sopisticated. Seductive.” Warm, dim yellow lighting gives the entire restaurant a nice touch of comfort without needing to take out your cell phone to aid as a flashlight. The Columbus Hospitality Group has a total of 2 hotels (The Inn @ St. Botolph and XV Beacon Hotel) and 5 restaurants (Mistral, Teatro, Sorellina, L’Andana, and Mooo….). Mistral has won OpenTable’s Diner Choice award two years straight in 2011 and 2012. Opening in 1997 Chef and Owner Jammie Mammano had set out to, “become a legend of the Boston dining scene.” Mission accomplished! With award winning service and impeccable food I’m glad Mammano settled here in Boston when he could have stayed in the other cities he worked in during his culinary journey.
First of my 3-course meal was the appetizer. I chose the Beef Sirloin Carpaccio (raw), Black Truffle (mushroom) Aioli (sauce consisting of garlic and oils), and Toasted Cibatta. Although it was my first time trying out beef carpaccio I can say it was quite tasty. The mix of the aioli and cibatta made the dish familiar to me, like a Caesar salad. Very enjoyable. It was a like typical Piedmont carcappio but with sliced meat instead of minced.
Next was my entrée; Grilled Faroe Island Salmon, “Printaniere” (garnished with fresh vegetables), Leek and Asparagus Risotto (creamy rice dish), Fine Herbs. This dish tasted amazing. The delicious risotto had a great balance of cooked rice and steamed vegetables that were mixed after each was prepared. The salmon, which laid atop the risotto bed, was lovely. Sorry I couldn’t capture the inside of it but trust me, the pink fillet was appealing both in and out.
Dessert was Classic Profiteroles with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Dark Chocolate Sauce, and Pistachio Croquant (crispy crunchy). The texture of the pasty ball was a soft chew while the hard-hand scooped ice cream made it a nice pair. Topped with ganache-like sauce and pistachio this was the perfect way to end my meal.
I cannot wait to return to Mistral, restaurant week or not. The food is definitely something to share with friends and loved ones alike. If I could meet Mammano I would compliment him on his options offered during restaurant week and thank him for locating Mistral, name inspired by the wind that sweeps through the South of France, in the lovely Back Bay. If your driving, street parking is fairly decent, but the restaurant does offer a $17 valet. Closer to the area? Try out their complimentary car service available upon request that will pick you up within a 2 mile radius.
On a usual dinner night you can get an appetizer between $15 and $22, and entrée between $21 and $40, while dessert is between $9 and $22 dollars. Or you can wait until August and get all three for only $38.13 with limited options. See you in May Mistral!
|223 Columbus AveBoston, MA 02116(617) 867-9300http://mistralbistro.com/|