Monday, March 12, 2012

Mistral - Reliably Delicious Fine Dining

During the Holidays, Nick and I were more than spoiled with all the wedding events and our dinner at Clio.  However, we were in for another dining treat compliments of Nick's mom at Mistral, one of Boston's go-to fine dining establishments, which also happens to be one of Nick's family's favorites.  I had not been to Mistral in ages - probably about 8 years - so I was excited to go back and try it again!

Our reservations were on a Tuesday, so after work I headed over and was a bit early (the Green Line was on time!) so I grabbed a seat at the bar and looked at the cocktail list - this was a celebration week after all, right?!?  I decided on a girly vodka and grapefruit martini that more than got me ready for the dinner ahead.

Girly Martini
Shortly after I got my cocktail, the rest of Nick's family arrived and we were seated in the lounge area for drinks until all of us arrived and our table was ready.  Nick's sister went with a glass of Sangria, with a generous serving of fruit, including large blackberries.  This should definitely be a go-to drink for anyone who heads to Mistral.

After a few quick sips of our drinks, Nick had arrived and we were taken to our table.  Shortly thereafter, our server brought us a lovely loaf of bread along with some butter and a garlicky hummus spread.  The bread was delicious and for a group of 5, there was a definite need for more than 1 loaf!


Ratherthan sticking to cocktails, we decided to get a bottle of red and white wine for thetable, since we had a few people who liked one and not the other - I am a redgirl through and through, especially in the middle of winter.  For thered, we went with an Agrentinian blend, a 2008Malbec/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah/Petit Verdot, ‘Clos de los Siete’(Mendoza, Argentina).  I have had this a number of times at home and it isa nice and smooth red that is sure to satisfy everyone in the crowd.

Clos de la Siete
After we got the wines all squared away, our server asked us, innocently enough, if we had any questions on the menu- and of course I did!  This has turned into my new favorite thing, especially when the menu has so many delicious looking offerings.  Our very friendly and patient server took us through most of the menu, sharing his feelings on his preferred dishes and why.  At nice restaurants like this, I really enjoy learning from the servers, since they have so much to offer.  After much deliberation (it was a good thing we had some cocktails and wine to tide us over!), we made some decisions.

After seeing this tuna tartare dish at another table, I really could not turn it down - a plate piled high with fresh tuna and even higher with crispy wontons, I knew I would be in for a treat.  There was so much tuna on this plate, and the flavors were so clean and worked perfectly with the ginger and soy sauce that, by the time I was done, it looked like I licked the plate clean.  I would highly recommend this dish.

Sushi Grade Tuna Tartare with Crispy Wontons, Ginger & Soy
Nick's brother got the classic escargot - a go-to for him whenever he is at Mistral, which is fairly impressive for a 21 year old!  With only 6 to a serving I did not want steal a taste (although he offered), but, according to E, they were as good as he remembered.

Classic Escargots, Burgundy Style with Red Wine & Garlic Butter, Grilled Semolina Toast
Nick went with the shortrib and mushroom tortellini appetizer and turned into what may be one of Nick's favorite dishes.  The meat was so tender and the the Bordelaise sauce just enhanced the richness of the dish.

Braised Shortrib & Exotic Mushroom Tortellini, "Bordelaise", Fine Herbs
Other appetizers included...

Garden Greens with Tiny Tomatoes, Pecorino Romano, Aged Red Wine Vinagrette
Truffled Prime Sirloin Tartare
After a delicious round of appetizers, I could not wait for the main event!  Wanting to switch things up from always getting some meat entree, I (and Nick's mom) went with the Atlantic Cod dish, and with the shrimp risotto as the base it was an easy decision.  The fish was cooked perfectly with a nice crust on top.  The risotto was tender and flavorful - definitely plenty of citrus in this dish, with a strong lemon flavor in each bite.

Pan Roasted Atlantic Cod with Rock Shrimp Risotto, Preserved Lemon & Shellfish Nage
The others at our table ordered a variety of delicious meat dishes, each more flavorful than the next.  All the meat was cooked to perfection and really tender.  The accompaniments to each dish had additions to make each special and add to the depth of flavor.  Mistral takes familiar, comfortable dishes and turns them into something you would not find in your kitchen at home, making the food worth the price of admission.

Red Wine Braised Beef Shortribs with Butter Whipped Potato, Mirepoix & Smoked Tomatoes
Braised Lamb "Osso Bucco" with Goats Cheese Polenta, Cured Tomatoes, Green Olive & Gremolata
Grilled Tenderloin of Beef, Bordelaise Style, Olive Oil Roasted Asparagus & Horseradish Whipped Potato
Finally, after a fun and delicious meal it was time for coffee, and we could not pass up a bite of dessert.  I mean, when the rest of it was so good, you know the dessert will be worth it even if there is hardly any room left in your belly!  At least that is how I rationalize things :)

I of course went with the creme brulee that was exceptional, with a hint of vanilla and a thick sugar crust (my favorite part).  The cookie and raspberry were a nice added touch and were perfect for dipping in the custard under the bruleed sugar crust.

Vanilla Creme Brulee, Raspberry, Sugar Cookie
Nick's sister, who may be a bigger chocolate fan than me (which is hard to imagine, I know!) got the chocolate torte.  The torte was not too sweet but perfectly chocolaty to satisfy.  The ice cream and the anglaise offered a cool contrast to the cakey consistency of the torte.

Warm Chocolate Torte, Vanilla Ice Cream, Sauce Anglaise
It is easy to see why Mistral remains one of the top restaurants in the city.  With its warm atmosphere and an always boisterous crowd, you know you will have a fun time while having a reliably delicious meal.  The food has a depth of flavor that makes the dishes special and keeps Bostonions coming back for more.

Where do you go for a fine dining night out?

Mistral on Urbanspoon


  1. This looks like a lovely meal and even better with family!

  2. gotta love Mistral! i like that it still impressed 8 years later.

  3. Mistral's tuna tartare is my favorite version, ever. It is definitely cemented as a "classic" for fine dining for me. My other favorite fine dining spots are Sorellina, No, 9 Park, and O Ya :)

  4. Absolutely hands down my favorite restaurant in the city and has been since I first went there probably 10 years ago! I also still stand by that it serves the best tuna tartare!

  5. Love the tuna! And the tortellini looks delicious! We definitely have similar taste in drinks. Love my Malbec (and Argentinian reds)!

  6. I'm not much into French food but I've heard such good things about Mistral. That bread looks awesome!

  7. What a fantastic meal!! Mistral is one of our go-to fancy places too. It never fails!


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