Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mistral, Boston

Don't judge me, but I enjoy dining by myself from time to time. It's a great time to really enjoy what you're eating and concentrate on nothing but the food and your immediate surroundings. (Whatever, I'm alone and crazy. It's cool.) Eating out alone is honestly an underrated pleasure that everyone should experience. So on my date with me, I decided to try out Jamie Mammano's Mistral. 

The decor is Southern France inspired, as seen in the panels depicted with lavender fields. I thought the dining area was a bit too understated for me, but the wall-length clock in the sitting area is really nice. I think it would be a much more comfortable dining experience during the day or twilight when the sun streams through their windows. 

The bread. How do I describe something so utterly divine? It's to die for. No, that's insensitive (I just watched The Pianist, and any form of food was worth dying for in that film), but the bread is simply amazing, and I never expect amazing bread in Boston. It is freshly baked, light, airy, and made with a perfectly crispy crust. Even better? The mashed garlic and chickpea spread in olive oil is like a modern hummus that went really well with the heavenly bread. I had to resist the temptation when my server asked if I wanted seconds. If anything, Mistral is worth it for the bread.  
House bread with Vermont butter and a mashed garlic chickpea spread

I started with a crab ravioli that came in a very light broth. I'm usually quite hesitant in ordering pastas as a first course, but this dish was refreshing and flavorful. It reminded me a bit of wonton soup, for the ravioli was very thin, and the broth was so clear. The crab in the ravioli was slightly creamy and  paired very well with the fragrant broth. 
Maine crab ravioli with rock crab, thyme, and tomato broth

I've never had lamb osso bucco before, and I'm a huge fan of bone marrow. However, how does one elegantly suck all the marrow out of the bone in a formal setting? I'll never know. The lamb wasn't as tender as I hoped it to be, but the texture contrasted well against the creamy goat cheese polenta. The tomatoes in the dish were a surprising delight, for it absorbed a lot of the sauce. 
Braised lamb "osso bucco" with goat cheese polenta

Of course I ended a date with myself with a hot cup of cappuccino and some dessert. I was drawn to the Mistral Assiette for Two, but of course I was only by myself. However, the waiter let me leave out the creme brulee and profiteroles for just the pot de creme au chocolat and the berries. The pot de creme was dense and creamy chocolate served with whipped cream and a nice cleansing sprig of mint. The fresh berries were in a nice thin baked shell with champagne sabayon, a very light custard.
Pot de creme au chocolat and berries with champagne sabayon

Mistral is definitely the place to go in Boston if you're looking for somewhere to dine on a special occasion. The service was very attentive and amiable. There were many other menu options that I was torn between, so this just might mean I have to go back. Even if it's because I want more bread. I will definitely be down to try Jamie Mammano's other establishments in Boston. 

Mistral Bistro
223 Columbus Ave
Boston, Massachusetts 02116

1 comment:

  1. hahaha Linda your blog is the BEST! The bread does look pretty amazing and I totally agree - dining alone can be so relaxing.