Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

October 28, 2016 11:53 AM

Restaurant: Bistro Mistral

Bistro Mistral

223 Columbus Avenue
Boston, Mass 02116
We had dinner with David and Susan. David suggested the restaurant and made the reservation.

Even several days in advance the only reservation available was at 5:30 p.m. When we arrived in a timely fashion the hostess confirmed our reservation and said that it would be a few minutes before they began seating people for dinner. There were a number of other dinner guests in the same situation and we stood together among a series of tables that are part of the bar area.

The dining room is straight ahead and quite long. It turns out that it is L- shaped and swings to the right at the end. To the right of the entry is a very long bar with 20 high stools . The backs of the stools are covered and seem unusually comfortable.

Some large pillars divide the dining room and bar area but they are fairly far apart and the greenery between the pillars still allows one to see into the bar area from the dining tables.

Around the entire outside edge of the dining room there are a series of rectangular booths with banquettes. Most of these booths seat 4 people. The rest of the tables are 2s, 4s, and 6s.

There are large windows on the outside walls so the room is quite open and airy.

Just after 5:30 p.m. a group of folks from the restaurant began taking the waiting parties to their tables. We were quickly seated.

The main dining room seats 140 people, 40 more can be seated in the bar area and there is a private dining room that can accommodate 60 people.

Even though the restaurant is somewhat formal, the dress varied from business casual to more formal outfits for women and men.

To begin the meal David ordered a thin crusted Tomato, Mozzarella & Oregano pizza for the table. It was quite large and could easily have served as an entrée.

Susan also ordered Lambs Lettuce with Soft Goats Cheese and & Pecan Melba with Apple Cider Vinaigrette. Feeling like having soup I ordered Heirloom Squash Bisque “En Croute” with Rosemary Crème Fraiche & Toasted Pepitas. The puff pastry that topped the very large bowl of soup added something extra to what may have been the best soup I have every eaten in a restaurant.

For her main course Debbie ordered Half whole roasted duck, & Wild Mushroom Risotto, Dried Wisconsin Cherry Gastrique. Susan ordered Mistral Linguine with Tiny Tomatoes, Arugula & Parmesan Reggiano.

David selected Dover Sole Meuniere with Lemon & Capers, Sautee of Spinach & Onions, Fingerling Potatoes. I chose Pan Roasted Cornish Game Hen, Warm Pancetta & Spinach Salad, Lemon & Rosemary.

For dessert, Debbie ordered Profiteroles with Vanilla Ice Cream, Dark Chocolate Sauce & Pistachio Croquant. Susan chose the Warm Chocolate Torte, Vanilla Ice Cream, Sauce Anglaise. I selected Crème Brulee, Raspberries & Palmier Twist. As a practical matter each of the desserts was shared around the table.

All of the portions were ample. The service was excellent. In the ordinary course I do not comment on the hostess or host at the reception desk. This is an exception. She always smiled and spoke nicely to ever single arriving guest at the top of the evening, those who had to wait for a few minutes. I noticed that throughout the evening she moved with deliberate speed to the end of the dining room and back, either seating other guests or what appeared to be checking to see what tables were still free and which guests were coming close to the end of their meals. Her performance was such that for the first time in any restaurant I made a point on the way out to comment to her about her work.

The men’s room is new and quite large. There are two white ceramic commodes, and multiple white ceramic wall hanging urinals of different heights. The floor is covered with large tan tiles. There is a tan marble wall hanging table top with two white ceramic washing basins embedded.

Valet parking is available.

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