Boston >Food & Dining > Mistral
223 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA | Directions 0211642.347485 -71.073295
Monday To Thursday From 05:30 PM To 10:00 PM Friday To Saturday From 05:30 PM To 11:00 PM Sunday From 05:30 PM To 10:00 PM
Neighborhoods: Central, Downtown
This restaurant had gone down hill since it opened. The dried flower arrangements have cobwebs and dust mites. The restrooms are filthy and disgusting. I cannot comment on the food bc the restaurant is so filthy.
My favorite Brunch in Boston – One of the best meals of my LIFE was at Mistral... a former office holiday dinner in the wine room. But that is not what this review is about. This review is about the best meal of the day.... BRUNCH.
Now, I consider myself to be a brunch aficionado. I've indulged in this fantastic midday ritual at a sizable number of places in and around Boston. So please hear me when I say this.
MISTRAL. Is. Boston's. Best. Brunch.
You may doubt me. This is fine. But let me count the ways:
1. Brunch is a great way to enjoy 5-star restaurant without 5-star prices. Gotta say, I feel pretty money walking into this joint.
2. Mistral has variety and depth to their brunch menu. Boston brunch spots seem to do the same tired dishes.... over.... and over.... I never ever want another Gran Marnier French Toast. It's a snoozefest! Last time I went, the table ordered: Classic Eggs Benedict with pork loin & Burgundy truffle; prime sirloin burger with gruyere, duxelles & rosemary frites; spaghettini with poached duck egg & shaved ham; and my dish: jumbo lump crab & chive omelet. On prior occasions we've had belgian waffle with banana rum compote & maple ice cream; and my favorite, the winter foraged mushroom, spinach & gruyere fritatta. Basically what I'm getting at is the food is thoughtful, original, and there's more than one option for each brunch category: sweet, egg, lunch.
3. Okay, so the menu is varied. It wouldn't matter a lick if the food sucked. But it doesn't. It's brilliant and beautiful, like a star on a clear summer night. Okay... maybe I like this place too much. But hear me out! The dishes are composed to enhance each ingredient's best qualities. And something as simple and throwaway as oven-roasted cherry tomato garnish MAKES ME WANT TO TAKE ALL THE CHERRY TOMATOES IN ALL OF THE CONTINENT AND ROAST THEM AND EAT THEM. Ahem. Sorry about that. What was I saying? Oh right, the food is delicious.
4. The service is attentive, helpful, not rushed. Service you expect at a fine dining establishment. Though I suppose there are still a few places out there who may snub my ragtag crew of tattooed, Chuck Taylored, big furry hat wearing peeps, Mistral is not one of them.
5. Big awesome point for being RIGHT OUTSIDE Back Bay station, so that when it's 3 degrees, it's but a short sprint to this warm enclave of delicious.
Great Dining Experience – I've been to Mistral 3 times now (over the past couple of years) and I can honestly say that the food is quite tastey, the service is good and the atmosphere of the restaurant is amazing since it's both elegant and refreshing. The restaurant is expensive but I can say that it's worth the money.
Suitable ambiance for a special event – I've come here for a few my birthday dinners over the years and am never disappointed. Definitely the ambiance is representative of the South of France and I clearly remember the actual Mistral in Provence, that famous wind that sweeps through violently and often out of nowhere. This restaurant has the same sort of enchantment and allure of being in Southern France itself whatwith not only the shrubbery in pots around the room, but also with the gynormous photos of lavendar fiedls and other Provencal scenery hanging around the room. The high ceilings give you a great sense of vertical space and rising. For my special occasion, I had the Kir Royale, and escargot, and the catch of the day which was Red Snapper. For dessert the profiteroles were delectable, covered in not only yummo fudge sauce but also pistachios. My friends and I were well attended to and the service was 5-star. Would definitely go again for a special occasion and/ or to just sit up at the bar which has a lively and buzzing atmosphere separate from the dining room, with the shrubs acting as a natural and pretty noise / wall barrier.
Oh, please! Let it just be because it was Restaurant Week – I've always really enjoyed my experience at Mistral, and have made it a regular choice for business dining. But last night was an unmitigated disaster. Hectic and unorganized, the stage was set early when I was unable to get a cocktail at the bar, and made worse when twice during the three courses, I was served the wrong meal. Perhaps I should have taken it, though, as food was a surprising let-down: my salmon was overcooked and under seasoned, and I feel ill this morning.
The real issue, however, was the service. Our waiter was rude and abrupt, interrupting conversation and rolling his eyes at questions on the menu. I finished my glass of wine before my entree arrived, and he took the glass away without asking if I'd like another. Dessert was served without asking if we'd like coffee. But the most embarrassing aspect of the evening happened as we were collecting our coats at the front of the restaurant: our waiter chased after us, loudly calling out that we'd forgotten to pay. As everyone turned to stare, we tried to talk discreetly, but he kept his voice loud. It seems that we'd left the unsigned "guest copy" credit card slip on top in the bill folder and though the signed receipt was underneath, he hadn't noticed before causing a scene. He scarcely even apologized as we called it to his attention. Atrocious.
I pray that this was a fluke experience brought on by the stress of Restaurant Week, but I've already changed the location of my client dinner next week.
great place if.... – I live right down the street from Mistral and have been going there for years. The food is excellent (love the fois gras appetizer), the atmosphere is terrific...however, the service at the bar is absolutely unbearable. I went there this past weekend with my boyfriend and we were pleasantly surprised to see it was quiet at the bar. Most likely because it was a holiday weekend. I swear, we sat at the bar and waited at least 10 minutes for someone...anyone to acknowledge us!!!!!! We just wanted to order a cocktail. Probably several. You would think that one of the 2 bartenders could have even addressed us. I don't know, perhaps with a "I'll be right with you." I mean really. IHow rude. Isn't that how they make their money? through tips? Needless to say, we walked out and gave our money to another establishment who actually was courteous and acknowledged us upon sitting down.
Get it together. The place may be busy with the folks driving in from the suburbs because they've heard great things but you should also pay attention to the regular neighborhood customers who would probably frequent it more than when we can get a babysitter and head into town. I will say, that when we are looking a place to go and have a nice bottle of wine or meet friends out for drinks, it will not be at Mistral. Dinner with a reservation, perhaps someday when I get the anger out of my system for how we were treated. There are many other good options all within an arms reach.
Good service and great food – Aside from the random hostess or clientele that may seem to look you up and down, this place gets it right on all fronts. From their amazing ambience to their tenderloin pizza to their mini ice cream sandwiches, this place knows what they are doing. Their service is just about top notch and their management staff is wonderful. Either make reservations or expect to wait for a seat in the bar but either way it is worth it.
Great Atmosphere and Food – We went here for Christmas Eve dinner for the first time and we were really impressed with the service. They were extremely busy and it did take a little longer than usual for our bottle of wine and food to come, however our server was very charming and was up front with us about the situation and took very good care of us. The decor is very chic and comfortable at the same time. The fois gras with duck confit and brioche was the best we have ever had and the chefs are obviously masters at creating great sauces and combining flavors. The Colorado lamb and the steak were if the highest quality and cooked perfectly. I would definitely eat here again, however the food is very rich and would not be a place I could eat every week if I wanted to stay in shape (not that I would not want to!)
Top three for an NYC dining experience in Boston. – For those of you in the know, the headline should cover it all. This is a large format restaurant so don't expect an NYC boutique dining experience. The one difference with NYC is that this place has not very well dressed people at the bar. I mean respectably dressed but not cool. The food is excellent, though the portions are approaching monstrous, which was not what I had in mind the day after Thanksgiving. Had the duck--excellent but could not finish it. Wine list is excellent.
Train wreck on a plate – My boyfriend and I went here for a romantic dinner. It was a total disappointment from start to finish. The valet service was nice, however. We ordered our dinner and literally five minutes later were being served our appetizers. Clearly these were NOT freshly made. I had the foie gras with duck. When the appetizer came out, it looked like a circus on the plate - some sort of enormous umbrella. The bottom of the umbrella consisted of a soggy monstrosity of bread underneath with duck shreds on top. Above the duck shreds was a huge piece of foie gras. It was totally impossible to eat as designed, and the duck tasted like pot-roast. The bread was both nasty and useless. I usually love foie gras, but it tasted like bone marrow. Though the portion size was huge. My boyfriend got the tenderloin carpaccio, which was quite good. Then we both had the tenderloin entree. Each tenderloin was a whopping $44. For $44 I would expect a great piece of beef. Instead I got a chunk of beef that was too charred on the outside, accompanied by an overpowering sauce, bland asparagus, okay whipped horseradish potatoes, and a totally hideous charred piece of garlic bread, which made no sense in light of the rest of the dish. This too came to us rather quickly, indicating that it was not made fresh to order. We decided to brave the dessert. I had the warm chocolate torte. It was bearable, but clearly had been warmed up in the microwave. My boyfriend had the creme brulee, which came out cold. At the end of the night, we spent a whopping $290, for a train wreck on a plate. Not impressed at all. Will never again go back.
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