Saturday, December 22, 2007

Mistral: Seattle's Most Expensive Restaurant

We didn't really know what to expect in a fine dining restaurant in Seattle. A far cry from San Francisco, it turned out that we wouldn't even have needed to make a reservation. There were only 2 other tables of people the entire time we were there. The waitstaff were very friendly and laidback, and definitely attentive. The whole vibe was very low-key, yet elegant. The food was solid for sure, but not mind blowing. The chef seemed really into purees. I think there was a puree on every plate, which was sort of funny. Good thing for the chef though, his purees were really clean and smooth. Overall, a good, solid, meal. The 8 course tasting menu at Mistral was around $100. We don't know for sure, since the bill was not itemized and Alexis ordered the wine tasting (which was excellent).

Maguro Sashimi with Blood Orange and Fennel
The flavors were bold and the fish was fresh, but the fish sort of got lost in the other flavors.

3 Kumamotos with:
Spicy Red Pepper and Cumin (this was the best of the 3 flavors)
Citrus, Olive Oil and Scallions
And something else we don't remember...

Brown Butter Parsnip Soup with Hamachi Sashimi
This was a totally amazing and inventive dish. The sashimi was seared on the underside and the combo of the soup and fish raised each component to another level of deliciousness.

Seared Scallop with Sunchoke Puree, Mediterranean Veggies, Pinenuts, Microgreens, Blood Orange Gelee and Saffron Syrup
A very well constructed dish. Although there were a lot of ingredients, they played off each other nicely. The scallop was perfectly cooked and the puree was subtle and perfectly smooth.

Louisiana Prawns with Thyme and Dill on a Carrot Puree with Baby Turnips and Brussel Sprouts
This was probably our least favorite dish. The carrot puree was good, but the shrimp were undercooked (even for us).

Seared Foie Gras with Pear Puree, Passionfruit and Vanilla Syrup and an Apple Chip
This was just awesome. The piece of foie was huge and relatively unadorned. No toast points, or huge pieces of fruit that rival its glory. The sweetness of the fruits provided a nice contrast and the super-thin, super-crunchy apple chip was a delight to look at as well as eat.

Rack of Lamb with Fingerling Potato Puree, Kale and a Balsamic and Red Wine Vinaigrette
This large hunk of meat was perfectly medium-rare. It was a nice, big, main course.

Cheese Plate
A Basque, aged sheep's milk cheese
A raw cow's milk cheese
A washed rind goat cheese
A double cream, cow's milk, blue cheese
What was great about these cheese's is that we hadn't had any of them before, which is pretty rare, since we eat A LOT of cheese. The goat cheese was beyond amazing. We've got to call them and ask what it was. Apparently it's made by a creamery with only 4 people.

Coconut, Passionfruit and White Peach Sorbet
The peach was great on its own and the passionfruit was quite sour, but matched well with the coconut.

Almond and Apple Tart with Toasted Pinenuts Served with Caramel, Vanilla and Coffee Ice Cream and Fresh Raspberries
The tart was so-so, but keep in mind we are not really dessert people. The coffee ice cream was quite good, however.

113 Blanchard St
Seattle, WA 98121

Food: 2
Decor: 2
Service: 2

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