Mistral French Bistro

>> Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Last year, we explored many of the outstanding French bakeries in Vancouver, but with a new year comes a new focus, and we'll be visiting some of the wonderful French bistros and restaurants in town. First up, a lunch date at Mistral French Bistro. Now in its sixth year of operation, Mistral has enjoyed steady success thanks to the creative mind of owner-chef Jean-Yves Benoit and the gracious hospitality of co-owner and wife, Minna Benoit.

At lunch, there is a plethora of choices: an à la carte lunch menu, four prix-fixe lunches ranging from 21 to 24 dollars, a daily specials sheet and a handful of sandwich-board specials. We quickly decided on two prix-fixe lunches, Marseille and Riviera. We were pleased that we were given a choice of any of the four desserts.

Since we were both having fish, a Loire valley sauvignon blanc seemed a natural choice, and our server recommended a Touraine Sauvignon. We were told, accurately, that the style was similar to a New Zealand sauvignon blanc, and to our delight, the smashing wine, with aromas of green apple, pear and passionfruit, was an excellent suggestion, pairing very well with our food, but also enjoyable enough to drink on its own.

We were given a basket of warm crusty bread with softened butter. We adhere to the guideline that if bread is not good enough to eat on its own, it should not be eaten with butter. Of course if it is good enough, by all means, slather away. And today, there was a lot of slathering going on.

Menu Marseille

Potato salad with mackerel,
radish with butter

Gratinated Cod Brandade with potatoes and vegetables

Warm waffle with vanilla and coffee ice cream
chocolate sauce and whipped cream
We really enjoyed all three courses, and we especially like the use of mackerel: it's authentic to the region, it's Ocean Wise, it's economical, and best of all, it tastes great.

Menu Riviera

Thin-crust onion tart with glazed onions,
anchovies and olives, mesclun salad

Fish of the day (local sole)
with ratatouille, capers and olives

House-made honey parfait with fruits and nuts confits,
strawberry coulis
The thin crust for the onion tart was super thin, a wafer even. All three of these dishes were also delicious.

Our dining experience reminded me of the fabulous meals I experienced in Nice on my recent trip to France. This was our second time at Mistral, and we kicked ourselves for waiting so long for our repeat visit.

Mistral French Bistro on Urbanspoon


Mmmm! for the love of food January 27, 2011 at 7:59 PM  

This is a great post, it makes me want to go and give it a try for myself! The warm waffle and the sole dishes look divine!

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