Photos and Words by Khanh Ta
Love fine dining but too busy being a full-time broke college student? Well, Dine Out Boston, also known as Restaurant Week, is that time of the year when you get to be fancy on a discount! Take the chance when it comes. The event can save you up to $50 on a normal three-course meal. This is also an opportunity to invite some friends to get together for a great fine dining evening beyond the dorms and fraternities; discover the city lights as if you were Audrey Hepburn for a night.
For those foodies out there, this is the time of the year when you get to try out all the fancy haute cuisine beyond the hospitality students’ kitchen. Plus, the vast selection of restaurants that are participating in Dine Out Boston gives you a lot of options. From traditional American cuisine in the Milton area to Back Bay’s steakhouses to French food in South End, there’s everything!
What’s especially wonderful about Dine Out Boston is that many restaurants offer a special menu with exclusive dishes only for that week. So, for the loyalists, you can come back to your favorite restaurants to try a completely new entrée. Although, you better make your reservations early; restaurants fill up pretty quickly, so I recommend you calling or booking online at least a week in advance.
For this year, my friends and I had the opportunity to have dinner at Mistral, a chic French restaurant in Back Bay. The interior designers out there will surely appreciate the restaurant’s effort of creating a very “Gatsby” atmosphere in its elevated ceiling, long ivory curtains, warm golden lights and simple yet classy design. This place is the perfect setting for a date.
As my friends and I were finally seated, we were extremely excited about the menu. Appetizers included three from the usual menu: sirloin carpaccio with black truffle aioli, parmesan and toasted ciabatta; white mushroom bisque with parmesan crema and white truffle oil; and Mistral Caesar salad.
For the entrée, two signature dishes were selected: the grilled Faroe Island salmon with beluga lentils, house-made bacon, and cider mustard glaze; and the braised pork “Osso Bucco” with garnet yam polenta, roasted maitake mushrooms and Marsala. The two other entrées were special limited dishes: “whole roasted” natural chicken with braised root vegetables, pomme purée, and fine herbs; and pan roasted 12oz sirloin with “potato lyonnaise,” Port wine reduction and English Stilton butter.
As for dessert, there was the piña colada-inspired warm pineapple tart with coconut ice cream. There was also the milk chocolate crémeaux with coffee cinnamon crunch. Last but not least, the classic profiteroles with vanilla ice cream, dark chocolate sauce and peanut croquant.
A typical three-courses meal at Mistral would range within the hundreds. But during Dine Out Boston, our three-courses meals were only $38 before tip and tax. An evening out with good food, good company, and good atmosphere. What more could you ask for?
Address: 223 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA, 02116
Telephone: (617) 867-9300
Open Hours: 5:30pm to 10:00pm