Mistral Kitchen

Located off of Westlake Ave. and a short walk from Downtown Seattle, this outstanding restaurant delivers classic, high end food in an unpretentious setting. Having come from a larger tasting and looking for an easy evening to review some notes, this meal delivered on all accounts. Starting with a few lighter courses, a mustard green salad with fingerling potatoes, Boquerones (white anchovies) and perfectly cooked soft egg could not have been more fresh or vivid, and a second course of Madai Crudo (raw sea bream, which is a Japanese white fish) was just as sublime and very simply presented with shaved radish and just a dash of oil. In both cases, I devoured the portions in all of two minutes and considered ordering seconds of each. Both of the dishes were gulped down with a fresh, steely 2010 Claude Lafond Reuilly La Raie that paired up perfectly. Made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc, it is a well done, straight forward white that has solid citrus and grassy notes as well as beautiful precision and edge on the palate. Moving on to richer fare, the main course was a seared Duck Breast set over green lentils. Also simply plated and perfectly cooked, it got no complaints for me and was the perfect dish to pair with a bottle of 2010 Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape. One of the top wines of the vintage, as well as one of the longest lived Châteauneufs out there, it was firing on all cylinders this night and was pure kirsch liqueur, seaweed, roasted herbs, and licorice on the nose with a pure silky, voluptuously textured palate. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it close down over the coming year or so, but no regrets with this bottle. The meal was capped with a refreshing Lemongrass Semifreddo.

In addition to the superb food, the service was first class, and while prices are on the expensive side, they’re reasonable for the quality and certainly worth it. If you’re in Seattle, don’t miss a chance to dine here.

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