There are not many fancy restaurants in Boston that are economical for college students. There are a few, however, that everyone should experience at least once. Parents in town? Celebrating a recent job or internship offer? Look no further than Boston’s Mistral. Located in Back Bay, just a few blocks from Newbury Street, this upscale, French-inspired eatery offers unbelievable service and one of the best wine selections in Boston. Check the weather for next weekend, find a warm sunny day and call Mistral a week in advance to make a reservation for the chosen evening. Enjoy a warm excursion in Boston the day of your reservation and be sure to end up around Copley Square. If you are commuting by T, it’s a breeze to take the red line inbound to Park St and switch to green line to Copley, or to simply enjoy the 10-minute walk from the Common to Copley Square. Of course if driving is an option, the valet service right in front of the restaurant is exceptionally convenient.
Mistral is not immediately noticeable, as all you see from the street are its massive windows and the word “Mistral” above its door. Simply peer in a window and you will see the well-lit interior.
Mistral boasts massive windows and high ceilings, and is located only a few blocks away from the Charles River. The restaurant staff raises the long curtains, and at dusk when the sun sets, the light floods in through the windows, completely illuminating the space with the light of the gloaming.
It is highly recommended that patrons make their reservations for six or seven p.m. so they can enjoy the bread – Mistral’s olive oil and butter are phenomenal – and a glass of white wine before the sun sets and the meal begins. Prepare for a four-course meal, and order to share. The menu is by no means large, but all the offerings are delicious. The raw tuna tartar starter is perfect with a glass of white wine. Perhaps try the Chateau de Sancerre, which is the best white they have to offer – but also the most expensive. Despite the price, you won’t regret this indulgence. The mussels, as well as the ravioli, are also great starters. When it comes to the entree, order the thin-crust pizza with beef tenderloin and white truffle oil and pair it with one of the two risotto sides, a few appetizers or the grilled Faroe Island salmon.
When it comes time for the entree, you can ask the waiter for wine pairings based on your chosen entrees. The dessert is well portioned, not too big or too heavy, and is a must regardless of how full you are. Order a couple and pass around spoons. It can be hard to decide, so the tasting plate is a good way to go if you want to share with a friend or two.
Still, there’s no getting around the fact that Mistral is pricy. Prepare to spend – or let your parent, relative or friend spend – more than $200 on dinner for two. The restaurant is well worth the money, however, as the atmosphere, food, wine and service are unbeatable. Mistral is one of the best restaurants in Boston and will become a fast personal favorite. Find a reason to eat here soon, while the sun is setting late, and enjoy some of the best food this city has to offer.