Last Tuesday was Vidya‘s 25th birthday. To celebrate this monumental occasion, Lauren and I surprised her with dinner at Mistral: the best restaurant in Seattle*. Given the occasion, we kept the camera and any notetaking at bay (I’ll post food pictures after my next meal there). It will have to suffice to say we wined and dined our way through sablefish, foie gras, duck, mushrooms, exotic cheeses, fruit custards, sauternes, white Burgundies, Bordeaux blends, and numerous foams.
William Belickis (the Executive Chef) has an amazing skill in the kitchen, and also happens to be an extremely nice person. What’s even more amazing is that I found out last night he’s allergic to a number of foods (including most seafood). It’s reminiscent of Beethoven writing symphonies in his deafened state.
Over the years I’ve had a number of amazing meals at Mistral. In 2005, when the kitchen missed a beat or two, I was wondering if Mistral was starting to lose its luster. Last night I found out that, William was working in Bangkok at the time, attempting to open “Mistral Thailand”. The Bangkok experiment turned out to be a bust, and Thailand’s loss is our gain — last night Mistral was hitting on all cylinders. They recently hired a new pastry chef, and the desserts have reached new heights of spendor. The food is reinvigorated, and ever course was a delight. This is the Mistral I remember from over the years, and I’m very happy to say that it’s back!
A meal at Mistral is a full evening (3 hours or more), and certainly carries a hefty price tag. But if you have an occasion to celebrate, close your eyes, open your wallet, and enjoy a sublime seven course experience of food and wine. It’s a night you will never forget.
TIP: You can also get to know William (and check out a smaller scale take on the food) at one of his Lunch classes. I’ve had a few enjoyable Saturday afternoons in Mistral’s kitchen learning how to stuff zucchini flowers or blend corn soup. The classes are reasonably priced, and also include a 3 course meal showcasing the dishes you learn about.
*I haven’t yet been to The Herb Farm which also has quite a following
UPDATE (10/15/2006): Went to the Herb Farm last night (thanks Ilene!). The food was very good, but I still attest that William’s restaurant deserves the Kenny crown for best Seattle restaurant
113 Blanchard Street
Seattle, WA 98121
5:30PM-midnight (Dinner only)