This past week has been filled with seemingly perfect Birthday celebrations and dinners, and my trip to Bistro Du Midi with my family was no different. Per Meesh’s recommendation I chose the new restaurant, located on the Commons where the old Excelsior used to be. Not only was I pumped because I had heard great things, but I was also excited because it was the first time the majority of my family, including my step-bro’s girlfriends, would all be together since our trip to Ireland over the summer (with the exception of my little sister who is still stuck in DC studying for finals – note to Ali: stop reading now unless you’re already home, if not, this post may send you into depression)
There were 8 of us, and what started out as a birthday dinner turned into somewhat of a feast so I’ll get right into the noms…
We started with the Fried Artichokes with Aioli, which were pretty standard but delicious. Crunchy, savory and garlicky MmmMmm.
Then came the Steamed Mussels Marinière au Pastis. The server poured the steaming white wine broth over the mussels at the table… classay! They were also really good, very similar to the mussels at Toro and Cafeteria Boston.
Then came my favorites, the Beef Carpaccio with Gingerbread Croutons and Cashew Nuts. The Cashew nuts were a new element I hadn’t seen on carpaccio before, the flavors stood out and I liked it. The beef was also perfectly tender!
Another favorite: the Charcuterie Board which came with a delicious assortment of speck, salami and prosciutto. It was so amazing. We ordered two for the table and I’m pretty sure I ate one of them in it’s entirety. You could taste the quality of the meats, and it was definitely a plate that brought me back to my days of living in Florence when charcuterie boards and cheese plates were daily staples for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
And of course we had cheese! The creamy goat one on the right was my favorite. The blue cheese not so much. What can I say? I’m just not a gorgonzola type of gal. Both the cheese plate and charcuterie board came with homemade cinnamon bread crostini’s and jam. I always love when they spice things up with an interesting bread, the sweetness was the perfect juxtaposition to the salty meats and cheese.
By the time we finished the appetizers I’d say I was probably 70% full and 90% satisfied. Then came the entrees…
Clockwise from left we have the Thyme Infused Gargenelli Pasta withWild Boar Ragu and Manchego Cheese; the Roasted Monkfish with Grilled & Roasted Eggplant, Capers and Lemon; and the Goat Cheese Gnocchi mixed with Winter Squash and Pistou.
A lot of people ordered the ragu and the gnocchi which were unbelievable. I had the Boar Ragu and I will say the sauce was more shredded beef than actual sauce, which was good although it left the pasta feeling a little dry.
Bistro Du Midi also offers a roasted chicken for two, which takes 40 minutes to prepare as stipulated on their menu. This may be one of the reasons why our family dinner turned into a 3+ hour affair but it was definitely worth it. And as Tim likes to call it, here is the money shot…
The chicken was cooked to perfection, as it should be. It came served with roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables and it was so flavorful. Who can resist tender chicken encased in crispy skin? I know I can’t.
The food was beyond impressive, which can be expected seeing as Bistro Du Midi is quite pricey. All the food was stupendous (branching out with my vocabulary as you can see); there wasn’t anything I ordered that I wouldn’t immediately order again. In regards to the atmosphere at Bistro Du Midi I will be honest in saying that the place is a bit stuffy. Their dining room harbors a very quiet atmosphere, which can be a good and a bad thing depending on the situation. I’m pretty sure our table was the only one where those with colored hair outnumbered those with gray.
The service itself was impeccable for what it was, which was slow and silent serving. They definitely don’t rush you along by any means, and the servers were certainly not engaging unless spoken too. I think our waiter cracked a smile once, JUST ONCE. I won’t lie, my family is a fun bunch and we had a great time. Maybe it was better the servers weren’t as personable, which gave us more time to talk to each other. Although I’m not sure I’ll be rushing back anytime soon, I can’t deny what a great time we had!
I will add that I did particularly enjoy my lavender infused Margarita, but alas it was the only thing that really stood out on their cocktail menu…. and I’m not really sure why they put all the salt in one spot?!