I know Mistral has gotten mixed reviews on this board, but my bf and I went out to dinner there this Friday, and it was really wonderful. Reserved on OpenTable, asking for a banquette, and scored a fantastic corner spot with a view of the entire place.
We shared everything, which meant starting with the ceasar salad (which they happily put into two bowls for us). Solid rendition of a classic - very high quality anchovies, and a dry, strong parmesan, not over-dressed. In the center of the table, seared foie gras over duck confit in brioche with tart Wisconsin cherries. Completely decadent(I swear the bread cup was fried), and wonderful. The confit was one of the best I've ever had - meltingly tender & rich, and D adored the foie gras till he learned what it was...!
Entrees: We had steak au poive, medium-rare as requested. fantastic madeira & green peppercorn crust over creamed spinach, which I usually don't like, but in this case, was very balanced, not whitish or heavy at all. salt baked potatoes were the perfect complement, understated, the salt echo balanced out the pepper on the steak. We also chose seared halibut over asparagus, rock shrimp, and potato "risotto." This was probably the lowest point of the meal: low-starch potato wasn't cut finely enough or (with the waxy ones, over-)cooked enough to even remotely resemble risotto, and I got a couple of sandy bites, I assume from improper rinsing of the shrimp. Otherwise, the fish itself was perfectly done with a solid, but not overbearing seared crust, liked the aspargus presentation (stalks cut thin like scallions, heads intact), and thought the shrimp were quite good - surprisingly not overdone, and not even resembling the canned stuff, as some have claimed.
Dessert: They were all out of the pumpkin tart, so we went for the house's warm chocolate torte, which had a molten center, and the best just-sweet-enough creme anglaise I've ever had.
Drinks: We got a great recommendation for a 1999 Bookpurnog (Australian) Shiraz from one of the waitstaff (not our server). With dessert, I had a glass of a lovely, simple black muscat, and D had scotch - Glenlivet 12 yr French Oak, I think, which now has the honor of being the only scotch I've ever tasted not to leave me gasping for air!
Two detractions: Noise level from the bar was definitely high (hard surfaces and a towering ceiling definitely don't help!), and while each course came promptly after ordering or after the previous course, we were abandoned for far too long before placing our initial order and left with cleared places & no dessert menu for a good 10 minutes.
Total bill, without alcohol & tip would have been ~ $120.