Husband says the best meal he's ever eaten in San Diego was at El Bizcocho under Chef Patrick Ponsaty. Tonight, after a year or two of hinting, I was taken finally to Ponsaty's Mistral .
The food was outstanding. Panisse (that eponymous dish) with Aioli. Sublime. I've never seen it on another menu. Anywhere. Goat Cheese Tatin with Hibiscus Ice Cream, Beets, and Cress. Veal Cheeks in Madeira and Mushrooms, with fleur-d-lis of orange cream mousse. Salmon with Tarragon and Vegetables where each vegetable sang. The desserts were the best I've had in San Diego. Meyer Lemon Crepe Cake and Chocolate Praline Gateau light as clouds. Exquisitely made. And served with spoons! Yes.
That said, service was bumptious. Wine list pedestrian. Our table awkward. (We should have requested another.) Diners wore shorts and flipflops. The wine glasses were indestructible Libbys. When we tried to send a glass of wine back to Ponsaty, the server said that the new F&B director has forbid the practice, and cameras have been installed in the kitchen to keep the staff in line. TMI.
"It's all over, " my husband said sadly. "Food like this and the service to match."
I can’t be too glum. Last night I was reminded what a real chef can do-- even at a Loew’s Hotel. Thanks, BC, for boosting my resolve to get there before Ponsaty moves on.
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