November and December is that time for meals out with teams of work colleagues or family and friends. Some times even though these are meant to be fun it feels like a duty to attend the event. All too rarely is it a real pleasure. This recent visit to Le Mistral restaurant in Nottingham was definitely in the pleasure category.
We consider ourselves lucky to have been told about it and even more to have found it- it’s located in an off the beaten track courtyard yet just yards from one of Nottingham’s main streets. The restaurant itself is intimate and friendly with several different sections and we were in an area of 5 tables.
We started with 2 soups of the day- Vegetable -rather a simple name for a lovely collection of crisp fresh vegetables with a warming and nourishing broth. We also had an onion soup with the best combination of onions and flavour to match any that we have had in France
To follow we had 3 main courses, 2 of fish and 1 of pork
One of the fish dishes was a portion of cod served on a large mound of dauphinoise potatoes with crisp cabbage and carrot slivers
The other fish dish was a complete fillet of sea bass served on roast potato slices with cripsy fresh green beans to complement the taste
The belly of pork was accompanied with a generous portion of dauphinoise potatoes accompanied by crisp green cabbage. The cabbage was interlaced with slices of carrot which were crisp and crunchy whilst also being easy to eat.
To enhance the fish dishes they were accompanied with a glass of house white wine – this matched the fish beautifully and blended well with the fish tastes. There was a similar matched glass of house red wine for the pork
Dessert was one of those moments of having to make difficult decisions when there were several choices on offer. Each dessert was well balanced to accompany the first course.
In the end, we chose a traditional tarte citron with a light dusting of castor sugar and a dollop of fresh cream. It was beautifully presented on the plate with interlocking lines of syrup and chocolate
The other desert was a chocolate tarte with a portion of raspberry compote to enhance the taste and provide a taste counterpoint. Again the mixture of sweet and sharpness of the chocolate was in contrast to the softer raspberry compote with a different flavour
We also had a Remy Martin cognac and coffee. The aroma from the Remy Martin was wonderful and the use of a traditional bowl shaped brandy glass was more that justified.
So why does this restaurant review appear on a website called inspireretirenow.com ?
Well the simple truth is that had I not been retired I doubt if I would have visited this city restaurant or enjoyed such a meal.
May you continue to have a happy retirement