We have been lucky enough to eat lunch at some incredible places in Seattle. From Nettletown to Tillikum Place to the pork skewers at Lola, we have enjoyed some tremendous meals in the middle of the day these past few months. (The experience at Salumi stands alone. Nothing could compare to that.) However, I think Danny and I are more than willing to say this: the best lunch we have ever eaten in Seattle was at Mistral Kitchen last week.
Tell truth, we had heard that Mistral Kitchen was inclined toward molecular gastronomy, a little fussy, a lot to take. We didn't go for months, because of this. That doesn't really sound like the kind of place to take a toddler.
However, our friend Lorna Yee loves Mistral Kitchen. Nearly every other day she talked about stopping in for a bite to eat or a cocktail before a meal at another place. Lorna writes about restaurants for Seattle Magazine, so she's often going out to eat. It seemed to us that if Lorna loved the place so much that she was going on her free time, after trying other restaurants for work, it was worth our time.
Oh boy. Lorna is right. This place is pretty spectacular.
Look at that charcuterie plate. Two kinds of beautiful prosciutto, a small pile of soft salami, and house-made pork rillettes so creamy that they disappeared on our tongues in a moment. Too soon.
As you can see, our toddler daughter loved the prosciutto. In fact, she pretty much ate all of my portions, as well as her own.
The folks at Mistral Kitchen treated us beautifully while we were there. Sometimes waiters can give us the stink eye when we walk into their restaurant with a child under 2. They probably think, “Oh gad, here comes my nightmare.” Lu is very well behaved in restaurants, since she goes to plenty of them, so mostly the waiters relax halfway through a meal. At Mistral Kitchen, however, the waiters welcomed her graciously, like they did us. (They also understand how to feed me gluten-free, safely, without batting an eye, so I was an instant fan for that, as well.)
Our entire meal was wonderful, each taste singular, perfectly prepared. In spite of our pre-conceived notions, Mistral Kitchen is not fussy or pretentious. That was not our experience at lunch. Instead, it's clear that the cooks in the kitchen, as directed by head chef William Belickis, understand how to treat the food well. Everything we ordered was delicately done, perfectly cooked, and seasoned exactly to our taste.
(Can I just say as an aside that Neil Robertson's desserts are some of the most extraordinary I have ever eaten? We're going back for those alone.)
On the day that we four met for lunch (Lorna came with us, of course), the charcuterie plate was the only pork offered that day.
However, as you can see from our clean plates, we loved everythine we ate.
We are definitely going back, again and again.
I love when places surprise you.
2020 Westlake Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121