Mimosa Dinner & Bloom Breakfast (long)
Guess we're missing France a bit. The family took my mom out for her 82nd birthday last Saturday and I chose Mimosa, knowing that mom loves rustic French and a comfy setting. We had 6:30 PM reservations, so the place really didn't get close to full until somewhere around 8 PM. There were 8 of us (5 adults and 3 kids).
Mimosa is still a great place for well done bistro food -- the large jars of cornichons and olives arrive at the table right after we are seated with a nice basket of bread as well -- two choices: french and something like an oniony rye.
Mimosa, in addition to its ala carte choices, offers what seems to be a very good value prix fixe 3 courser that offers several choices in each category, for 28 bucks. We started with several salads: I had the haricots verts and avocado salad that came with a lemony vinaigrette. Very good. Dad's lyonnaise salad pleased him and a tomato soup with small shrimp was delightful as the first course of my partner's prix fixe.
For main courses, three of us had the roasted halibut, two had the roast chicken, I had the Saturday special bouillabaise and my partner had the hanger steak and frites for the second part of her prix fixe. The roast chicken is a good sized half chicken (compared to the one I had at Fraiche a few weeks ago, this was the size of a pteradactyl), and both diners ended up taking half of their half chickens home. It was done really well, and I thought it was better than the Fraiche offering.
The roasted halibut was excellent -- I'm blanking on the rest of the preparation, but when you can please two octogenarians, one 12 year old foodie and one picky 6 year old with the same dish you are either doing something very right or something very wrong. At our table, we thought it was done right.
My bouillabaisse was generous with monkfish, clams, mussels, shrimp and provencale style broth. Desserts were excellent.
My major complaint about the evening was the service, which, in a place like Mimosa should be a couple steps above the roller skating waitrons at Friscos. Unfortunately, ours was not. It was the classic amateurish combo of absent minded and overbearing. Our server was a very nice woman who acted as if she'd just been shoved out onto stage to play a role she hadn't memorized any lines for. She seemed befuddled by the bottle of wine we had brought (2000 Carre Courbin Pommard); it finally dawned on her to open it, whereupon she left it sitting in the middle of the table until I decided to pour it about 10 minutes later. We had to point to a couple of items on the menu that we wanted to eat, as the look on her face seemed to indicate she'd never heard of them before. Things were done, but only upon request. We had to ask for more bread, more water and to see the dessert menu. My bouillabaisse was partially served to me by the head of house (who seemed similarly perplexed as to why he was there) who assured me he would be back to serve me the rest when I was ready, and placed the skillet on an adjacent table. He never came by again, and I ended up getting it to go just before they were about to take it away and dump it. A wonderful crock of mashed potatoes was whisked away literally as we were all noshing at it family style.
My daughter just came by to read this and said, "but the food was really good." It was and mom was very happy.
So on to Bloom's this AM for breakfast. We had heard about this place from various sources and managed to get the kids off of their Pann's kick long enough to cart them to Bloom's. A major success. Be advised the place opens at 9 AM and is pretty much full by 9:30 or so. Indoor and pleasant outdoor seating -- in true French fashion, smallish dogs are welcome and given their own dish of water under the table.
The water is filtered and cucumber infused. VERY refreshing and unexpected. The fresh squeezed orange juice was great. The girls loved their hot chocolate and coffee was good and strong. The girls split the buttermilk pancakes which they devoured, and the fruit cup had been prepared enough in advance for the mango, pineapple, cantaloupe and watermelon juices to all meld together lip-smackingly. My partner had the lemon ricotta pancakes which were aromatic, light and perfectly cooked. I had an interesting take on a benedict style dish, which I loved -- two perfectly poached eggs sitting on a single slice of walnut raisin bread, topped with crunchy apple bacon dice, a spot of goat cheese and a zesty salsa. I chose very herby roast potatoes over the fruit cup. Also a small salad on the plate. Really good. Service is really friendly and responsive.
Naspy, I loved the Mimosa review. You're giving me a France-jones big time! I haven't been to Mimosa in close to four years, but I remember it as you described it. I'm glad to see they still offer those wonderfully tart cornichons. Mimosa's delicious meals evoke memories of bistros in Lyon, and the mac n' cheese is a standout appetizer or even a main course. But I also encountered strangely off-putting service, likely coming from wannabe actors taking out their resentment from their latest failed audition on the poor guest.