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May 1, 2008 06:24 AM

Ok, so Mistral or Clio this Saturday

Ive got my first anniversary this Saturday night, and for a variety of legitimate reasons we have yet to make a reservation.

So, I think I have narrowed it down to Clio or Mistral for hopefully no later than 9/930. Any opinions on what would be the more "complete" experience. Or any other suggestions?

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  1. I don't know what you mean by "complete experience" but they are very different. Clio is much more of formal, fine dining, white tablecloth environment. Mistral is more open and contemporary, less-buttoned up while still clearly being "a nice dinner." I know it's heresy to some, but I if I had to choose between these two, I would pick Mistral.

    1. I went ahead and booked Clio. By complete experience I meant I was looking for more of that formal, "Im here to dine" feeling if that makes sense. For example I love Eastern Standard, I eat there a few times a month, but its not what I would call a dining experience fit for an anniversary.

      Anyway, is there a tasting menu at Clio? If so would it be printed up? My girlfriend is pretty good about eating different things, but she has this hurdle with spending so much money and not knowing what she is getting. Also, any idea on cost of their degustation?

      6 Replies
      1. re: Zopper

        Given your description here, Clio will fit perfectly. At Clio I feel like you're paying for the experience almost as much as you are the food, which is very creative and just downright tasty.

        There is a "chef's whim" tasting menu. You won't see anything printed, but your server will be more than happy to work with you on what kind of foods you like/dislike. Be upfront with him "i.e. no seafood, no shrimp, no red meat, nothing too out of the ordinary". The server will also ask you how adventurous you are, let them know.

        I think you can also change the number of courses you can get in the tasting. There's a 9 or 10 course and a 15 course I believe. If you're worried about spending money, opt for the smaller tasting. I think the 15 course tasting is a little over $100. The smaller tasing is just under $100 I believe.

        One other tip for saving money, order wines by the glass and ask your server if you can split pours between the two of you. We did this and ended up trying a number of wines for a VERY reasonable price. I think the wine was less than $60 and we had a ton of different varieties. It was actually a good value, the pours were much larger than what I'd consider a "half pour".

        1. re: heWho

          Thats a great tip for the wine! Have you done this before? I feel like I would almost be a bit hesitant to ask for a split pour.

          So the chef's whim is more of a true chef's menu where you can direct them with your preferences? Considering our 930 reservation would this be acceptable? Ive never been and I know certain restaurants have very different attitudes towards these things

          1. re: Zopper

            last time my wife and i went we just said we each wanted 3-4 glasses with the meal, but different types, and they split them without us asking, so we got to try 8 different wines for a very reasonable price. hewho's right that they are generous pours (at least they were my night).

            1. re: Zopper

              Yup, backing up what baconodka said, they have absolutely no problem splitting pours, in fact my server suggested it (albeit after trying to direct us to bottles and half-bottles).

              Yes, it is a true chef's tasting in every sense of the word, and it's what Clio excels at. I'm sure they'll have no problem doing it at that hour, if they are willing to take a reservation that late then they're willing to do a tasting that late. One bit of advice, be prepared for a VERY long meal. We did the large tasting and our meal literally took 4 hours. We were in at 6pm, out at 10pm. Don't let this sway you from the tasting, just be ready for it.

              1. re: heWho

                So you can request a certain number of courses and the type of courses you want?

                For example, could I say Id like 4 savory, a cheese, and two sweet? how much would this run?

                Thank you guys for your help

                1. re: Zopper

                  The tasting menu is "chef's whim", and this kind of goes against that idea. I'm not sure you can go into this level of detail, but you could definitely request a cheese course. And I have no idea how much it would cost. You could call Clio ahead of time and ask them if they can do this for you, they're very accomodating. Also keep in mind, the portions of the courses are small because you end up eating a lot of them. Some of the courses were one or two bites, some larger, like a petit venison filet.

        2. Not really sure you'll have your choice at this point, both are probably booked. Call and see who has availability. If I could choose though, I think I'd pick Mistral. I like the lively atmosphere there, and the food is excellent.

          14 Replies
          1. re: purple bot

            Reading through the rest of this board it looks like 930 is way too late to request a tasting menu of any kind.

            please advise!

            1. re: Zopper

              My brother did the late seating at Alinea in Chicago and didn't get out of there until 2:30 AM. I would say 7:30 or 8.

              1. re: Zopper

                i agree, but only because 930 is my usual bedtime.

                if you can get a table at 530 or 6 you might be the only ones there for a little bit, but you still won't get out of there before 9.

                If you stick with 930 and don't do the tasting menu, one of you or your spouse needs to get the lacquered foie gras. i have dreams about this dish.

                1. re: Zopper

                  Call and ask for an early reservation. They will probably have room if you're willing to eat before 6pm

                  1. re: heWho

                    Im sticking with the 9:30, so with that in mind

                    Please give me some help with what/how to order. anything worth getting from the Uni menu?

                    1. re: Zopper

                      lacquered foie gras

                      butter poached lobster

                      if there's a suckling pig special, that's good.

                      cheese plate

                      1. re: baconodka

                        So if I wasnt to get a tasting menu would one starter and one entree be suffcient? or would you want to order more than that?

                        what I really want to do is have them do a 7 course for us, but I dont know what it would cost or if they would go into it half assed

                      2. re: Zopper

                        You have to break away from the standard "what should I order" convention. With a tasting like this, half the fun is the surprise of the next course. You don't know what to expect and what comes out of the kitchen will surprise you. You can guide the menu in one direction or the other, but it isn't really the chef's "whim" if you tell the chef every dish you'd like to see.

                        In any tasting they will include items from Uni unless you specify no fish or no raw fish. The stuff from Uni is really fantastic, if you love raw fish you could ask them to guide the menu in that direction.

                        1. re: heWho

                          is it possible to do something in the 7-9 course range, i dont think i really want to be sitting down for 12-15 at 9:30

                          and if someone could drop a price range on me for 7-9 that would be fantastic! i just want to have an idea

                          1. re: Zopper

                            The staff will work with you to get this done, I have little doubt. Remember though, some of the courses take minutes to eat. For example, they consider petit fours a course, as well as a couple of little amuses. I agree though, you'll be exhausted if you start a 15 course tasting at 9:30.

                            1. re: heWho

                              How would you go about expresing this to the waiter?

                              Im just not sure the procedure here

                              id rather do a shortened tasting than just getting apps and entree

                              1. re: Zopper

                                Your server will probably ask you about it actually. They're extremely accomodating and up front. Tell them you're interested in doing a tasting but you don't want to be lingering until 1am. They will understand your needs and tailor your meal in that direction. After you've browsed the menu, they'll ask what you're interested in doing, tell them then.

                                The staff will really bend over backwards to make you happy. Just be up front with them in the beginning, which is in no way rude, they'll understand completely.

                                1. re: heWho

                                  Sounds like they will really do whatever you want

                                  now the big question, $$$$ ??

                                  1. re: Zopper

                                    I can't tell you what to expect there. The regular tastings have a price attached, so you can be sure if you're getting fewer courses it should cost less.

                                    My best advice... just try not to worry about how much it'll cost. It's going to be expensive. It'll probably be more than you've ever spent on dinner. It's an experience. Relax, have a glass of wine before you leave for the restaurant, and go with the flow.

                                    I just got my credit card bill, and 15 courses with tax, tip and wine was over $400. That's definitely a record for me, by a few paces. It was a celebratory dinner, and it was celebrating in style. I considered it a 4 hour vacation!

                2. So how did it go? Happy Birthday.