What to order at Bistro du Midi?
We have a reservation tonight, but my husband is a bit concerned since the recent Boston mag review suggests that only the fish dishes are worth ordering. Is this true? Thanks for any tips!
I'm responding to my own post, rather than starting a new one on my experience there last night. Started off the night in the bar while we waited for friends to join us. I'm pregnant, and the bartender did a great job of mixing me up a tasty mocktail, which always earns points in my book. The fried artichokes with aioli were fantastic. When we went upstairs, it all fell apart. Our waiter was very pretentious, bordering on rude from the start. We tried to ignore this, as we were out to have a nice (possibly last for a while) meal with friends before our twins arrive any day now. Appetizers arrived hot and delicious. Everyone was pleased with their first courses. But when the entrees came, that's when things went bad. While everyone else was pleased with their entrees, the filet that I had ordered MEDIUM arrived RARE. Very rare. I explained that I couldn't eat rare beef, being pregnant (and I am VERY visibly pregnant- 9 mo. with twins), which is why I had ordered it medium. Manager comes and explains that he is sorry, it will be taken off the bill, and he can re-fire it. OK, fine. So the meat comes back and it is placed on the plate in such a way that it looks like it's been cooked more, but once I turn it over, it looks EXACTLY the SAME. Still RARE. At this point, I am tired of dealing with the steak and I've lost my appetite, so I pass it to my friend, who happily ate it. We then explained to the waiter that the meat had come back no different than how it had been sent back, and he had very little to say to us. At the end of the meal, the manager apologized again and took care of our desserts for us, but there was never any explanation for why they couldn't cook a medium filet. Very, very odd. I have never encountered this before! And the uber-aloof waiter didn't add anything to the whole experience. We won't be returning there any time soon. Bummer.
We also had a less then stellar experience with our waiter. We ordered our drinks and a couple of small bites and were planning to peruse the rest of the menu for a bit before we placed the rest of our order. The waiter came by three times before our drinks showed up to ask us if we had decided. Talk about feeling rushed!
The food was all very good but nothing sang, certainly not enough to make me want to go back. One of us ordered the steak au poivre - there was no pepper anywhere! The lamb chops were good but could have been trimmed better. The cod was also good but there was none of the chorizo that was mentioned on the menu. We might have mentioned this to the waiter but he never showed up to ask how the meals were....
Finally, the desserts were the best part but the person who ordered the trip of sorbets was left to wonder what he was eating, there was no explanation, it was just dropped off.
Not to discount the problems you encountered, but "it all fell apart" seems like a harsh judgment. No doubt you should have receive the filet the way you ordered it, and the waiter should have been more responsive. However, the bar was great, the appetizers were good, and your friend "happily ate" the beef. The manager seemed to have made a sincere apology and reduced the bill, twice. If we all crossed off every restaurant where we encountered this level of problem, none of us would have many places left to eat.
I was thinking the same thing as I read the OP. Almost read like a rave at points. Other than cook the fillet the way you wanted it, what else could they have done. The manager sounds like he made a good effort, and comped the entree as well as the desserts. What sort of explanation would have satisfied to the questioncof "why they couldn't cook a medium filet"?
As for a pretentious waiter, bad luck, but for me good food always trumps a poor waiter, unless he/she can't actually deliver the food. I'd give it another try, but that's me.
I ate there this weekend.. waiter was very attentive, provided good info for both the foodies and non-foodies at the table. We had an 8pm seating, so I doubt if they would have wanted another cover at our table that night, but we never felt rushed.
The small plates are small, but the waiter mentioned that during ordering, and although they were small, they were tasty.. I had the marinated octopus. I could have eaten a pyrex mixing bowl full of the stuff. I had the duck.. it was cooked well; my fiancee had the classic bouillabaisse and she put it near the top of her fish stew experiences. The fish in the stew and the broth, which was brought out and poured at the table, were both tasty and well prepared.
I'd go back.. its not Le Bernardin, but I don't think it makes a pretense to be.. its a comfortable room with a good menu and solid service.
enjoyed the diver scallop carpaccio but the beef carpaccio was tough (and a meager portion) and the beef daube (braised short rib) was stringy (as preparations of short rib too often are, except at places like Scampo/9 Park).