Bistro du Midi or Troquet?
Hi everyone -
I'm trying to decide between Bistro du Midi and Troquet for a celebration dinner in a couple of weekends. I wanted a nice place with an upscale atmosphere (but not as fancy as Menton or L'Espalier - something along the lines of Mistral, Rialto, or No.9 Park), and of the places in Boston I haven't tried yet, these are at the top of the list.
Do people who have been to both (or people who have been to one) have strong opinions about which would be better? In addition to the food itself and a classy/romantic atmosphere (but NOT stuffy!) I really like cheese, dessert and wine, which are definitely factors in picking these 2 places.
Would love to hear your thoughts!
this is simple; the food is very good though not first rate at Troquet, but the wine is great and reasonably priced; last time i was there i had a bargain bottle of 1978 burgundy that was fantastic and cost about 80 dollars. If wine is your priority, then Troquet is the best place to go. If wine is not your focus, and you were hoping for great food, then probably Bistro du Midi would be your choice.
I haven't been to both very many times, so others who are "regulars" may have a better take on the current menus. I definitely preferred Troquet, both for the wine list and the cheeses which I found first rate and these appear to be two of your considerations. I also found Bistro du Midi to be noisy and I wasn't wowed by the service. Troquet was quieter which also counts with me as I truly dislike shouting through dinner and, while I wouldn't describe the service as warm and fuzzy, it was efficiient and attentive. My recollection is that Troquet was the more expensive of the two by a noticeable margin. I would check the menus on line and see what appeals to you.
I prefer Troquet for wine, cheese, and food. I think BdM is considerably more casual--there is a noisy drinking scene downstairs. Troquet is pricier with the exception of the wine deals.
The summer cellar clear out is still going on at Troquet. Be sure to ask to check out the available bottles on the first floor. I advise getting there early for the best selection of the clear out wines. I got a 1970 Pichon Lalande for $60 a few weeks ago:
BdM has a strong wine program, but it can't touch Troquet on the pricing.
I've been to both and I prefer Troquet for food and wine though it can be a little quiet/sedate. Their cheese cart is fantastic (my odes to said cart are somewhere in the CH archives). Bistro du Midi's downstairs bar is very lively - if you do choose Du Midi, make sure to order some Barbajuans. The latter is also much less expensive than the former. Bistro du Midi has an upstairs bar and dining room that is less of a collagen-lips-on-champers-glasses love fest.
I think for cheese and wine, Troquet is probably more what you are looking for.
I enjoyed the food more at BdM and they also offer a wider range of lower priced (ie. under $50) wines, if that is important to you. BdM is also cheaper all around. But the drawback is the service is a bit more amateur and they won't have the cheese selection of Troquet. I also recall Troquet having better bread and certainly better butter (Normandy). So if "classic" wines are important to you as well as a true cheese service (ie. a cart), I would say Troquet. I don't think either of these places are true stand-outs for desserts.
Have you thought of crossing the river? Keeping in the French vein and at the same price point, you may enjoy Craigie, Salts, or even TW Food. Each is around the same price and are upscale but certainly not stuffy. Craigie probably has the strongest wine list of the three, but TW Food has probably the most unique (albeit tiny). Each serves a cheese course that would be as good if not better than BdM, but not at the level of say L'Espalier.
Speaking of L'Espalier, f you are a serious cheese person, I would definitely recommend hitting their Salon some time. You can get flights of cheese and a drink a la carte and get out of there for relatively cheap. They have an impeccable cheese service (IMO best in the city, although I'm not sure if anywhere else has an in-house dedicated Fromager). The atmosphere (ie. room) might seem "stuffy" to you initially, but I assure you the staff will do whatever if takes to make you feel comfortable.
I love the cheese service at L'Espalier...and they were definitely not stuffy -they even put up with my request to have the cheese tray as an appetizer instead of one of the appetizers on the menu....L'Espalier is still my favorite restaurant in Boston (haven't tried Menton yet, though). Have not tried the Salon yet.