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Sep 7, 2012 07:00 AM

Mistral. Finally.

Husband says the best meal he's ever eaten in San Diego was at El Bizcocho under Chef Patrick Ponsaty. Tonight, after a year or two of hinting, I was taken finally to Ponsaty's Mistral .

The food was outstanding. Panisse (that eponymous dish) with Aioli. Sublime. I've never seen it on another menu. Anywhere. Goat Cheese Tatin with Hibiscus Ice Cream, Beets, and Cress. Veal Cheeks in Madeira and Mushrooms, with fleur-d-lis of orange cream mousse. Salmon with Tarragon and Vegetables where each vegetable sang. The desserts were the best I've had in San Diego. Meyer Lemon Crepe Cake and Chocolate Praline Gateau light as clouds. Exquisitely made. And served with spoons! Yes.

That said, service was bumptious. Wine list pedestrian. Our table awkward. (We should have requested another.) Diners wore shorts and flipflops. The wine glasses were indestructible Libbys. When we tried to send a glass of wine back to Ponsaty, the server said that the new F&B director has forbid the practice, and cameras have been installed in the kitchen to keep the staff in line. TMI.

"It's all over, " my husband said sadly. "Food like this and the service to match."

I can’t be too glum. Last night I was reminded what a real chef can do-- even at a Loew’s Hotel. Thanks, BC, for boosting my resolve to get there before Ponsaty moves on.

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  1. Awesome picky..
    I love when vegetables sing!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Beach Chick

      Thank you! Yes, there were some very creative vegetarian dishes. I was tempted.

    2. The wine glasses would kill it for me. Funny you mention sending a glass of wine to the chef, last I sent a glass of Opus 1985 to the exec chef and one of my haunts, it was well appreciated.

      10 Replies
      1. re: cstr

        Libbey pedestrian..
        Wow, sledge...who knew you threw down like that with an 85 Opus and sending a glass to the Executive Chef...solid.

        1. re: Beach Chick

          That bottle was a little older than you!

          1. re: cstr

            Flattery will get you everywhere...way older than a '85'...but thanks for thinking I was a Beaujolais..

              1. re: DiningDiva

                DD...hee hee
                I hope you'll be putting on your party hat for me and Veggo on 916..
                If you have a brief reading for me, that would be so so lovely too!
                Beach Chica

                1. re: Beach Chick

                  Send me your DOB/Time/Location and I'll take a look. Any pressing question(s)

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    always amazed at your breadth of knowlege, DD.

                      1. re: DiningDiva

                        Astrology and you find some signs are more tuned to food and drink?

                        1. re: Beach Chick

                          Yes. The ancients assigned rulerships and relationships to the planets and signs, or at least Sun - Saturn, those that could be seen by the nekkid eye. Rulerships for the modern planets were, obviously, not developed by the ancients...unless of course the 20th century is now ancient.

                          Aries through Virgo are very easy to make food associations of all kinds. Libra, Aquarius and Pisces are probably the hardest, tho' certainly not impossible.