Spectacular group brunch at Mistral
Today I hosted a brunch for a group of about 30 family and friends in the Salon Room at Mistral, and it was spectacular. The Salon Room was as beautiful as ever (is there a prettier private dining room in the city?). Our guests arrived at 10:30, and spent about 45 minutes socializing over coffee, juice, an open bar, and yogurt and fresh fruit parfaits. We were then seated at tables set with fresh baked cinnamon rolls and what Mistral bills as beignets, but which really are just the most incredible jelly filled donut "munchkins" you can imagine. The entrees were served buffet style, with a spinach, mushroom and gruyere fritrata (it was more of a scramble than a frittata, and was delicious), an egg white frittata (again, more of a scramble) with tomato, chevre, and basil, graham cracker french toast (I didn't try it, but a guest said it was the best french toast she had ever had), bacon, sausage, and Lyonnaise potataoes. Two of my guests wanted simply poached eggs and toast in lieu of the buffet, and the servers were incredibly gracious about accommodating them.
Ultimately, the success of events like this are a function of how happy your guests are, and every one of my guests left raving about the brunch. (For what it's worth, this has been the case every time I've hosted a function in the Salon Room.)
The cost was $40/person. I don't have the final bill yet (additional charges are a $250 room fee, the bar tab -- although coffee, tea and juice are included in the per-person charge -- and the service charge), but this strikes me as one of the better values around for a group function. (And for those looking for an a la carte Sunday brunch, I don't think there's any better option in the area: they accept reservations, the food and service are spectacular, and while Mistral's prices are not a bargain, the premium one pays, particularly at brunch -- where the premium is much lower than at dinner -- is well worth the premium value one receives IMHO.)