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Oct 14, 2012 06:06 PM

Mistral, Teatro -- why do you never hear about them anymore?

You never hear much about Jamie Mammano's restaurants these days. How come? Are they still good? I've long been intrigued by Teatro, but haven't gone.

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  1. They are still very good, and quite busy. The menus never change though.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gabatta

      Teatro gets a mention whenever someone wants a place in the Theater District and Mistral is a great restaurant that occassionally gets a post but I agree with Gabatta. The menu at Mistral is exactly what it was when they opened. I like their grilled pizzas and a foies gras/duck confit app a lot.

    2. I've long felt that Mistral is solid but overpriced, one of those places with a mystique I don't entirely buy into. Polished service probably accounts for some of it, and it is a pretty, romantic room. It has treated me very well for private functions, and given a choice between it and some national chain steakhouse, I'd opt for it in a heartbeat for some kinds of business entertaining.

      I agree that it suffers from the rarely-changing menu, but it's hard to gainsay its consistent success over many years and through some very difficult times. I get why people value a certain familiarity, knowing you can always get that favorite dish. I just tend to prefer places in the swank-bistro vein that strive for more variety and surprise, reflecting more of a chef's unique viewpoint. But it's not hard to understand why they've stuck with a winning formula there.

      I had found Teatro to be very good early in its life, and a good value. Then it went through a long period of inconsistency where I sort of gave up on it. Its bar has always seemed like a missed opportunity to me. But I had a surprisingly good meal there a few months back. I do like the room, but it is very loud.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        +1 on all this. i will add that the mark-up on wines at mistral are stratospheric, so even if i am just going for a pizza and a bottle of wine with a friend, it's an easy $100. their house classic of dover sole is over $50 now. in these times, i find better places for better value.

        that being said, mistral and sorrelina have some of the most polished and unobtrusive service in the entire city.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          It's worth noting -- as I have several times before -- that Mistral's brunch is fabulous, and a much better value than dinner.

      2. I agree with Slim that Teatro is a good value. In this case, I'm glad the menu never seems to change because it's one of the few places where I can get both a smashing vegetarian app and entree in a pretty nice atmosphere at a good price. I love both their eggplant rollatini and spinach ravioli. My mother loves their bolognese. I wasn't as jazzed about their risotto, and their mushroom soup is strangely bland. Service is adequate. I just stick to my two faves here and am happy to do so. Funny how Teatro is such a good value and Mistral and Sorellina seem overpriced.

        1. I've actually gone from tolerating the twice yearly, seemingly mandatory visit to Mistral to absolutely abhorring and eschewing it. I have no issue paying a premium for good food, good service and a great room but at Mistral it all seems so formulaic. I have never, not once in the ten plus years I've dined there, been blown away. I've always found the food safe and for the most part boring. I'll now add dated to the list. I do still enjoy Teatro but it suffers from inconsistency. I've never really found the allure of his places or his cooking. I've also found his food to be oddly sweet. Nearly every dish on the menus at all of his restaurant have some sort of sweet or sticky component. Unfortunately like a bad pop song his restaurants remain wildly popular and when the choice of venue is not in my hands for group dining one of his joints is invariably mentioned.
          His restaurants will remain the sex pistols to styrene's beloved x ray spex

          8 Replies
          1. re: cabriac

            I think the band you were reaching for there is Sham 69, not the Pistols, but I follow your point.


            1. re: MC Slim JB

              I love sham 69! Can we agree on Bow Wow Wow? Too much sugar and not enough meat and vinegar.

              1. re: cabriac

                I liked the Shammers, too, used to play their first record on my college radio show, but in retrospect they strike me as a bit formulaic. And I had a massive crush on Annabella, so no Bow Wow Wow slaggin'.

                I would, however, allow a "Mistral as the solo Adam Ant of Boston restaurants" comparison: bigger than many worthier contemporaries, not looking so fresh in retrospect, and nothing you would ever want to brag about having been a fan of.


                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  Odd. He was going to be my original analogy.

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    I recently rediscovered, and am loving, Kings of the Wild Frontier, which I assume you're excluding since its not solo, correct? Or am I just being nostalgic?

                    1. re: Blumie

                      Funny, I've given "Kings" a bunch of spins lately, too; I think the Ants were original and fun, while Adam Ant solo was halt and lame. (My relevant prize collectible is a twelve-inch of "Stand and Deliver" with "Beat My Guest" as the B-side.) In restaurant terms, Adam and the Ants is Olives Charlestown in the early days; solo Adam Ant is Bonfire.


                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        "Kings is an album I break out every five years or so. Give a good listen then forget about for another half decade or so. I will always be nostalgic for pre 2000 olives. Much in the same way I wish husker du would reunite.

                        1. re: cabriac

                          Maybe we need a separate thread for these analogies, but I'm thinking that Rendezvous, which is rightly getting a lot of love in another active thread, is my Squeeze: comforting, heartwarming, mature, beyond competent without being overly challenging; always there when you need them, exciting to rediscover after a too-long hiatus.

            2. Teatro my favorite "go to" restaurant right now. Very good Italian, zero pretense, good value. I like the bar but I am prone to being influenced by adorable bartenders.