Bistro du Midi – restaurant review

It’s restaurant week in Boston, which means for the next 2 weeks (I know, it’s weird), restaurants all over the City and surrounding areas offer 3-course menus for $20.10 (lunch) and $30.10 (dinner). There is another exciting twist to this this year (this is the very first time they’re doing it) – some restaurants participate in the “local only” category, which as the name applies, means all the ingredients for the restaurant week menu must be locally sourced (some restaurants of course already do that anyway). I LOVE this new addition and when making reservations for dinner with some friends, I actually only looked at restaurants that offered that. These are the kinds of businesses I want to support!

Bistro du Midi was one of them. It’s a relatively new modern French restaurant, replacing the old timer Excelsior (which had a much higher price point and closed when the economy tanked). The location is unbelievable, right across from the Public Gardens – boasting gorgeous views of Boston. We had six people for dinner so we were seated in a much more formal dining room upstairs, which had very traditional old French decor. It’s not completely my style (I love modern spaces) but it was tastefully done and certainly screamed “fancy.” :)

My dining companions:

(Kyle was trying to look a little weird ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Adam and I (sorry, I switched to a faster zoom lens later in the night – thus the crazy closeup)

We had a large table which was almost in a semi-private room (there was a sheer curtain separating it from the rest of the dining room) which was very cool. We were able to be goofy, take photos, etc. while still not feeling completely isolated from the rest of the place. But of course at the end of the day, it’s more about food and service, isn’t it? So how was it?

Well, let’s just say that right after meeting our waiter, I knew this was going to be a great dinner. He welcomed us to the restaurant and said he hoped he could make our meal a memorable experience. So often during restaurant week the waiters seem annoyed that they’re working these shifts (as meals are typically discounted, obviously impacting their tips) but at Bistro du Midi they treated their customers just like they would on any other night – with respect and professionalism (actually our waiter even cracked a few jokes at some point, feeding off our goofiness, so it wasn’t “stuffy professional”). We got 2 bottles of wine to share (I had a sip of the white, sorry I don’t remember what Adam ordered) and enjoyed the Perducci red for the rest of the night.

The bread basket was unbelievable!! We devoured it in minutes – fucaccia with fresh oregano and super buttery bread sticks (is that how you refer to those guys? They were crunchy). The olive oil seemed particularly nutty too. Amazing start!

A few people (like Adam) ordered off their a la carte menu; I went with the restaurant week selections. Every single item sounded amazing but I chose the vegetarian items since it was my meatless Monday. :)

Eggplant & tomato dip with grilled fougasse

Yes, flash I know. I temporarily gave up on trying to take decent photos without it. It was dark in there. Better news – the appetizer was delicious! The eggplant was marinaded – something I didn’t expect but enjoyed nonetheless. This tasted almost smokey. Slightly too oily for my taste but I still polished off about half of it. Kyle got the same appetizer and raved about how amazing it was (and apparently he doesn’t even really like eggplant). Well done, BDM!

More bread – sweet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

For my entree, I ordered the goat cheese gnocchi, haricots verts and pistou

The name implied that the gnocchi was made of goat cheese (or at least included goat cheese) but it appeared that the goat cheese was just sprinkled on top. Our waiter clarified this previously so I wasn’t surprised about this, although I do believe the description is still misleading.

With that said, this was a wonderful dish. The pesto (or pestou in French :) ) was very fresh and light. You can’t tell from these photos but it was a very vibrant green which means that there was a high proportion of basil in the recipe (and I believe it was nutless/cheeseless – just basil, EVOO and garlic). The gnocchi themselves were also delicious – not too sticky, as often happens.ย  This dish tasted like comfort food yet wasn’t too heavy. I definitely ate more than half, trying to be mindful of another course coming. I would order this again in a heartbeat!

Last course – you knew that was coming – palette of Gianduja with hazelnut ice cream

Giaduja is a chocolate containing hazelnut paste and the dessert highlighted it in a mousse cake of sorts. It was ridiculously light and fluffy and to be honest I wasn’t a fan at the first bite (although my girlfriends – who all ordered the same dessert – were gushing over this). The hazelnut ice cream, however, I was in love with. It was super creamy with lots of crunchy hazelnut chunks. I ate the entire scoop first and then went back to the cake. I don’t like wasting cake for no reason. Surprisingly (or maybe not) after a few bites, it “grew” on me. I think it’s a solid dessert, I just typically prefer my chocolate desserts to be more intense which this was not.

Last little thing – complements of the chef – pistachio marzipan.

I had a tiny bite and didn’t finish it. It was obviously fresh but it’s just not my cup of tea. :)

Overall, we had a blast. Everyone really enjoyed their meals and the service was great. Bistro du Midi always focuses on local ingredients so the menu changes with the seasons. I think it’s well priced for the location and the quality of food and I can’t wait to go back there already! ๐Ÿ˜€

PS – for more restaurant reviews, check out my Restaurant Reviews page. Also, don’t forget to enter the Near East giveaway, if you haven’t already. Just a few days left to enter!!

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27 comments to Bistro du Midi – restaurant review

  • I am also a huge fan of the local option for RW. I haven’t made any reservations yet but hopefully I’ll be able to support one of the restaurants who support local food!

    I went to Bistro du Midi for Valentine’s Day and I’ll have to agree that the service is top-notch. I had such a wonderful dining experience there!

  • I *love* this restaurant! Their bread is absolutely incredible, and I remember that semi-private space. What a great place to go for RW!

  • This was a great night. The wine and the food were absolutely delicious, the service was great, and I loved the atmosphere of the place. I know Kyle and I will be back there soon!

  • Wow! Sounds fun!

    Do you mean Parducci red wine? If so, that’s my friend’s winery in Mendocino! Yay for drinking Cali wine at a French restaurant :)

  • this place sounds pretty good! glad you had a good time :)

  • way to be committed to meatless monday ๐Ÿ˜‰ looks like a great restaurant! the dip looks delish!

  • The breadsticks are grissini – I’ve made them at home. Love them!

    That eggplant and tomato dip looks fantastic, as does dessert!

    I’ve had some not great restaurant week experiences, so I’ve stopped going, but I definitely want to go here for dinner some time!

  • A meal out is always made 100 times better if you have a fab waitress/waiter!!! The dessert DOES look delicious xx

  • I need to check for restaurant week in Dallas, I’m sure there has to be one. That looks like a great place to dine.

  • All of the food looks amazing! and that dessert looks insane, yum!!

  • I love Bistro du Midi. I have had a few great meals there, and I love all of the outdoor space. It’s really close to my office too.

  • whoa that dip looks incredible. Marinated does sound different but not bad at all. I love when restaurants go out on a limb.

  • What a nice meal! I will be enjoying restaurant week on Sunday at Rialto. Not in the local category, but I booked before I knew there was such a thing. That’s ok though because I’m pretty sure the food will be still be amazing, and it’s the day before my birthday, and we’ll be dining with friends :)

  • Emily A

    I can’t believe Kyle not only ordered eggplant, but actually liked it. Sounds like it was a great place

  • I have a love/hate relationship with your restaurant reviews. I love them because they feature delicious food and great photos. I hate them because I know I will likely never go to the place you are reviewing, since you are on the East coast! Ahh!

    You are looking so blonde in these photos, Elina! Is it the lighting? I like it :)

  • Looks like you had a lovely dinner and quality time with friends: the best way to spend an evening!!!

    Pesto and pistou are actually two different sauces that are quite similar: pistou is a cold sauce made from cloves of garlic, fresh basil, and olive oil (plus sometimes cheese) whereas also contains pine nuts and a grated hard cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano. Pesto is Italian and pistou is French, from the Provence :)

  • I totally went to Bistro Du Midi for the last restaurant week in town and was totally impressed. LOVED it…and really loved the portion sizes. Just right, not too little or too much. Divine. Wine was amazing too. MMM.

  • sister inna

    that eggplant dish reminds me of something they used to have ( and maybe still do ) at zanzibar… do you remember ? i think you should recreate it and then invite me over for the tasting ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Wow, Elina, I was hanging on every word of this post. You had me at “local only,” then again at “fucaccia with fresh oregano and super buttery bread sticks.” Your gnocchi, goat cheese pistou looks super fresh, I can tell it was a vibrant green! Restaurant week sure is amazing. Will you go again?

  • Mmm, pistachio marzipan sounds delicous! Also, tell your dining companion I really like her lacy black shirt/dress.

  • Elina

    DessertForTwo – yes, sorry. I misspelled it. We love that winery!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Megan – how cool. I’ve never heard of that name. Good to know. :)

    Lara – I adjusted the light in that photo but yeah, I also got some highlights awhile back. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Marthe – thanks for this explanation. I had a feeling it was a bit different and not just a translation thing.

    Innz – sorry I don’t remember it. How about YOU make it and then invite me over since you seem to have extensive experience with it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Emily – Will do. :)

  • Everything looks wonderful, especially your gnocci!

    And I don’t think the 2 week restaurant week is too weird; it’s extended to labor day in ny!

  • This might be my dream meal. Seriously. I have been wanting all summer to make something simple out of tomato and eggplant, and gnocchi is one of my favorites (weirdly, I never make it at home, only order it in restaurants). And, anything with chocolate and hazelnut that is thick and mousse-y is my idea of the perfect dessert.

  • That looks lovely. I’m really missing restaurant week, although I am sure we must have something similar here in Chicago. Everything looks fantastic, especially dessert. I’m a sucker for chocolate and hazelnut.

    Also, Iโ€™m in the run for a recipe contest and would love, love, love your support. http://bit.ly/bXKr5j All you have to do is click that you โ€œlikeโ€ my video. Thanks!

  • […] Weโ€™re trying to have a monthly dinner going and this was our second outing (the first one was at Bistro du Midiโ€ฆ yeah, Iโ€™ve put myself in charge of organizing future dinners so we donโ€™t actually have 11 […]

  • I’m a bit late to comment on this but I LOVE Bistro du Midi!! It is hands down my favorite restaurant in Boston. They have great cocktails, wine list and the best pork rillette (sp?) and monk fish. Everything about this restaurant is amazing!

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