A New Favorite: Mintwood Place

Apr 20, 2013 by

A New Favorite: Mintwood Place

After a couple recent visits to Mintwood Place, it has gotten under my skin and left a very memorable impression.

Disclaimer:  getting a reservation is kind of a game that you have to be willing to play and part of it probably isn’t within their control, but I am sure it will be a turn off to some people.  The skinny is look on their website, if it is booked up and you really want to go check back about a couple of hours to an hour before you want to go as there seem to be a lot of cancellations, and they don’t seem to track them well when you call.

As has become typical with most things French for some reason I tend to get good service that is very in line with my personal style.  On a hopping Saturday night I headed out with a girlfriend, on the way we had what I can only describe as the most annoying cab ride I have had in all recent memory.  Luckily we sat down to a courteous wait staff who plied us with good wine and allowed us to take our time and settle in to the menu.  We had the warm olives, which were distinct from most warm olives I had ordered, they were in what I would describe as a roasted red pepper sauce with capers and herbs.  The house bread is perfectly french, crusty and soft rustic style with warm, soft butter.

After a couple of visits here is my review of part of the menu:  The escargot hushpuppies are worth the rave- they encompass what escargot lovers adore the flavor of butter, garlic and snail without the texture that many dislike in the dish, although definitely a dish you want to share as they are filling.  The beet mountain pie is reminiscent of the crustless sandwich pods you used to make in those old grilled cheese makers, except elevated, the pocket of crisp, but tender dough is filled with smooth goat cheese and earthy beets, on top of a salad layered with lettuce and thin slices of beets, the dish is light, but at the same time comforting and filling.

The octopus is crisp, but not at all tough and the flavor is grilled and meaty.  The roasted vegetable sides on the menu are real winners, I love both the broccoli, pea shoots and broccolini and the wax beans, both just taste simple and wonderfully crisp, but tender and perfect.

The roast pork for two is lovely succulent, perfectly cooked pork with a brown sauce that is just lovely and flavorful.  The bolognese is piled high with parmesan and is decadent, but oh so good, enough to feed two though.  Many of the servings are quite big, but leftovers aren’t necessarily a bad thing, neither is sharing.  The desserts are classic, but made in a modern way and just amazing, the key lime pie is tangy, with a perfect crust and very appropriate and classic filling without too much whip cream or other unnecessary items.

On a night out here with my brother and his lovely wife, I felt so bad as I had to leave early due to a headache.  Afterwards my big regret was there was no dessert ordered and packed up for me to eat later, as my other leftovers were so good.  But on that trip not wanting to drink due to my headache I learned their non-alcoholic cocktails and sodas were really good, the lemongrass soda was really refreshing and I loved the ginger fizz.  Another great detail was their hot tea service which has very good teas and I like the pot and cups used.

Sometimes it is a bit hard to manage all the plates on the smaller tables, but what a problem to have to have, juggling  excellent food.  I have found the service to be nothing but professional and very smooth, with my first visit having a waiter that I just adored.  Not a large place, and not an easy place to find street parking, with no close garages or valet, but worth the effort.  The food has creativity paired with simplicity that just is strikingly good here.  It was present in the chef’s cooking at previous establishments and shines here, as well.  It is a French restaurant but I find many of the items rustic dishes familiar to most Americans with classic french technique used, I can definitely get behind that though.

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