Mistral meal is a gourmet delight perched on one of the most spectacular settings of about any restaurant you will find. The food is first class and the wine list extensive and reasonably priced.
Disappointment: The write up of their 'menu degustation' talks about applying 'molecular cooking' to the 'Italian cuisine'. It was all delicious, but not overly 'Italian'. It started with 'guacamole ice cream' (Mexican), included a number of items that didn't seem to have any particular provenance, and the chef hadn't concocted anything at all to do with the most Italian dish of all - pasta. Go figure.
Just the best venue location in the best town location on Lake Como. Stunning. The setting is nicely amplified by dramatically large sliding glass-panel walls which provide a 270 degree view. Villa Serbelloni have really made the most of this distinctive feature.
Throughout the meal, the service managed that delicate balance of relaxed affability with attentiveness. Disappointment: We asked for a seat by the window which we were not given until we asked for it again. Not a great start to the service.
Mistral's biggest weakness is its start and finish. $100 for a couple of cocktails (no problem), but the accompaniment they serve is potato chips and peanuts. I get better nibbles on airplanes. This characteristic carried over to the main meal. Despite the memorable menu degustation, it started with tired bread (they claim is was baked there, but it was still dry and flavourless) and finished with pedestrian petit fours. Note to chef: the first and last impressions are the most important and yours are decidedly bland.
After dinner, we retired to the lounge which sparkled with colour and luxury for our coffees and the treat of a quality string trio.
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