We decided to visit Le Mistral on a cold Friday night as we are a big fans of French cuisine. What was quite striking was that the menu wasn't pre-dominantly filled with French dishes. Many of these dishes seemed to be constructed around rice as the chief carbohydrate and there was distinct Italian fusion on others.
The wine list was fairly varied with a respectable choice of reds and whites from the major wine growing regions around the world. We enjoyed a very palatable Valpolicella which was reasonably priced.
The restaurant itself achieved the relaxed and friendly atmosphere it claims to possess. We found the waiting staff to be very cheerful, friendly and warm at all times. The decor is best described as trendy and bit a quirky and we enjoyed the laid back French music which filled the long dining room.
For starter King Prawns in tempura batter with chilli sauce which was ok. The sauce was good along with the linguine and vegetable accompaniment, but the batter was slightly soggy and not crisp enough. My girlfriend enjoyed her French Onion Soup which was tasty. For main I would describe my Beef Stroganof as average. The meat was flavoursome but the rest of the dish lacked any real flavour. My girlfriend ordered the risotto but also found it lacking in flavour and slightly stodgy. We both had the creme brulée for dessert which was pleasant but was close to being overcooked.
The only potential issue I had was that my main of Beef Stroganof was served with a pitiful portion of meat. However the waitress noticed and rectified this immediately, returning the dish back to me with a fairer portion. Shame on the chef though for thinking 3 tiny slivers of beef would be acceptable at the price they were asking!
On the whole we found the waiting staff were great and enjoyed the choice of wine available. It seems that standards and practices may slip at certain times in the kitchen which could let them down. If I was in Bakewell again I would pop in for a glass of wine and a bite to eat, but not sure I would encourage anyone to travel out of their way for the acceptable but unmemorable food.
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