Restaurant Review - Joanne

Restaurant Mirepoix

275 Windsor River Road
Windsor, CA 95492
Phone: (707) 838-0162

Dinner - August 2004

We had a early reservation of 6pm. As we entered we were greeted and offered us a pick of 3 tables set for 2. We chose the roomy corner table near the door, which we sat at last time we were there. The menus were presented and we were struck speechless as the wine list was explained to us - that the 375ml beside a bottle meant it was a *half* bottle and the price in the column which said glass meant it was for a *glass* of wine. There was no overture of an offer to explain, just the unwanted dittany. You wonder what kind of people have read this wine list before and misunderstood? Is most of their clientele tourists who’ve never eaten in a restaurant with a wine list? We felt treated as if we were teenagers ordering their first bottle of wine.

Now the food. I ordered the Salad with Arugula and Point Reyes blue with Peaches. Jack ordered the Heirloom tomato and Charlyn melon salad. Both were good, but the peaches in mine were under-ripe and there was a lot of dressing on the salad. Jack’s salad was dressed in a basil pesto like dressing which was also very good. The elements of both appetizers were not exciting or exemplary on their own. The dressings were very good – but also overstated. So if you did not like the dressing the dish would be ruined for you. Entrees were in a similar state. I ordered the Chicken stew with potatoes and Jack ordered the Wild Alaskan King Salmon (the only entrée with a source attached). Both dishes were lackluster without their sauce. Unfortunately my sauce did not win me over. The Chicken was on the dry side, the potatoes a little too firm and no element of the dish was standout.

Dessert was a small unexciting list of chocolate cake, plum and peach crumble, butterscotch pudding and sorbet (strawberry). We opted for the crumble and the pudding. The pudding served in a wine glass was great. Not over the top in any way but comforting as you would expect from pudding. The crumble was a disaster. The topping was tasty but there was not very much of it and the fruit underneath languished in a pool of sugary juice, sloppy and undercooked and sugary. Jack finished the topping and left the rest. We opted for a chocolate cake to go (for babysitters) and they enjoyed what was cocoa based not too rich cake. It would have been a one biter at best for the two of us.

Jack summed up the dinner by mentioning when we got home what we had for a snack: It wasn’t that we didn’t have enough to eat it was that the food did not satisfy us. We wanted great when we paid for someone to cook for us, not just okay.


Note: Recently, Mirepoix has switched to a French Bistro-style menu. Look for a new review this Summer or Fall, 2007.

New Year's Eve Menu Dec 31, 2004
Eighty-Five Dollars per Person

First Course
Northwest Oysters with a Fennel-Meyer Lemon Gelee, Cucumber Salad, Baby Dill and a Red Pepper Mignonette
The oysters while perfect out of their shells were overwhelmed by the red pepper mignonette, which was more like a puree. The fennel-meyer lemon gelee was too delicate against the mignonette (which could scarcely be avoided as the oysters lay naked on top) and the flavors where completely lost to me.

Foie Gras Terrine with a Quince Confit, Lemon Thyme, Crispy Shallots, Toasted Brioche and a Black Pepper Gastrique
Jack had this – I had only a bite. The foie gras quality was excellent, flavor fresh and buttery with crunchy bits of salt. The quince oddly looked like apple puree… Jack will have to comment further…

Second Course
Roasted Mushroom Soup with Braised Rabbit, Sage, Mustard Crème Fraiche and a Walnut Fritter
My Choice & Jack’s. SALTY and a little thick to my taste. The walnut fritter was interesting – like a more bread-like quenelle. The rabbit was tasty but I had a piece of bone which I had to spit out. The chanterelles looked lovely but the mushroomy taste was unbalanced by the salt.

Baby Beet Tart with Vanilla Bean Oil, Grilled Flatbread, Goat Cheese, Mâche and a Parsley Coulis
We didn’t have this. The presentation was lovely.

Third Course
Butter-Poached Rock Lobster and Celery Root Custard, House-Made Pancetta, Candied Tangerine and a Watercress Broth
Too many things going on where the lobster was star. Perfectly cooked and buttery but none of the hangers on really enhanced it. It would have been good just by itself. The house made pancetta buried at the bottom of the pile was excellent – but should have starred elsewhere.

Oven-Roasted Turbot with Winter Truffles, Caper Potatoes, Anchovy-Parsley Salad and an Olive Oil Broth
Jack had…

Fourth Course
Pan-Roasted Duck Breast with Braised Figs, Swiss Chard, Potato Blini, Caramelized Onion and a Port Wine Gastrique
Everything here was just fine except the blini which was a little crispy, greasy but wonderful potato pancake. The duck was good but not wonderful.

Grilled Rack of Lamb with a White Bean-Lamb Stew, Rosemary, Mirepoix, Pomegranate Syrup and a Natural Sauce
Jack had. I was surprised this dish was served on a plate or I might have ordered it too.

Dessert Selections

Meyer Lemon & Lavender Tart
With a caramelized topping that was albeit burned. The lemon custard was tart and sweet, the pastry looked a but dense – If it had been my dessert I would have more comments…
Butterscotch Pudding with Whipped Cream
Served in a wine glass. Very delicately butterscotch and fluffy but most definitely pudding. Nothing to complain about. A simple dessert nicely done.
Saddened Chocolate Cake with Crème Anglaise & Ice Cream
We had these to go. Pretty standard dessert.


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