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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Houston
Food
Feel
Price
8.3
8.5
$75
French
Upmarket restaurant

Hours
Mon–Thu 11:00am–2:00pm
Mon–Thu 5:30pm–10:00pm
Fri 11:00am–2:00pm
Fri 5:30pm–11:00pm
Sat 5:30pm–11:00pm
Sun 11:00am–2:00pm
Sun 5:00pm–10:00pm

Features Date-friendly, good wines, live music, outdoor dining, Wi-Fi
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted

www.lemistralhouston.com

West Houston
1420 Eldridge Pkwy.
Houston, TX
(832) 379-8322
Le Mistral
Provence by way of the Energy Corridor

Le Mistral’s in a location that seems puzzling—flanked between gas stations in the Energy Corridor—until you consider that many Western Europeans are brought here by oil business. And then it makes sense, even if its move to the larger, more contemporary space next door makes the food taste somehow less Provençal and more suburban. While it’s gorgeous and the kitchen is state-of-the-art, everything seemed a little more authentic, a little more careful at the intimate original.

Still, you’ll hear the co-owner/sommelier conversing with customers in French while his brother cooks in the back, and the bright yellow curtains keep the world of parking lots and refineries a safe distance away. And the food is as soul-warming as ever. French onion soup is addictive, its beef stock deep and rich, its onions adding a brown, caramelized taste that’s exactly as it should be, the Gruyère melting in an exemplary fashion. A Provençal lamb stew comes laced with the unexpected brightness of preserved lemons, and a duo of duck leg confit and pan-seared duck breast is gorgeous. For brunch, the béchamel-rich croque madame is a flawless meld of ham, cheese, egg, and crusty bread. Pass up the obligatory Napa heavy-hitters on the wine list—you wanted to be transported to France, otherwise you wouldn’t be here.

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