8127 Mesa Drive
Austin, TX 78759
Phone: (512) 346-7900
Hours: Brunch: Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Lunch: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Dinner: Sun.-Thurs. 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
Bistrot Mirabelle is a cozy French-inspired spot that is a reinvention of the restaurant formerly known merely as Mirabelle. The remade Mirabelle drips with dim lighting, dark woods, and crimson walls. The result is a warm, inviting spot with the feel of a European bistro, which, despite a few blips, holds much promise and makes me eager to visit again.
We visited Bistrot Mirabelle on a busy Friday evening. We had previously visited its predecessor restaurant, and immediately upon arriving, noted that the reinvented Mirabelle is much warmer and cozier than its predecessor. From the hostess to the manager to our waitress, we also noted that the service at the new Mirabelle was friendly, eager, and warm. Perhaps the best example was, when we ordered glasses of wine, the bottles were brought to the table for us to sample before the full glasses were poured. A simple touch, but certainly a nice one.
We started out our meal with the mussels. They arrived beautifully presented in a white wine and shallot sauce and accompanied by a smattering of herbed pommes frites. Despite the inviting service, the mussels gave us a bit of pause about our meal. The problem with the mussels was the unevenness of the dish. Some bites tasted solely of butter, lacking any bite or balance. Other bites, which had benefit of more shallot and thyme, were quite good. Thus, although the dish was not a success overall, it was so close, that with a snap of fine-tuning, it could likely be quite good.
Any nervousness we had about our meal was swept aside by our entrees. First, we tried the Pan Roasted Trout Meuniere. The trout was expertly roasted to flaky perfection. The trout was served with a rich lemon caper butter, which paired quite nicely with the creamy whipped potatoes below. The only disappointment with this dish (albeit very slight) was that the lemon slices accompanying the trout arrived without rinds, making them quite difficult to squeeze them. The burst of citrus seriously benefited the trout, and I found myself wishing I had a more usable lemon wedge. The dish was finished with crispy, fresh green beans, which offered a nice crunch to complement the flakiness of the fish and creaminess of the potatoes.
The star of our meal was definitely the coq au vin. The chicken was cooked to a point that it literally fell off the bone. The red wine sauce in which the chicken was braised included wild mushrooms, bacon, and shallots. Not only was the dish tender, but it was also rich, earthy, and delicious.
We finished our meal with a delicious creme brulee. The dessert was perfectly topped with a thick shell of glaze, which burst open to reveal a decadent, flavorful creme. The accompanying cookies were the perfect counterpart, particularly since they were sweetened with restraint.
Although there may have been a blip or two in our meal, the overall experience was certainly a pleasant one. Bistrot Mirabelle truly is reminiscent of a neighborhood bistro in Paris. There is a warmth, care, and comfort to the food, service, and decor that makes it the sort of place you want to make a regular spot. I look forward to visiting again, as the eagerness to please and obvious talent in the kitchen ensure that this place will only get better.