At this point, Mimi in New York City is on pretty much everyone’s list. It’s the new French restaurant in Greenwich Village whose kitchen is run by 25-year-old Liz Johnson. Tom Colicchio wants to be her. GQ called Mimi one of the best restaurants on 2016. Now, New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells is weighing in, and is joining in on the enthusiasm…with caveats.
The restaurant took a little while to find its footing. Critics had taken their time getting to Mimi and each review seemed to be better than the one before it. So Wells bided his time. On his firs two trips, he said the food tasted like it had come from two kitchens: “one in which superb ingredients lined up and did exactly what she told them to do and another in which the clocks were broken.” Some dishes were excellent. “Very gently crisped eel and fleshy yellow peaches went with a strong mustard sauce that sent fumes up the back of [his] nose, and the combination made neural pathways begin firing that had never seen action before.” Others were undercooked. Often, the kitchen ran out of certain menu items altogether early in the evening.
While ordering the correct amount of food is something Mimi still needs to work out, on Wells’ third visit, every dish came out of the good kitchen. “At the start of dinner there were crisp spring peas in a creamy and stealthily spicy sauce. Above this were three raw spot prawns, as good as I’ve had in any sushi bar. Their heads had been fried and lined up on a plate like helmets at a biker bar.” Other menu highlights included pork rillettes, madai in brown butter, slow-roasted lamb, and roast chicken.
For dessert, there is a “dark and fluffy chocolate tart, so pleasurable it must have been a reward for some good deed [Wells had] done by mistake.” There is also a “baba au rhum that is more lavishly creamy than most.” In terms of drinks, wells Lauds the “unstuffy” cocktails, and a wine list that’s “more interesting than most.”
In other words, if you were going to go to Mimi, now is the time. it’s ready for you. Overall? One star.
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