In a world of too many choices, there’s something comforting in the simplicity of a concise prix-fixe menu. At Mijoté, a new French bistro in the Mission, the nightly dinner is just four courses and two optional supplements. Mijoté’s husband and wife team of Chef Kosuke Tada and Grace Mitchell Tada have transformed a former sushi restaurant spot into a cozy space that mirrors the feel of the food – upscale, yet simple and approachable.
Natural wine is also a focus, no doubt influenced by the Tada’s long running prior pop-up at Ordinaire, a natural wine bar in Oakland. The selection looked mostly Californian and French, and I went with a refreshing glass of dry, mineral sparkling rosé from the Loire Valley.
As for the food, I enjoyed the flavors, but felt like each course left me wanting a tad more in the execution. The meal started with a warming mushroom soup amuse-bouche. Next was thick-sliced raw albacore tuna with eggplant purée – lovely, but I craved more brightness. The scallop course wasn’t too memorable, but still enjoyable with fluffy bread to soak up the extra sauce.
A single lobster supplement was generous enough to share for two, with plenty of decadent sauce dramatically spooned table-side. The summer squash seemed out of place with the lobster though. The final savory course of chicken was served two ways, the dark meat had an enjoyably crispy skin that outshone the bland breast.
Dessert was a highlight of celery ice cream and fresh melon, decorated with a celery tuile. I enjoyed the unique and harmonious mix of savory green notes, with restrained sweetness and crunchy texture contrast.
Overall the meal was positive, just left a little something to be desired. Service felt similar as well. As the menu changes daily, perhaps I caught them on an off day. I can see a more casual la carte format also doing well, especially given the wine focus – light bites and leisurely glasses of wine outdoors would be lovely!