Last month we discovered the best mimosa brunch deal in town over at Love is Blind where a dollar gets you a long way. But over at Café Mistral, an extra $5 will get you unlimited mimosas poured throughout your entire meal all weekend long. Did we mention the orange juice is freshly squeezed? (That alone is normally $5.) Consider it mentioned.
You'll notice the surfboard in the dining room like a needle in a haystack. Café Mistral comes to you from one of the owners of Radio, Philippe Falca. An avid surfer who's traveled around the globe, Falca uses this board whenever there're big waves -- AKA when a hurricane is coming -- to get his waves on.
This is a family affair run by Falca and his uncle, Ernesto Rodriguez. The quaint French bistro, which is nestled South of Fifth, celebrated its one-year anniversary this past July. Its origins are in Falca's mother's marriage to a Frenchman. This prompted the restaurateur to spend quite some time in the Country of Love before making his way to Miami.
On a recent Sunday, there wasn't an empty seat in the bistro. There were also not that many seats, which was nice. In the open kitchen of sorts, cooks moved around in the petite space that's accessible only through a spiral staircase.
Food doesn't take the stairs. It's sent down through an ingenious dumbwaiter. Café Mistral's version, made from a garage door, is exposed and provides visual entertainment. Waiting for your food has never been so suspenseful.
Speaking of food, the bistro takes huge pride in all of its produce. Rodriguez tells us they get deliveries twice a day, ensuring they have the freshest, most sustainable and local ingredients. Meat is grass fed, milk comes direct from Florida farms, and veggies are all local and organic. "For us to be a true neighborhood bistro in this neighborhood where people have options like Milo's we have to have the highest quality of ingredients possible," says Rodriguez.
Cafe Mistral recently changed their Saturday and Sunday brunch menu offerings. For $35, you get a choice of one appetizer, entree and limitless pourings of French press coffee or cappuccino. Up the ante five bucks to $40 and you can have your brunch with bottomless mimosas or passion fruit bellinis.
Whatever you do, order the
spinach kale and artichoke dip served with French baguette. It's one of the best dips I've ever had, and the use of trendy kale is genius.
Your other appetizer options include homemade granola with fruit and yogurt served in a mason glass and banana nut pancakes. The latter is probably more fitting for Sunday brunch when you're looking for something to soak up the previous nights festivities.
Whenever I see homemade Belgian waffles on a menu, there's no way I pass up the opportunity. So when our waiter told us the waffle maker stopped working, we were way sad. Our frown turned upside down when fresh waffles with bacon arrived after Rodriguez fixed the appliance. Ingenious and delicious.
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The quintessential brunch dish, eggs benedict, forgoes the English muffin and instead gets a Zak the Baker bread update. What more could you possibly want?
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha