The decor at Mistral is understated: cream walls, leggy chandeliers, white tablecloths. The most striking design element is a large, ornamental clock on one wall, featuring Roman numerals but no hands.
This is fitting. Time hasn’t changed much inside the French-inspired restaurant since it opened 15 years ago. But time has changed around it. In the late ’90s, things were flush. Boston’s fine-dining scene was blossoming. There were expense accounts and expensive wine lists on which to unleash them. Mistral was hailed as the hottest table in town. All the people there looked like celebrities or were, marveled the food and fashion writers. Everyone wore black. It was so New York!