Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Le Mistral

There is nowt special about Wirksworth. It's a reasonably picturesque Derbyshire village with a kebab shop, a chippy, and a couple of bog-standard pubs. It's not like Hebden Bridge or Hathersage, where you can buy lucques olives on every corner and munch organic free-range special breed pork sausages with herb and mustard mash in a gastropub surrounded by people who moved there from the South when the commute and the fetid stench of rampant Toryism got too much.

It's just a normal little town in Great Britain.

That is why Le Mistral on Wirksworth high street is such a little gem. A metropolitan reviewer might sneer at its Mediterranean/Bistro stylings, wince at the fridge cold butter,

or raise an eyebrow at the friendly informality of service. They'd be missing the point, and missing a treat. Jarek Ossowicki has put together a reasonably priced, interesting menu, and an unpretentious wine list, in a relaxed setting that works in a variety of ways. I'd go to Le Mistral for a mid-week treat, or a valentine's dinner, or

even for a glass of wine on a Friday night as a more grown up alternative to the Sky sports dominated pub scene.

A mixed antipasti plate for two almost fills us up with perhaps not the finest quality jamon iberico, but certainly value for money. Duck and pork mains from the special board come roasted with generous smooth mash and rich herby gravy.

The bill isn't very much, and we finish our wine while listening with a sense of recognition and nostalgia to the Waitress telling her mother's friends about how she has been

saving up for a trip to do volunteer work in South America before she goes to university. We leave a good tip.

1 comment:

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