MIMI is the type of place that I would like to see more of. Located on a quiet street in Greenwich Village, it has the charming neighborhood feel while serving some ambitious modern take on French bistro food. I’m always excited whenever I find a gem that nobody is talking about, and MIMI certainly deserves that recognition. My recent meal on a Saturday evening was quite enjoyable.
The menu at MIMI looks like all the classic French bistro dishes you’d expect to see, but I was very pleased with the way the kitchen gave a modern twist. Madai (red sea bream) came raw like crudo, and the combination with brown butter and lemon condiment created a very nice balance of flavor and texture. I wasn’t inclined to choose gnocchi but was intrigued when the one at MIMI has Hokkaido sea urchin and white asparagus. It turned out to be another delightful dish that my dining companion and I quickly finished in minutes. The gnocchi was silky smooth and the texture was further enhanced with sea urchin and the crisp asparagus while flavor wasn’t overpowering. Kohada (a herring-type fish) on top of crispy white asparagus and gricibhe that the kitchen served for free was also a nice bite.
The main dishes were slightly more predictable but I thought both were still executed well. Mediterranean turbot (which one of the servers showed in entirety before bringing in carved dish) came with clams, spinach and trumpet royale mushroom. The fish was nicely cooked and the overall flavor was again not too heavy. Roast chicken was also solid, accompanied by potato dumpling, mustard and escarole. I wouldn’t call it the best chicken dish in the city, but the meat was tender and the combination with potato dumpling was a pleasant surprise to my palate. The best dish of the night, however, came at the end. I’m not really a soufflé person, but you have to try the speculaas soufflé for two at MIMI if it is available. It took the kitchen 20 minutes to prepare it, but the wait was totally worth it. It was pure bliss, with rich flavor of speculaas (a type of biscuit) cream that permeated inside of the crust. I haven’t had a soufflé quite like this in my life, period! Even though we were beyond full, we just couldn’t stop eating this dish till the very end.
The restaurant has a full bar with some nice French-centric wine selections. Getting a reservation wasn’t particularly hard, although the space became full throughout the course of my meal. Given the tiny size of dining space, making a reservation in advance should be a smart decision. I was very fond of the cozy neighborhood vibe of this place that seems to be filled mostly with locals in the vicinity, not some loud tourists. MIMI is definitely a destination worth considering if you want to try a new French bistro that will bring a delightful dining experience.
- Creativity: 8.0/10
- Execution: 8.0/10
- Ingredients: 7.5/10
- Flavor: 8.5/10
- Texture: 8.0/10
Address: 185 Sullivan Street, New York, NY 10012
Telephone: (212) 418-1260