Recently I had the pleasure of dining at Mimi’s Cafe to experience their new French inspired menu launch media event with the lady of the hour – Executive Chef Kathyrn (Katie) Sutton. Such an honor! The delicious evening commenced with classic French cocktails, sampling of the latest menu items, and ending on a sweet note.
President Phil Costner is driving innovation, change and bringing joie de vivre back to the Orange County, Calif.-based restaurant group with Executive Chef Katie french inspired dishes. As a graduate of the renowned French Culinary Institute, Executive Chef Katie has led the team in the most extensive menu re-launch in the brand’s history, following the company’s acquisition by Le Duff America, Inc. in February 2013.
The mouth-watering and stunning food photography has been graciously shared by the talented Mr. Trung Nguyenof The Bokeh Studio. Check out his extensive portfolio and contact details for bringing the magic in your next event on his website.
It isn’t French if the evening doesn’t begin with sparkling wine. St. Germain liqueur and Cava cheers, followed with choice of Cadet d Oc Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, Geyser Peak Sauvigon Blanc, and Mirassou Pinot Noir. Cheers friends!
For the appetizers we shared Mussels à la Mimi’s, Artisan Baked Brie, and Petite Seafood Crepe. The Mussels à la Mimi’s steamed in white wine, garlic and fresh herbs, served with garlic French baguette croutons was perfectly cooked. The Petite Seafood Crepe with homemade herb crêpe with sautéed shrimp, scallops and spinach in a savory, creamy lobster sauce was an elegant starter. The crêpe was light and fluffy, the sauce creamy, all in all a classic french sublime dish. Artisan Baked Brie: warm, brie with French baguette croutons, tart apple slices and apricot chutney, need I say more?
Our dinner service commenced with our choice of soup or salad. A little birdie (Chef Katie) whispered Mimi’s Pumpkin Bisque. As I had the privilege of sitting next to fellow foodies, we ordered a variety of soups to share. The Pumpkin Bisque topped with cranberries and bacon, kissed with fall spices was brilliant. Luscious and comforting, I wanted to ask for seconds but refrained since we had more divine dishes in front of us….Mimi’s Original Corn Chowder was fresh, creamy, and comforting. Another unanimous winner! My husband chose to order his favorite soup that I usually make for him – Roasted Tomato & Basil Bisque. His response sums it all – “This is as good if not better than yours Rashmi”. Bravo Chef Katie!
Even though I was in French haven, I anticipated Chef Katie’s had a few more surprises for us mortals, who were trying unsuccessfully from licking their bowls and plates clean….
Our main course, a tough choice considering the myriad of choices on our menu consisted of Coq au Vin, Pasta Carbonara à la Mimi’s, Bistro Bavette Steak, Tournedos du Boeuf, and Le Burger de Madame. The wildly popular French Classic, Coq au Vin was the shining star of the evening. Beautiful caramelization rendered by searing the meat in a hot skillet prior to adding rest of the ingredients to simmer served with its rich and juicy sauce, oh it was divine!! Look at the gorgeous color and presentation? A picture is word a thousand words and The Bokeh Studio’s photo is breathtaking.
Both the steak dishes, Tournedos du Boeuf and Bistro Bavette Steak were perfectly cooked, served with brussel sprouts, and bordelaise or béarnaise sauce, scrumptious!!
I hate to bunch these stunning photographs together but in fear of running the blog post too long, I might have had no choice. The Pasta Carbanora à la Mimi’s was cooked al dente. Fresh linguine tossed with diced prosciutto, aged Parmesan, petite pois (peas) and a light chardonnay sauce, topped with a fried egg, a tad salty nonetheless delightful. The Burger de Madame was aptly described as the Grande Dame of all burgers. Toasted brioche bun, hickory-smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, crisp lettuce, fresh tomatoes, red onions, pickles, Mimi’s original Thousand Island dressing, and fried egg, simply irresistible!
The ambrosial evening ended with a sampling of breakfast waffles since Chef Katie is still developing their new dessert menu. Bacon Apple Waffle, you had me at bacon? Strawberry Waffle Perdu – cream cheese and orange marmalade filled petite waffles topped with fresh strawberry sauce, sinful!
The evening was perfect! Ideal location, fresh and authentic French cuisine, friendly service, did I mention DELICIOUS French dishes? Yes, French cuisine is my weakness. I wish Mimi’s Cafe all the best in their latest and tasty endeavours. With Chef Katie heading the culinary team, Mimi’s Cafe is paving the path to your favorite neighborhood bistro.