Foodie News

Artists at work: Le Mistral brothers are bringing French flair to Midtown with a new restaurant

Artists at work: Le Mistral brothers are bringing French flair to Midtown with a new restaurant

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After 10 years of redefining French cuisine in the Energy Corridor, the talented brothers behind Le Mistral are setting up shop downtown with Artisans.

David Denis will be joining forces with Jacques Fox in the kitchen, with brother Sylvain Denis serving as sommelier and maitre d'hotel. Fox and Denis worked together years ago at the University of Houston, and they say that the new restaurant is the realization of a long-held desire to collaborate again when the opportunity arose.

As the name implies, Artisans will focus on everything local and hand-crafted, says project manager Claire Papp. That means a tightly-focused and frequently changing menu with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients. The cuisine is described as "French eclectic," with Denis and Fox taking French dishes and infusing them with a Texan or American twist.

In lieu of white tablecloths, expect plenty of natural materials, like tabletops made of wood and granite, a glass-encased bar space and an imposing, wooden fin de siècle hostess stand.

Artisans is taking shape at The Mix in Midtown, the mixed-use building that already houses Sushi Raku and Piola. Designed by Austin's Michael Hsu Office of Architecture (which is also behind Raku and Houston's Uchi), the space is oriented around a large, open kitchen — and not just any open kitchen.

The diners are separated from the chefs by an enormous bar railing that will actually double as a table to eat at. Even the private dining room will be installed with one-way windows to watch the chefs at work, and the rest of the dining room and bar will also have views of the kitchen.

Artisans is scheduled to open in mid-January. Are you looking forward to it?