It’s widely known that French women don’t get fat, even though they eat lots of carbs and butter. I know this because there was a very popular book by the same name that said so, and the general perception seems to be that Parisiens are so much better at life than we Americans are. French women live to eat and enjoy the meal in front of them, unlike the American women who eat salads at their desks and get sad about eating a cookie.
MIMI, a new French bistro in Greenwich Village, is a celebration of the French gastronome who never denies herself and looks effortlessly chic while doing so. The small, attractive bistro with the requisite sidewalk seating looks like it would fit right in on the streets of Paris. The style of cooking is more on trend with the modern bistros like Roseval and Timbre in Paris, where traditional flavors are inspirations but not the sole ones, although Mimi very much embraces the rich tradition of butter and fat that she was born into. A madai fish that we ordered came dressed in a brown butter sauce that made it seem like I was eating candied sashimi. It was a small portion but each bite was so dense that we needed to take our time with it. The pork chops special of the day arrived in hefty fashion, looking more like a meaty, generously marbled porterhouse that you would get at a Peter Luger, and it certainly tasted that way. Some pieces tasted more like melty pork belly, whereas other parts tasted more like a loin, but you really couldn’t get away from the fat. Not that I was complaining. I really was enjoying this French woman diet, although between the pork chops, the madai, and the incredibly dense lamb liver, I was not feeling chic and skinny by any means.
I barely had room for dessert, but I feel like it wouldn’t have been very French of me to pass on one, so we ordered the baba au rhum. The cake arrived with a small bottle of Diplomatico rum in tow so that we could spike to our liking, but all the liquer in the world couldn’t have saved this sad, dry dessert. French women eat mindfully and know when to stop, so we put our forks down and grabbed the check. I loved indulging for the night, but I was ready to go back to my NYC diet.
185 Sullivan St (between Bleecker and West Houston St)
New York, NY 10012