Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Brunch at Miel

Sunday, June 19th marked my sisters 25th Birthday and a more widely celebrated holiday, Fathers Day! The dual family celebration commenced with a brunch bigger and better than anyone of us expected, followed by a leisurely stroll along the Boston Harborwalk and a bottle of bubbly on my roof deck.
Hands down, Miel Brasserie Provençal tops the brunching experience in Boston. Exquisite organic cuisine celebrating France's Côte d’Azur region is served overlooking Boston Harbor's Fort Point Channel and The Intercontinental Hotel's gardens. Situated in between utterly charming landscapes, the aforementioned waterfront and The Rose Kennedy Greenway, The InterContinental Boston reflects all kinds of elegance beginning with its stunning blue glass and polished granite exterior right down to the macaroon trees offered at Miel's brunch buffet. Yes, I said macaroon tree. It blossomed with the soft chewy French delicacies in flavors of raspberry, hazelnut, vanilla, chocolate and more. But we'll get to that in a moment....

We arrived promptly for our 12pm reservation where a host greeted us warmly but wasn't able to seat us just yet. He disappeared into the restaurant. A different hostess appeared and spoke on the phone before looking up to inquire about our parties reservation. At the same time host #1 returned and attempted to seat us indoors. I politely reminded him we requested to sit outside. He looked rather confused and slightly bothered. While the interior looked picture perfectly inviting, it was a gorgeous day outside and we wanted to take full advantage. The hostess then jumped in to explain you can not make reservations for the terrace, it is a first come first serve basis. I understand this is typical of restaurants with outdoor seating. Confusion on my part was due to the conformation statement "You're all set for a party 5 on the terrace at 12pm" spoken when I made my reservation earlier in the week. Regardless, I again asked if were possible to be seated outside?? Turns out, we could be! Turns out, there were a number of open tables on the terrace, at least five or six. Outdoor seating policy is a moot point if you have enough open tables! Correct? Not to mention if you are an establishment advertising your outdoor dining space, you probably shouldn't make customers feel strange when they request to sit outside. Basically, it was a cluster of an arrival that I felt should have gone a lot smoother. However, our service from there on out was just the opposite; the waiters were charming, the execution of courses well timed and plates and silverware were cleared promptly after every course. When our waiter took the time to explain how brunching at Miel works, jaws dropped and excitement bubbled over. For $32 a person you have full access to the buffet as well as your choice of two entrees.

Not one, but two! Can't decide between savory and sweet? Get one of each! Want your Eggs Benedict and waffles, too? Then this is where you need to be brunching. The entrees are scaled down versions of a typical brunch entree, but still. Meanwhile, this is no ordinary buffet. There are your typical breakfast options including scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, buttermilk pancakes, steel cut oats and a made-to-order omlets. I steered clear of these (remember: two entrees) and went straight for the cheese, fruits and vegetables. The French cheese board was outstanding, offering a serious variety of impeccable cheeses along with golden raisins, bunches of grapes and sesame breadsticks. The berry platter stood out with notably the sweetest most plump blackberries I have ever tasted, juicy raspberries and fresh strawberries. The melons were also in attendance with perfectly cut pieces of honeydew, watermelon and cantaloupe. A roasted vegetable platter from which I'd recommend the asparagus and eggplants and a meat platter all beckoned with their limitless possibilities for pairings. The dessert bar was home to not only macaroon trees and macaroon flowers and macaroons on silver platters, but creme brulee, yougurt parfaits, mini eclairs, fruits tarts and more.I wanted to eat the macaroons by the handful. Like I said, I kept it light knowing full well what lied ahead. I should also mention juice and coffee are included in the fixed $32 price. Miel has a fabulous selection of breakfast cocktails, but in a rare moment, I didn't feel like imbibing.

I did have a sip of of my sisters French 75 ($14) made with gin, fresh lemon, granulated sugar and bubbles. It was an effervescent cocktail fit for a birthday girl.
For my first entree I decided on the Provencal Baked Eggs, a sunny side up egg blanketing a bowl of Ratatouille. This was excellent and definitely something different than what I am used to eating for brunch.

My Dad and my sisters boyfriend Tray were equally as impressed with their Steak and Eggs which came over truffled hash browns and sauteed spinach.

My Mom and Leah both choose the Crab Cake Benedict - a poached egg with spinach, shallots, and roasted red pepper hollandaise. They seemed to rave more than the rest of us, insisting we should probably all order it for our second entree. Suffering from a case of food envy? Not a problem, because you can order that entree next! The Benedict was tempting, but I had my heart set on a Crepe. The Crepe Au Chocolat Nutella with sauteed bananas to be precise. Crepes are one of my favorite things about France, I ate them almost daily when I was in Paris. This crepe was flawless, with a little nostalgia in every bite. Everyone else really enjoyed their second entree, from Leah's Grand Mariner French Toast with a honey orange glaze, to my Mom's Waffles Les Gauffres with blackberry compote, to Tray's Crepe Aux Fruits Rouge with sauteed berries and shaved white chocolate and lastly, my Dad's Lemon Marinated Salmon Tartare with avocado, black olive dust (so cool!) and tarragon creme fraiche. Between the five of us, we ate every entree on the menu short of the Crepe Jambon et Fromage. With cuisine remaining true to the region of Provencal France, Miel's brunch dishes are innovative and executed with precision. In addition, their brunch truly embodies the age old concept that variety is the spice of life. Come for the buffet, come for savory, come for sweet, come if you are the type of bruncher who can never make up your mind about what to order. I felt like we had it all at our disposal.
We were nothing short of impressed. It was great to spend a beautiful day in Boston with my family! A very Happy 25th Birthday and Fathers Day it was!
Miel Brasserie Provencale (InterContinental Boston Hotel) on Urbanspoon

33 comments:

Meghan@travelwinedine said...

The food looks beautiful. I have had dinner there a few times and loved it. Happy Birthday to your sister!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I had dinner here a few weeks ago and my friends and I were just talking about having to schedule brunch too. After reading your review, I am definitely going to plan for it sooner rather than later! Everything looks great, and a good value too. Plus a macaron tree?? I am so in :)

Boston Food Diary said...

Wow...that all sounds incredible- and with one of the best terraces? Awesome! Glad that they were able to figure out their seating scheme for you!

Shannon said...

oh. my. gosh. i need to go there!!! awesome. happy birthday sister :)

ps- i just had 3 weddings and a bachelorette party in the past 6 weeks, so i'm glad to be done!

Anonymous said...

I know a lot of folks who don’t eat eggs (they’re allergic, for health reasons, or concerns about animal cruelty). Here’s an awesome site that gives tips on cooking and baking without eggs: http://EggFreeLiving.com

In and Around Town said...

WOW - I want to go to there now! I was planning on doing brunch this weekend with my mom and think you just lead me to the perfect spot! That crepe looks delicious (not that I didn't indulge in way too much Nutella while in Greece!)

kitchenmisfit said...

Looks fabulous! And for such a swanky place the $32 price seems MORE than reasonable!

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

Wow, I'd totally overdo it here. And it would be heavenly. I could go for a nutella crepe roughly right about now!

Ché @ Knight at the Restaurant said...

WOW that looks AMAZING!!

You know, they have Saturday morning yoga by the water...perhaps brunch would be an ideal way to follow...

Ameena said...

$32 for all those amazing dishes AND a macaron tree? What a fabulous deal. And I love how you mentioned that drinks were included. :) I bet neither of us will make that mistake again, right?

You look fantastic by the way. Happy Belated 25th to your sister.

Shannon said...

Wow... that seems like such a great deal. I think I may have to bring my folks here next time they're in town.

I love going to places like that with a larger group because there are lots of options for tasting ;)

Michelle Collins said...

I love outdoor dining and brunch - the two together?! Amazing!

Amber Blue Bird said...

that whole hostess episode would have totally rubbed me the wrong but at least the food was good. That crepe Au Chocolat Nutella looks so very good.

Megan said...

You sure know how to brunch! The eggs look fabulous!

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

LOVE Miel! Next time, try their complimentary olive oil tasting! SO good!

Kerstin said...

Wow, what a brunch! And I'm swooning over the macaroon tree. Happy bday to your sister!

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

never been to this restaurant but the dessert bar looks right u my alley! have you been to Sushiteq? I went years ago but remember loving it!

Melissa said...

2 entrees + a buffet? Brunch heaven! My family would love this!

Lazaro Cooks! said...

Awesome look. Love the yellow glasses.

Nnenna said...

I looove brunch and this place looks and sounds fantastic! What a wonderful way to celebrate a holiday =)

star-crossed smile

Andrea Reh said...

I've never tried Provencal Baked Eggs but I would like to try them!

Just discovered your blog and I would love it if you popped by mine sometime.

Andrea x
andreareh.blogspot.com

Melissa said...

Wow, that's quite the spread! It sounds delicious! Happy Birthday to your sister!

Elizabeth said...

That is so much food! Buffet and two entrees!!!
I want to go just for the macaron tree. How charming!

Simply Life said...

wow, that all looks incredible! what a great way to celebrate!

Lindsey @ BeantownEats said...

You had me at cheese board. Looks amazing!

Jenni Austria Germany said...

oh my goodness. i have never experienced so much food envy in my life.

kfenton917 said...

Excellent journal/review of our fun day celebrating! It allowed me the wonderful experience all over again. Maybe one day we'll have to go back and eat those macaroons by the handful! I like that!

Jen said...

Aw, what awesome reasons to celebrate!

So much deliciousness and man, can I please have a macaroon tree or two in my backyard? Is that too much to ask? Haha.

leah said...

I think a high point you forgot to mention is that the wait staff encourage you to eat slow and stay longer! This was such a great day and delicious meal. Tray keeps talking about going back, I agree!!

Bridget said...

Must.Go.Here.!!! I am the queen of the savory vs. sweet breakfast battle (which usually ends in me convinving someone at my table to order the oposite so we can share haha!). I am loving everything about what I just read...esp the macaroon tree! Can this be our next Boston Brunchers outing??? If not I still gotta go! Love your colorful dresses too!

MOLLY GALLER said...

I love Miel! I've been several times and am always surprised by how few people know about it. Your pictures were mouth watering! Love that red, floral dress!

Kinsey Michaels said...

the food there looks outrageous!! wow, a macaroon tree? love it!! your sister couldn't have had a better venue for her birthday brunch! i'm glad the service ended up being good despite the little mixup with the terrace seating. i wanted to sit outside when i went to Met on saturday but it was a 30 minute wait :\

Alicia said...

I MUST brunch here next time I'm in town!!! a choice of 2!!! Entrees? OMG - its a dream come true!!