Patrons of Bistro du Midi, opening in the former home of Excelsior next month, should get excited about the fish options. “I worked at Le Bernardin for almost five years and it was a great experience,” says executive chef Robert Sisca. “Working with Chef Ripert was almost like going to grad school and getting my master’s degree in cooking and fish.”
What drew you to the job at Bistro du Midi?
My wife is from Rhode Island, which is actually where we met, so we were looking to leave New York and come back to Boston. I started looking around for jobs in Boston and I came across the MARC Group and they told me about the opportunity.
How are you sourcing ingredients?
We’re using some local ingredients. Of course, it’s not tomato season, so we’re going to have to bring those in, since Provencal cuisine uses a lot of tomatoes.
What’s your favorite dish on the menu?
My favorite dish would have to be the bouillabaise. It’s very classic. We take a bunch of different fish and caramelize it and add a really hearty broth with pastis and saffron. We’re going to serve different types of fish with it as well: orangier (?), loup de mer, and dorado. We’ll add some saffron potatoes and serve it with rouille and toast.
Coming out of Le Bernardin, you must have a tremendous amount of experience with fish. How will we see that reflected in the menu?
People will see the techniques I’ve learned there in the menu at Bistro du Midi. The fish will be properly cooked: nice and moist and medium rare in the middle. When we have fish that’s supposed to have a crispy skin, it will have crispy skin, it won’t just be fish with skin on it.
What’s the price point going to be like?
Not too high. Mid 20s to 30s. We want people to come in and really enjoy the food and really enjoy the atmosphere. With these prices, they’re going to want to come in over and over. It’s not going to be one of those places where you go once and it’s too expensive to go again.