Food & Drink

All the good parts of the Sixties, in Mint Plaza

What people often fail to recognize about the swingin' 60s is that for every John Lennon and Henry Fonda, it produced another Yoko Ono and...well, that should suffice. For a restaurant that channels all of the good and none of the bad, hit Thermidor.

From the duo behind Spork, Thermidor's a blessedly kitsch-less homage to the finer points of 60s era grub n' style with a cool nod to contemporary: fat cement columns're juxtaposed with warmly lit wood paneling and chrome Sciolari chandeliers, while dining options range from white tableclothed two-tops with swiveling retro chairs, to a black, polished stone bar where up-tempo 60s tunes set the mood, i.e., don't bring condoms. Evocative of a dutiful housewife's handiwork but executed with fresh Cali twists, the menu includes a Berkshire pork chop with wilted watercress and cherry vinaigrette, Petrale sole n' gnocchi's done with a prosecco-almond sauce, and the resto's namesake lobster thermidor that's cooked up with tarragon, mushrooms,etc., and finished with a bechamel of brandy...you're a fine bechamel (you're a fine bechamel), what a good bechamel you will be (such a good bechamel). Not to be outdone, the cocktail list packs everything from Harvey Wallbanger variations (made with sparkling wine) to the "Charles and Ray" (gin, orange blossom, grapefruit bitters, egg white, and tonic), while a bold dessert menu's highlighted by "Coffee, Cigarettes, and Doughnuts" -- a diabolical little plate that features a white chocolate cigarette filled with tobacco-infused custard replete with nicotine (for real), which, luckily for you, hasn't yet proven to be addictive.

While the complete menu drops this weekend, still a short ways off are a front patio and mezzanine section (with a private dining room) that'll more than double the joint's capacity when finished, so long as the owners don't get distracted by some pseudo-artistic Japanese-American peace activist...oh no...