As typical wet fall weather set in, members and guests of the Vancouver Branch of the International Wine & Food Society visited the warmth of the south of France at the new Mistral French Bistro on West Broadway, just down the street from Lumière. We were greeted by Chef Jean Yves Benoit and his lovely wife Minna - previously at L'Emotion in West Vancouver - and spent a delightful evening enjoying some of the fine food and wine typical of southern France. Following a reception with a 2003 Éloge Rosé from Château Silex, a Costières de Nîmes wine, with a tapenade accompaniment, we started our meal with a pissaladière and a 2004 Viognier "Hugues le Juste" from Moillard. Next came local honey mussels, plump and tasty in a creamy saffron-curry white wine sauce, and a 2002 Chardonnay from Michel Laroche. Our main course was a cassoulet of lamb shoulder, duck leg confit and lamb sausage with white navy beans, and a popular and very tasty 2001 "Une et Mille Nuits" St. Chinian red wine from Canet Valette. To finish on a sweet note, a warm chocolate cake with star anise cream was perfect with a 2003 Banyuls "Le Muté sur Grains" from Domaine de la Rectorie. A warm and friendly evening was enjoyed by all, at Mistral, a welcome addition to Vancouver's restaurant scene!