A moment of silence, please, for the old Mistral. For a while, after the first blush of its opening, the posh Provençal hotspot played host to Prada-clad preeners, status-seeking foodies, and the young and the aimless. Then the buzz fell to a dull roar, and a kinder, gentler Mistral emerged, one with less attitude and still terrific food. The dining room boasts spot-on service, but the bar is the place to be—and to scarf down lusty, funky varieties of pizza (like beef tenderloin, mashed potato, and white-truffle oil), flat-out fabulous plates of duck confit in brioche with dried cherries, and velvety sweet tuna tartare. Let's hear it for the power of evolution.