Down Home with the Mira

Guess what, Big Hungries? I may be out of town this week at a trade show in DC Metro, but my review is of a Northcountry favorite: Café Mira. A few weeks ago, I was home for the weekend and celebrating mine and Mom's September birthdays. We’d long been anticipating a great meal at Mira, and decided to satisfy that long-festering craving.

Of course, there has been a restaurant operating on these Adams, NY premises for long time, but Lori and Lisa are the newest proprietresses, and just reopened last year after a fire claimed the original interior. The ladies have done a remarkable job with the renovation; this is a cozy, classic, charming space with Victorian touches and truly gorgeous fireplace and pressed tin ceilings.

Birthday girls

But let’s get to the food, shall we? Oh, we shall, because our appetizer was baked brie with pecan praline sauce, served with apples, raspberries, grapes, and a little assortment of crackers. Dad figured out the best combo: wheat cracker, schmear of brie, smushed raspberry on top, and a dollop of praline. Holy crap! GET. THIS. NOW. To guild that fantastically delicious lily, Lori sent us out a bar of her “sticky cheese,” which was an A+++ mixture of cheddar, toffee and dates. Who the hell comes up with this stuff? Angels? Satan?

Brie is my life
The salads were no slouch, either. Made to order, these babies were crammed with hardboiled egg, mandarin orange segments and dried cranberries. The warm bread that came out was flanked with a piquant black olive tapenade that I was crazy about.

So, you know, I ordered the osso bucco. Look, I’ve been working with my health coach for eight weeks, but I don’t think I’ll ever be cured of my penchant for braised beef, lamb and pork. Lori’s take on the peasant classic, the long braising originally employed to tame the cheap shank cut’s fatty, gristly texture, is brilliant. This prehistoric looking shank was groan-worthily crispy on the outside while delivering on the braising promise of being fall-apart tender inside. The rich wine sauce coating the meat wasn’t sharp or vinegary like so many other wine-based gravies, but mellow and deep – cooked with enough skill and care to render all the acidity into pure pleasure. A true demi glace. So rare in our northern outpost!

I wish I actually knew was osso bucco meant
Oh, and alongside? Tender-crispy roasted veggies with the most underrated but delicious of fall bounties – beets! If you’ve never had fresh beets, roasted, stop sticking your nose up! These bear no resemblance to the canned beasts beets of yore. The mashed potatoes were truly fantastic, with an appetizingly thick consistency and real potato flavor, not just cream.

Dad went with the sockeye salmon special – glazed with raspberry habernero sauce (he’s a pushover for raspberries!). As you know, salmon is not my favorite, but I tried his, and loved it. The well constructed glaze was just spicy enough to leave your tongue tingling, whereas the raspberry took on an almost savory flavor when it intermingled with the strong salmon. You could still taste salmon through the sauce, with shows a that an experienced hand was administering the flavorful glaze.

I don't know what Sockeye really means, either, but it's fun to say
The last member of our trifecta, Mom, ordered the filet mignon. Here’s what you need to know: as she took her first bite, she moaned, “Oh my God, filet does not get better than this!” Right, so she didn’t say that at Ruth’s Chris or stupid Roadhouse or some other steakhouse. She said that at a tiny little café in Adams. Lori Wells? Culinary badass. My bite rendered very well seasoned meat, maybe from the bacon wrap, but I guessed perhaps it also was brushed with wine during the cooking process. It was moist and extremely flavorful without being outright salty. Simply fantastic. The roasted potatoes she received as a side were the one slight detraction from an otherwise flawless meal: some were underdone.

Groan-worthy filet
I couldn’t resist dessert; after all, this was a birthday dinner! Coconut cream pie was my choice, and a fine choice it was. I’m a terrible baker, so I don’t know how it’s done, but I love a dessert that manages a deep, rich wallop of flavor with an airy, light texture, and that’s what this pie delivered. Hallelujah.

So, let me just recap for you: gorgeous interior, sick appetizer, demi glace, groan-inducing filet mignon, smushed raspberries, roasted beets, and mashed potatoes that would make your grandmother jealous. Add in cool music played live at the baby grand, and the fact that all this is happening in Adams, and you have one special evening. One so pleasant in my memory, I suggest you call now and make your reservation for this weekend. So pleasant,in fact, that my parents and I voted Café Mira a 9.5 on the BHS scale. That is a rare grade, indeed, and indicative of the regard in which I hold this meal. SO YUMMY!

My personality is big, my hunger is bigger!

Cafe Mira on Urbanspoon

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