A midcoast institution, Café Miranda has one of the longest, craziest menus in New England. Hidden on a side street, it’s a tiny, contemporary restaurant with a huge ever-morphing menu of big flavors and hip attitude. “We do not serve the food of cowards,” owner-chef Kerry Altiero is quoted right on top of the menu, and he’s right. I could write a whole book on the regularly changing menu here, but Altiero already did in 2014—Adventures in Comfort Food, which pretty well sums it up. Small plates and entrees could include things like grilled lamb patties with parsley and garlic; “50 MPH tomatoes” deep-fried and served with spicy ranch dressing; a “squash-o’-rama” (roasted squash with cheese); fire-roasted feta with sweet peppers, tomatoes, “really good” olives, and herbs; a Portuguese seafood combo of mussels, shrimp, clams, fish, and sausage steamed in wine and pummeled with parsley; “Aunt Fluffy’s Pasta” (penne with veggies, caramelized onions, and Romano); the “Polish hippie” (grilled sausage with horseradish, arugula, and beets!); “Old Bleu” (handmade pasta tossed in blue cheese and basil cream); chicken paprikash; steaks; or, of course, the immortal “Pitch a Tent”: sausage, gravy, onions, garlic, and mushrooms beneath a “tent” of pasta. Share everything with your fellow diners, because you’ll never eat at a place this original again. Altiero again: “It’s comfort food for whatever planet you’re from.” Amen.
- Brian Kevin