Mirabelle Tavern: Top-notch Dining in Stony Brook

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Left to right: Celebrity Chef Guy Reuge’s award winning pan seared food gras, the colorful and tasty scallop and salmon terrine, and the Butternut Squash Soup with toasted Brussels sprouts, pepita and pumpkin oil.

The beautiful, historic Three Village Inn is the set Mirabelle Restaurant and the more casual Mirabelle Tavern under the direction of Lessing’s Hospitality Group, which includes Sandbar in Cold Spring Harbor and seven other Suffolk County eateries.

Mirabelle’s chef, Guy Reuge, born in Normandy, France, cooked for the French President, was a Chef of the Year, an honorary member of the James Beard Foundation, has received four stars (top rating) from The New York Times, Newsday, Zagat, was featured in Bon Apetit, Food Arts, New York Magazine, Gourmet, on the Food Network.

Mirabelle opened in 1983 in St. James by Guy, who started his U.S. career in Manhattan in 1973, and his wife, Maria, a former editor at Gourmet Magazine. Mirabelle has been at its present location since 2009. Guy relies on local farms, local seafood purveyors and other local merchants to secure the best seasonal foods for his inventive dishes.

Adam, the manager, was the first member of the cast we encountered. He took us to our table and was continually attentive, but not overbearing. Our waitress came to the table and introduced herself. She took our orders and carried through with our requests. The observant staff members poured water and wine as necessary (never interrupting), served the courses, cleared the dishes, and supplied the necessary silverware unobtrusively.

The evening we dined we were able to peruse many menus. It was restaurant week, so a special menu was presented which featured three courses for $29.95 per person. Mirabelle has an a la carte dinner menu that ranges from small plates to elaborate “big plates”. The regular farm to table menu includes a prix-fix three course meal for $36 Monday through Thursday or $38 Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Also available is a nine course tasting menu for $95 per person, or $150 per person with wine pairings.

The preview was a specialty of the star chef of Mirabelle – foie gras. The fattened liver’s preparation was featured in the center of the plate, pan seared on top of a flaky puff pastry, supported by walnuts, a mixed berry coulee, and caramelized apple tourne. Tourne is French for turned. The apple is turned to cut pieces to resemble the shape of a football.

We enjoyed a Caesar salad adorned with pickled anchovies from Italy, and an egg that is boiled to produce a solid white exterior and a soft yolk. The flavorful seasonal squash soup was garnished with roasted Brussel sprouts, pumpkin seeds, and drizzled with pumpkin oil.

The scallop and salmon terrine, with a center of pickled carrot and parsnip enveloped in a seaweed wrap, is served with pickled onions, yuzu mayonnaise (mayonnaise blended with an Asian citrus fruit), and adorned with frisee salad in a sherry vinaigrette.

The action continued with tender braised beef rib short ribs costarring wild mushroom fricassée, and cipollini onions.

For the climax of our meal we enjoyed a Black Forest Cherry Cake (Schwaerzwalder Kirschtorte). The cherries are cooked in alchohol and cooled are mixed with whipped cream. The mixture is encased between two layers of rich chocolate cake, and to top the cake a layer of whipped cream is added. We also enjoyed an apple tarte tatin served with tasty vanilla ice cream.

Our dinner was finalized with a cheese assortment. The chef uses only American cheeses and we were served a Jasper Hill Alpha Tolman (from a Vermont cow) a semi hard chees;, an uplands Rush Creek Wisconsin cow cheese; and a Goat cheese from Twig Farm on a platter with apple grape coulis, walnut raisin bread, and red grapes.

The wine list is impressive, reasonably priced (or perhaps underpriced). We enjoyed a 2005 Chateau Bertrand Braneyre Haut-Medoc at $44. This wine sells in wine stores for $32. It was not only a wonderful wine – it was a great bargain, rated by Vivino amongst the top 3 percent of all wines in the world and top 7 percent of the Haut-Medocs. 

Mirabelle is named for a yellow plum which grows in the Loire Valley. This restaurant is, indeed, a special plum of Long Island.

Mirabelle located in The Three Village Inn, 150 Main Street, Stony Brook. 631-751 0555.  Prix fixe three course meal $36 or $38, a la carte snacks $7-$10, soups and salads $8-$14, small plates $10-$28, entrees $10-$28.

Jeff is a practicing attorney. Vera is a retired school teacher. Both love Long Island food and wine and are delighted to share their discoveries with you. Contact them via [email protected]