A small wooden house on a side street (15 Oak) in Rockland, Maine has a 50s cafe feel. Don’t be fooled by the linoleum and old Formica. You need a reservation at Cafe Miranda. The food is eclectic and new age.
When we could not decide from our ambitious menu of 35 appetizers, our knowledgeable waitress brought us a delicious salad of arugula, thinly sliced beets and crunchy pine nuts. We followed with fresh shrimp dim sum and crispy calamari.
Cafe Miranda is noisy, crowded and fun even in midweek off season. The owner is right there cooking up a storm in a tiny open kitchen in full view. Every tasty morsel was served fast and hot. The extensive wines are seriously worldly in a casual cafe.
Owner Kerry A. Altiero, born in 1956, is from the coal-mining region in Northeastern Pennsylvania. His culinary training began early at the side of his Italian-American grandmother, Constance Altiero. He also learned many lessons including commitment, responsibility, and integrity, and performance, in other words, follow through.
Kerry had a varied career. While working part time at Dick Belinski’s Crossroads Hotel & Restaurant, he took as short culinary course at Luzerne County Community College, and his career seemed to be launched. He moved to Main in 1987 and opened Cafe Miranda in 1993. Kerry says, “Miranda’s mission is to bring handmade, locally sourced and passionately crafted food in a wide range of culinary styles to its customers with a huge and ever-changing menu and a knowledgeable staff.”
Kerry shared the recipe for the salad we had.
Sally’s Simple Salad
2 beets, cooked peeled & shredded, approximately 1/4 cup
1 -1/2 Tsp hi grade horseradish
1/2tsp. minced fresh garlic
2 oz. red onion sliced thin
2 tsp. raisins or currents
2 tsp. Toasted pine (pignoli ) nuts
Tblsp. Balsamic vinegar.
Pinch toasted fennel seed (ground or whole)
5 cups baby arugula washed & dried, (packed loose)
1/4 cup extra Virgin Olive oil
Chef’s note: This also is an excellent summer entree w/ the addition of grilled fresh Kielbassa. I call it “Polish Hippie” Cuz I was one… k
We hope you enjoy!