Mirabelle Tavern in Stony Brook
We’ve had people whispering in our ear for a while to check out Mirabelle Tavern, a casual eatery inside of the Three Village Inn in picturesque Stony Brook. More relaxed in both atmosphere and menu items than its fancier sister, Mirabelle Restaurant, the Tavern offers diners a chance to eat well-prepared French and American comfort food while feeling pampered in a casual setting.
A recent early evening visit found us enjoying the Cheese Plate and Charcuterie Plate (both $16) on the patio of the charming inner courtyard, lush flowerpots by our side and blue skies above us. While the cheese plate featured a favorite, Humboldt Fog, we found both the selection and quantity of the 2 other cheeses to be rather limited. In contrast, the charcuterie platter offered six different types of cured meats with assorted pickled vegetables, and all were delicious.
Moving inside we elected to dine at the bar although there was plenty of seating in the Tavern’s dining area. Also in the bar area were two high farmer’s tables, great for group gatherings. Lots of windows and blonde wood evoked a warm, French provincial feeling of good food and wine.
Our appetizers were Watermelon Salad with Feta & Mint plus an order of the Chickpea Fries with Sriracha Mayonnaise (both $6). The Watermelon Salad was presented beautifully with perfect squares of the sweet, ripe fruit topped with a slice of salty feta, a mint leaf and a drizzle of olive oil. The combination was divine – light, fresh, sweet & salty all at once.
The Chickpea Fries were an utterly pleasant surprise. They bore no resemblance to chickpeas either in form or taste – rather, they reminded us more of Grandma’s smooth & creamy mashed potatoes. The chef worked his magic on the pureed chickpeas, then formed the paste into long rectangles, dusted them with a light coating and fried them until golden crisp on the outside and melty warm on the inside. A side of spicy red sriracha mayo was the perfect foil to the richness of this appetizer. This is one dish you won’t want to miss!
Instead of going for the Tavern Burger smothered in cheese and bacon marmalade, we chose the Kobe Beef Sliders ($12) for our meat main. To be perfectly honest they were good but not great, and given how impressive the other appetizers were (and the Fish & Chips, below), in our opinion there are better things to be had on the menu. That said, they were cooked perfectly to order at medium-rare and each one had a different topping so that you wouldn’t get bored: jalapeno aioli, ketchup, and bacon & cheese.
We fell in love with the next dish: Fish and Chips ($16). This simple dish rose above its humble origins when the chef chose to use Branzino instead of the usual cod or other filets. The batter was light and crispy, surrounding incredibly moist, flaky, flavorful, fresh fish. We were fighting over the last piece, and it almost seems silly to wax poetic about fish and chips, but it was simply that good. Two kinds of potatoes accompanied the fish: homemade potato chips and french fries, plus a side of creamy tartar sauce.
Mirabelle Tavern you will make you feel warm and welcome with its professional staff, delicious food and charming dining areas (both inside & out). They frequently offer specials such as a 3 course prix-fixe for only $26 or half-off all wines on Wednesdays.