This week, 14850 Dining is paying a visit to the new Mira Mediterranean Bistro on Ithaca's Northside. On Third Street between Route 13 and Hancock Street, Mira is in the former home of Dijon Bistro, and serves up a delicious culinary mix from the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
Middle eastern meals often begin with an array of dips and other small items to be shared around the table, so the Mediterranean tapas plate is a good starting point at Mira. This plate changes frequently, but includes housemade cheeses such as a Lebanese shankleesh, or grilled haloumi. Perhaps some tomato and basil salad, some crisp bread, and figs or stewed apricots.
Just about everyone has tried hummus, the middle eastern chick-pea spread; many have also enjoyed baba ghanouj, a roasted eggplant spread; new to us was a similar concoction made of fava beans called foul mudammas. All three of course are suitable for dipping pita corners.
On two visits so far, we've tried a variety of entrees, as well, including rockfish baked with tahini, onions, and scalloped potatoes as a hearty casserole; spice-crusted yellowfin tuna; roasted littleneck clams and linguini; and a satisfying and delicious grilled, spice-rubbed sirloin, one of the best steaks I've tasted in town in a while.
Desserts include a fun coconut sorbet, baklava, or plum & blueberry cake, and delicious coffee is available in a french press. The setting at Mira is comfortable and classy, with friendly and attentive service. In fact, we'd say Mira has the feel of an eatery that's been up and running for months or years, not just a couple of weeks.
Odd as it may seem to enjoy a fancy dinner between the bowling alley and the DMV, this spot has a long history of top-notch food. Vegetarians will be not just OK here, but satisfied and happy. Plan on spending $20-30 on a meal. You can find Mira at 311 Third Street or call them at 607-272-6472 and tell them you heard about them here.