150 Main Street, Stonybrook, NY 11790, 631-751-0555, www.threevillageinn.com
On the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, we headed to the North Shore of Long Island for dinner at the much lauded Mirabelle. The inn's location near a lake is delightful and the restaurant itself is lovely, decorated in warm tones, throw pillows and a large fireplace that must be heavenly on chilly nights.
Service was impeccable! After a chat with our hostess we chose two glasses of a blended red wine. We found the taste somewhat flat, though, and when she returned to inquire how we liked it, we began a discussion of various reds we've sampled and our impression of this one. She immediately began to discuss what she could offer instead but, while we were talking it over, our waiter appeared with another glass for us to taste. He had overheard the conversation and chose a wine he thought we'd like. He was absolutely correct - we loved it. Our original wine order was swiftly removed and replaced with two glasses of the new red. We were also given a note with the name of the wine and vineyard, told what else this winery offered and where it could be purchased.
The top notch service continued all throughout the meal with knowledgeable, helpful and friendly staff. The meal was also perfectly paced. The food, however, receives mixed grades.
After we placed our order, we were quickly presented with an amuse bouche. We love that! It was a crostini with a Tuscan bean topping that had an excellent, complex flavor. Next to it was a shot glass with juice and tiny little fruit pieces. It was delicious and refreshing although we would comment that it needed a spoon to eat easily.
For appetizers we chose a salad of mesclun greens with warm goat cheese on a large crouton. Delicious and generously portioned.
We also ordered the squab appetizer which was nicely roasted and served with a few braised scallions and a delicate pasta with a hint of truffle oil.
Mirabelle's specialty is their roast duck so we wanted to try their best dish. And it was, in fact, the most expertly prepared duck we've had in a long time but the accompanying garnishes were few and uninteresting. We also debated about the fact that it's presented in two courses. The first brings you the duck leg and the second, the breast. The advantage is that both are hot and can be eaten as soon as they're cooked. But it's awkward for any other diners at your table who now must wait until you finish a second plate. We're not giving it a complete thumbs down but we don't love it.
As for the second entree, we took into consideration that our Memorial Day weekend was otherwise an ongoing meat grill-fest and decided to take a break from the beef and sample their vegetarian option. Eggplant breaded and fried was served with roasted potatoes and a few julienned carrots and French beans next to a pesto-like sauce and topped with a poached egg. All the elements on the plate were tasty, although slightly under-seasoned, but didn't seem connected to each other. Our impression was that the chef just threw together some non-meat offerings on a plate.
Overall, the majority of our food tasted good, the setting was lovely and we can't say enough good things about the service. But we both thought the menu options were a bit limited and there really weren't any other choices that tempted us. We might go back at some point but, unfortunately, Mirabelle will fall pretty low on our list of places to revisit.