Mirabelle in Oakmont tries fresh approach
Mirabelle Restaurant aims to combine the best of both worlds: a menu that draws from international cultures but is created with locally produced food.
Owner John Muth said his Oakmont restaurant works closely with local farmers to procure the freshest ingredients possible. For that reason, he said the menu will change seasonally -- if not more often.
Sure enough, the items available on a recent Friday afternoon were reminiscent of the winter comfort foods to which we have grown accustomed: squash, potatoes and apples, plus hearty meats like lamb, steak and salmon.
But the presentation was a large step up from the way Mom prepared them.
The prices were indicative of the quality -- sandwiches and entrees started at $11 -- but all included sides and were well worth the trip for a special occasion.
We started with a bowl of Mirabelle Vegetable Soup ($4), a mellow, sweet puree of butternut squash, carrots, marrow beans, aromatics and herbs. The soup was a tad bland, but a palatable starter when served with warm bread made on site.
We couldn't resist the intriguing description of the Eggs Benedict Florentine ($12). It didn't disappoint: Two perfectly poached eggs were drizzled with a creamy spinach sauce and served atop crispy prosciutto and noodle cakes flavored lightly with curry. A unique side salad of warmed oranges and fennel accompanied the eggs.
The Salmon Sandwich ($11) was equally impressive. A generous fillet of grilled Alaskan salmon was served on a fresh potato bun and topped with several strips of bacon, spinach and a mild lemon-wasabi aioli. It was served with homemade potato chips that were tasty, although slightly overcooked.
We asked for a strip steak, but our waitress promptly learned the menu item had been replaced by Filet Mignon ($15).
No arguments from us!
We ordered the steak rare, and they delivered -- the rich, tender cut of meat had us swooning. The side of potato mille feuille with truffled cream was a tasty layered affair of potatoes, cream and eggs.
The lunch was a success, but the desserts knocked it out of the park.
After much deliberation over five choices, we settled on two to share among the three of us. Both were rich and delicious.
The Buttermilk Panna Cotta ($7) -- Italian for cooked cream -- consisted of a large, puck-shaped mold of custard served with orange slices and a sweet citrus sauce. One diner described it as vanilla yogurt that went on an Italian holiday and returned plump, extravagant and entirely too happy.
As it turned out, our other selection was four tiny desserts in one. The Friandises ($7) -- French for tidbits -- included a tiny crème brulee, a pingpong ball-sized chocolate truffle, a triangle of pecan tart and a small pastry boat filled with cream and a trio of raspberries.
After such a decadent lunch, we're eager for a reason to return for dinner and the advertised champagne bar.
Compiled by Liz Hayes, Celanie Polanick and Charlie Ban. Meals are paid by the Valley News Dispatch and are unrelated to advertising.Additional Information:
Address : 3215 Allegheny Ave., Oakmont
Phone : 412-517-8115
Web site : mirabelleoakmont.com
Hours : Lunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays; dinner, 4:30 to at least 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays
Credit cards : Accepted
Prices : Sandwiches, $11; entrees, $11-$15; desserts, $7