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Ask anyone where to go in Rockland, Maine for a great meal and you'll hear, Cafe Miranda. Let's Do Lunch! took that advice for Sunday brunch and chef/owner Kerry Altiero didn't disappoint. He's a character well known for his gift of gab, and his gift of cooking.
Kerry became a chef out of necessity, joking his mom overcooked La Choy eggrolls! There's always a story to the creative menu items. Homemade hummus sans the tahini was born out of a Thanksgiving party adding chick peas for color, to become 'Hummus Goes To Italy.' The foccacia was a happy accident when loaves caught on fire in his wood-fired oven. Kerry's been doing the farm to table thing 'before it was hip' as all the wood and veggies come from the Headacre Farm where he lives.
Cafe Miranda, named for his dog, opened in 1993 when Maine was a culinary wasteland. The fanciest dish was shrimp cocktail so Kerry changed that with classic comfort meals with a robust twist. Beef Groce is Thai-influenced beef salad with just the right kick. Try Fish Cake Bennies with smoked haddock topped with creamy hollandaise, where the egg explodes onto the fish. Kerry's fire-roasted kale pre-date kale chips that melt in your mouth. Visit http://www.cafemiranda.com
Let's Do Lunch! visits Rosemary's in New York's Greenwich Village for a delicious Italian tasting. Named for the owner's mother, it borrows her warmth and hospitality from her home in Tuscany. Executive chef Wade Moises began his career under far less glamorous circumstances, working at a biker bar flipping burgers where the staff was a shady lot on parole from prison. The experience motivated him to study at The Culinary Institute of America where he honed his penchant for Italian cooking.
It was the early 90s and Wade was hooked on Mario Batali's cooking show, vowing right then and there to work with the restauranteur. And he did just that sharpening his skills at Batali's Babbo and Lupa. Coming to Rosemary's after his travels through Italy, Wade has fine tuned his creations with such dishes as salami style octopus, orecchiette with homemade pork sausage, and linguini with zesty lemon and chilis which he describes as a sleeper hit. The house made foccacia is draped with a thin sliver of lardo which you can also dress with Wade's caponata made in the traditional Sicilian style topped with pinenuts.
Salads are a specialty at Rosemary's featuring celery Caesar salad, crunchy radishes, and rooftop garden salad made from herbs and lettuces grown right on the restaurant's roof, and spicy cabbage which Wade renamed Sicilian kimchi!
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