Miracle Grill still a miracle
I know this is old news already, but the Miracle Grill is still cranking out great food down in the east Village.
I was there with two friends Saturday night and had a bunch of outstanding dishes. First, to start, the caipirihnas and sangria were both very good. I'm a big fan of caipirihnas and have had them all over the world, and the ones at Miracle Grill rank right up there with the best.
Appetizers we ordered were grilled scallops with corn guacamole, catfish tacos and some kind of chipolte quesadilla with jalapeno sauce. The scallops were the best of the bunch, browned on the outside but still tender inside, with just a touch of seasoning and some excellent guacamole. The catfish in the tacos was fried up like a very good tempura.
For dinner two of us had the braised lambshank, served in a thin tomato broth with baby potatoes and greens. The meat was the proverbial falling-off-the-bone, juicy and delicious. The other person had pork chops with mashed potatoes. The pork chops were thick and perfect, with a coating that tasted like a combo of curry, cumin and paprika.
We skipped desert. Nice to know an old standby is still turning out great food (though not cheap--with tip it came to $130).
A group of us used to go there for Sunday brunch, but stopped for a number of reasons:
1. the "seared tuna" salad on the menu always came with salmon substituted; this was okay, they always warned us. But when it finally came with tuna, the tuna was overcooked, dry, and flavorless in spite of the spices on it.
2. in the summer, when they have the garden open out back, they refused to seat us inside, stating they could only handle as many customers as they could seat out there. And were really rude about it. Since the outside was not completely covered, it meant sitting in hot, glaring sun, not my idea of a pleasant experience.
3. sometimes they say they'll take a reservation, but then they don't honor it. Sometimes they refuse.
While I do love their cornbread, I don't love it enough to put up with poor service. Spoils my taste for the food.
NEVER skip dessert at the Miracle Grill. Their chocolate cake made with chile ancho is to die for.