Mon, 11:30am-3pm and 5:30pm-10:30pm; Wed-Thu, 11:30am-3pm and 5:30pm-10:30pm; Fri-Sat, 11:30am-3pm and 5:30pm-11pm; Sun, 11:30am-3pm and 5:30pm-10:30pm
L at Bedford Ave.
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Miranda is a mom-and-pop shop done up in the simple style of a neighborhood trattoria. Sasha (Rodriguez) Miranda, the Queens-bred daughter of a Dominican father and Irish-American mother, runs the kitchen, while her husband, Mauricio Miranda, of Guerrero, Mexico, works the dining room like a young Silvano Marchetto—greeting guests as if they were long lost relatives, recommending bottles of (often organic) wine, and occasionally breaking into a little cha-cha-cha dance whenever the joy of owning and operating a restaurant with the woman he loves becomes too much.
The couple met while working at Verbena, started dating, and soon dreamed of opening a place of their own. What kind of place they didn’t know. Subsequent stints at Alto and the C.I.A. Italian program (Sasha) and L’Impero and Spigolo (Mauricio) convinced them that combining the Latin American cooking they grew up on with their love for Italian food was a good way to go.
And for the most part it is, thanks to the fact that the menu doesn’t hit you over the head with the fusion conceit. The problem with cross-culinary cooking of this sort is that it can seem far-fetched or forced, like the gastronomic equivalent of an arranged marriage. Not so here: Latinized arancini are a little too soft and crumbly on the outside, but they’re dappled with a bright tomato sauce and filled with a winning mixture of chopped spinach and Mexican chorizo. A salsa guajillo is a good, smoky match for breaded and fried smoked mozzarella. Other appetizers, like mussels marinara, and a sparkling salad of baby romaine, ricotta salata, and sun-dried tomato, for example, simply forgo fusion altogether.