Miro District Food & Drink opened last week in the ground floor of the Adelicia highrise condominium. I won't review the restaurant—billed as a marriage of Mediterranean flavors and Tennessee tradition—for a few weeks, but I dropped by for lunch and an early look. My table shared a flatbread with grilled tomatoes and mozzarella ($9); tuna tartare with yellow peppers, capers and olives ($12); a grilled swordfish sandwich ($11); Capri salad ($10); and tiramisu ($7.25). After speaking with at least a half-dozen other people who jumped the gun at Watermark's week-old sister restaurant, let me offer these first impressions:
Don't miss the Capri salad. So far, this mélange of heirloom tomatoes from Barnes Produce and Smiley's Farm at the Farmers' Market has received rave reviews. Like a plate of green, orange, red and yellow cabochon gems—with playful names such as Dr. Welch's Yellow, Grandma's Pick, Green Stripe Zebra, Garden Peach, Pink Brandywine, Mortgage Lifter, German Strawberry and Cherokee Purple—the Capri is faintly dressed and topped with mozzarella and fried onions, making it an ample meal or a shared appetizer, not to mention a glorious summer sampler.
Go easy on the bread. It should go without saying that you don't want to spoil your appetite, but Miro will seduce you with its gorgeous, warm house-baked rosemary focaccia and crusty sourdough loaf. In our experience, the bread basket was just the tip of the doughberg. By the time we finished nibbling grilled margherita flatbread and grilled swordfish on thick focaccia, we could hardly look at the dessert menu, with its wild grape “focaccia” (made with brioche, peanut frangipane and Concord sorbetto).
Try the tiramisu. Made with slightly nubbly polenta poundcake in lieu of spongy ladyfingers, the espresso-laced cylinder of mascarpone and light cake tasted like a fortuitous collision of cornbread and tiramisu.
Ask to sit in the front room—whatever it takes. The crisp tiny-tiled foyer and main dining room, patrolled by a corps of servers in black and white, recall the ambiance of a European bistro. Meanwhile, the carpeted lower level and mezzanine lack the same festivity and charisma.
If you've been to Miro District, please chime in with your first impressions. Meanwhile, we'll return for a more thorough test drive of chef Dean Robb's menu in a few weeks. Stay tuned.