Your Wedding Reception Should Be Serious Fun

Your wedding should be fun, serious fun, and your reception should be amazing! Here are a few tips from Café Miranda that will make planning this day easier.

Choosing a caterer for your wedding reception should be enjoyable and easy. What could be better than selecting the delicious food and beverages that you will share with your family and friends? When selecting a caterer you are looking for excellent food, service and a caterer that can manage all the moving part involved in your receptions food and beverage. This is where Café Miranda excels. There are many facets of your reception to consider and discuss when you meet with Café Miranda, or any caterer, for the first time, here are the key topics:

Long Range Vision

Planning far enough ahead to insure the date you have selected for your wedding is available should be at the op of your list. This is also the time to learn the booking and payment process. At Café Miranda we ask you to complete a couple of documents that will help you and us focus in on the key initial details to start the planning and decision making process that is just beginning.

We suggest that you ideally meet with us at least 9 months before your wedding. Café Miranda has a long history and many strategic relationships in Maine that can help you with your planning. Our list of preferred suppliers, including venues, is a rich source of information.

Dollars & Sense

Once the planning process is underway it is important you get an early idea of all of catering costs and what they involve. From tent and equipment rental, to specialty cake bakery’s, Café Miranda will work with you, or your professional wedding planner (we can even recommend one of those!) to review your options and what is available for the type of event you are planning. If you are on a limited budget let us know, we have catered weddings and events across a wide price range.

The Café Miranda dining experience, customized for you

The Café Miranda catering experience, featuring our onsite wood-fired oven, has no parallels in New England. With innovative menus, stunning presentation, and sensational taste. We use the freshest (often grown at our own farm) ingredients, and work with growers and farmers through Maine who produce some of the most amazing ingredients you can imagine. Visiting and dining in Café Miranda in Rockland will go along way towards your understanding of what flavors mean to us.

A day about you, in every way possible

Café Miranda will work to understand your overall vision for the day and listen to your ideas, from long experience, we know that every event is unique and our catering reflects that unique nature. Out team has experience in delivering exceptional and inspired weddings and events. Any caterer plays a vital role in this special day, beyond the food and beverage. A professional wedding planner can go a long way to making your operate in the smoothest possible way, long before the actual event and right through to the day after. Café Miranda can also offer this often overlook service element.

Don’t forget to eat

Finally, don’t forget to eat. At Café Miranda, all things being equal we are about delicious food. Eat! This is you day. Your friends and family want to see you have fun. Pictures will keep you busy, greeting everyone will take time, the dancing, speeches…eat through it all. You will be glad you did. Your day, fantastic food, joyous friends and family, don’t miss a bite! To start a conversation about your event, contact us at

Headacre Farm: a Bounty of Goodness

Our Farmer, Anne Perkins, has been busy this spring at Headacre Farm in Owls Head Maine.  Interested in a CSA? Check it out here!

Headacre Farm grows a classic range of vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers. We specialize in unusual varieties of common plants, however, as much of our growing is done for our clients and customers, who include restaurants and specialty food establishments who seek out the unique.


Kerry Altiero on WABI Bangor with recipes

Our own Chef/Owner Kerry Altiero was on Bangor’s WABI News 5!

WABI Dishes May 2013


Photo and Below text from the WABI website:

Chef Kerry Altiero the owner of Cafe Miranda in Rockland was in on the morning show to cook up some spring time inspired dishes.

Chef Kerry made a dish with fiddleheads called Fiddleheads and Fresh Cafe Miranda Pasta w/ Fiore Olive Oil. The next dish the chef made was “It’s Spring, Somewhere” Asparagus w/ Creamy Brie, he made another dish called L.O.S-Lobster on a Shingle w/ Diced Backyard Beauty Tomatoes and Wilted Spinach, and the last thing Chef Terry made was Big Bacon Unit 2 it was a bacon salad.

Chef Kerry Altiero was also awarded this year’s Maine Lobster Chef of the Year.

The recipes to the food he prepared are listed below:

Fiddleheads and Fresh Café Miranda Pasta w/Fiore Olive oil

A simple sauté (or fire roasted if you happen to have a wood fired brick oven) dish that is seasonal, regional and way yummy!  Foraged food is rare in our modern world, but here in Maine we have mushrooms, fiddleheads, ramps, mussels and so on. We live in a unique place.

This dish is what we at Cafe Miranda call a “stealth vegetarian dish”. That is to say that the diner that orders this is eating vegetarian without missing the meat. If you would like some animal protein, chicken breast works well and Maine crabmeat is a charm with this one!

This recipe is for one serving and is easily expanded to feed many by multiplying it by the number of people eating.

1 cup picked & washed fiddleheads
½ sweet red pepper, ripped coarsely
¼ red onion sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
5oz Café Miranda fresh pasta (check our website for a retailer near you) or other quality fresh pasta will do. Dried works in a pinch.
1 Wedge of lemon
2 oz Locatelli seco (dried sheep’s milk ricotta, also known as “ricotta salada”) shaved.
Fiore EVOO, more than you think! Say 3-4 ounces
Coarse salt & fresh ground pepper.

For the pasta: Heat 4 quarts salted water to boil.  Cook either pasta and drain it, DO NOT RINSE, hold it while you sauté the other stuff. Note: Dried pasta takes longer than the sauté takes, like 10+- minutes.

Heat a 12″ sauté pan on medium to high heat,

Add to pan 1.5 oz Fiore EVOO or at least enough to coat the bottom of the pan well.
Toss in the peppers stirring as needed till the color brightens. Add the onions and stir/ sauté till they “sweat”, start getting clear and releasing that great cooked onion smell.
Add fiddleheads & garlic and continue to sauté. You will see the color pigments in the fiddleheads intensify and get bright green.

Turn off the heat, toss in the pasta (macaroni as my Ital American Grandma would say) toss well and plate on a heated suitable plate. Dress with more Fiore EVOO, liberal amounts of the coarse salt & fresh ground pepper, squeeze lemon, top with cheese,

“It’s Spring, somewhere” Asparagus w/ creamy brie. Also Known at Café Miranda as “Asparagus Debris”.

This is another SPRING, fresh, bursting with vitality dish. Simple too!

10 stalks Asparagus. Bend the stalk and where the bottoms break, reserve the tender tops.
¼ red onion sliced
½ red sweet pepper ripped coarsely
2 cloves garlic minced
2tbs fresh parsley, washed & chopped coarsely
2oz brie cheese
3oz heavy cream
2oz Fiore EVOO

Heavy sauté pan or skillet you (approx. 10-12″ in diameter) on medium to high heat.
Add your Fiore EVOO to coat the pan. Add Red pepper, stir/sauté till you smell the goodness and see the color intensify. Toss in the asparagus, sauté, as soon as the color starts changing, add the garlic. Cook approximately a minute.

Turn the heat to medium. Add the brie & cream. The brie will begin to melt & bind with the cream.
Do not stir, as you want to see the cheese but you do want to reduce (thicken) the cream.
When the cream has thickened a bit, add the parsley.

Turn out onto a heated platter. Dress with yet more Fiore EVOO, love that stuff!

Eat this with some Café Miranda Wood Oven Focaccia bread to sop up EVERY bit of creamy goodness!  A companion & a nice Sauvignon Blanc works well with this dish… enjoy!

L.O.S.- Lobster on a shingle w/ diced Backyard Beauty tomatoes & wilted spinach. .

We have all heard of S*&T on a Shingle, creamed chipped beef on toast, this is my version that takes it “uptown”.  Lobster is as local as it gets. One of the finest proteins on earth and from right here in Maine. By the way, Café Miranda is located in Rockland, The Lobster Capitol of the WORLD! Yes, the WORLD. Buying precooked, picked meat makes this dish an easy & quick treat!

You can also add a couple of poached eggs to make a killer breakfast /brunch dish!

2.5oz picked lobster meat.
6oz heavy cream
1oz Marsala, Madeira or other dry fortified wine.
2oz Romano or Parmesan cheese.
¼ cup diced backyard beauty tomato.
1 clove garlic minced.
1 cup picked, washed spinach (swiss chard is great in this dish when your garden is cranking).
1 sprig fresh tarragon.
2- 4×4″ squares of toasted Café Miranda Brick Oven Focaccia bread or other
Coarse salt & fresh cracked pepper.


In a non-reactive (not cast iron) shallow side pan, place the cream, Marsala, garlic & tomato.
Turn up the heat to medium to high.  See it bubble, reduce (thicken) by around 30%.

Add the lobster, tarragon, tarragon & spinach. Turn off the heat & cover. Let the heat in the cream and pan heat the recent additions in a genteel manner.

Place toasted focaccia on a suitable heated platter and put the mixture over them, leaving a bit of the focaccia uncovered.  Drizzle more of the Fiore Olive oil on it for a fresh, fruity finish. Liberally douse it with the coarse pepper.

A Pinot Grigio or a Pale Ale like A fine Sebago brew is a nice finish.

Big Bacon Unit 2.

This is a take on wilted salads with a remembrance of Pennsylvania Dutch Hot bacon dressing from Shankweilers Restaurant in  Fogelsville PA, back in the day.

4oz coarse cut quality bacon. We use North Country Smoke House from Massachusetts.
2 boiled potatoes (reds in this case) quartered.
¼ cup diced Backyard Beauty tomatoes
¼ cup red onion sliced
2tbs coarsely grated Romano or Parmesan
3oz Fiore EVOO oil
2oz Fiore Balsamic Vinegar
1 clove garlic minced
3 cups mixed salad greens. Local when they are here! A more rugged green like baby kale, chard or spinach in the mix is a good idea.

Place all ingredients in a heat resistant bowl EXCEPT the bacon, potatoes, cheese and 2 oz of the Fiore Olive oil.

In a fry pan of your choice, on medium heat place the bacon, potatoes and 2 oz of that Fiore Olive oil. Sautee to crisp & render some of that deelish fat out of the bacon & heat potatoes, browning the potatoes is ok but not necessary.  When the bacon is crisped (not too much, we want it chewy, not brittle) CAREFULLY pour the entire contents into the bowl of salad mix. Toss your salad, plate, top with the cheese; add the rest of the oil and VOLIA.

Enjoy this with a Fryes Leap IPA from Sebago or powerful red wine.


Recipe: Summer Pasta with Lobster

Chef Kerry Altiero shared his recipe for Summer Pasta on WCSH6 Portland this morning.

Try it out – let us know what you think. Or better yet – come into Cafe Miranda for dinner and let our crew make a dish of Summer especially for you.

SUMMER PASTA with Lobster


* 12 ounces of fresh Café Miranda pasta. Sub another Local fresh pasta if you

ABSOLUTELY cannot find Café Miranda’s. Use a Spaghetti, fettuccine, “like,

whatever” …

* Large Headacre Farm or Local Heirloom Tomato (or a few small ones) 14+- ounces

before cutting . Cored, medium diced.

* 1 Ear of Weskeag Farm or other local sweet corn, kernels shaved, give the dog the cob.

Tell her/him Miranda was named after a dog.

* ½ bunch of Headacre Farm (yeah yeah, or other local blah blah blah) curly parsley,

washed & chopped very coarse

* 1/4 tsp of minced garlic

* 3 + ounces of Maine Olive oil (just kidding) Any good extra Virgin works well. Put more than you thing is correct, trust me.

* 8 Ounces of cooked, picked MAINE LOBSTER meat, cubed. Chilled.

* Coarse salt

* fresh cracked pepper

* Half a Lemon


4-5 quart pot boiling, lightly salted.

Prep all the ingredients as described above.

In a suitable bowl, place the diced tomatoes. Sprinkle w/ salt & mix a bit., let sit 10-15 min. and the salt will draw out some of the liquid that becomes part of the “sauce”.

Place all the other stuff, EXCEPT the noodles, corn and tomatoes in a large bowl..

Heat a heavy skillet to medium hi heat, drop the corn and stir to lightly toast and intensify the color. As the color changes, remove from the heat, add the tomatoes.

Drop the macaroni (that’s what my Ital American Grandma called ALL pasta.

Cook as directed, Café Miranda pasta – 5 min.

While the pasta is cooking, add the tomato-corn mix to the remaining ingredients in the bowl.

Drain the pasta, DO NOT RINSE and drop it on the assembled goodies in the aforementioned bowl. AND LEAVE IT ALONE. For 5 minutes.

What is happening here is the heat of the “macaroni”and the tomato – corn mixture, is gently warming the ingredients without really cooking them. When you just can’t wait ANY longer, toss, turn out into a nice serving platter or plate individually, season with a healthy amount of salt & pepper (this almost health food so some salt is included in the inevitable trade offs we all do…) . Have some Café Miranda Famous Original Brick Oven Focaccia, a chilled prosecco, a companion…..ahhhh.

* Café Miranda Fresh pasta is available in quality markets from Bar Harbor to Bangor and south. Go to for a list of retailers!

Liquid Collaboration with Oxbow Brewing Company

Cafe Miranda is starting a series of Liquid Collaborations. Events in which we pair our fab food with the liquid libations from regional breweries, distilleries and vineyards! Sounds great doesn’t it.

Our first one is slated for April 1st – right here at Cafe Miranda.

A collaboration between Cafe Miranda and Oxbow Brewing Company  Enjoy a four course meal prepared with and paired with selected brews.
1st Course Chicken Pork and Leek Sausage paired with … Oxbow’s Space Cowboy
2nd Course Scallops over Sour Apple Celery puree paired with Oxbow’s Farm House Pale Ale
3rd Course Braised Duck Poutine paired with Oxbow’s Sasuga
4th Course Lemon truffles paired with Oxbow’s Sweet Basil infused Sasuga
Buy your ticket online:
$50 per person, includes four course meal, beer pairings, tax and tip. Sitting is limited.

Kneed It – A Cafe Miranda Cooking Class

Kneed It!
In this cooking class (which will definitely NOT be gluten free) we will do dough! Our fresh Pasta, variations on same which will include Gnocchi, Ravioli, regular & flavored pasta. Basic Foccacia/ Pizza dough, pizzas, calzones, Fried dough for classic Italian American Grandma “…pizzetes”.
We will in this class discuss how various flours, such as All purpose, bread, pastry, semolina & whole wheat differ to make a specific product. We will also do some basic apprapo sauces for the various products we will create to first taste, then create a lunch with several selections of wines & beers that compliment the dishes we make.
Date – January 21, 2012
Time -10:00AM – 1:00PM
Format – Classes are primarily demonstration with some hands on and concludes with a full service lunch.
Class Size – We limit our class to 12 participants. If we have more than 12 participants, and can fill another one, we will schedule another class.
The Cost – $70.00 per person, plus tax per class. Cost includes two glasses wine beer, or soft drinks of choice (depending on what is being paired). Reservations & full payment required.
Lunch Guest Add-on – Those enrolled in the class may invite a lunch guest. $30.00 per guest which includes lunch, drinks and tip.
Call Cafe Miranda to book your spot. 594-2034

Recipe – Cafe Miranda Monk Fish deeelite

MONK FISH: Poorman’s lobster it used to be called, not now @ 10 bucks a
pound… These fish are UGLY, they feed on shell fish so the have quite a set of
choppers, rarely seen as they are headed & all we usually see are the
tails….The texture is rather lobster like, you are what you eat….

Serves one.

8 oz. cleaned (slime off) Monkfish tail, I prefer Port Clyde Fresh Catch

one Les’ Green arrow Farms tomato, diced medium

tsp. Minced garlic,

4 oz fish stock or canned clam juice

2 oz sliced onion

2 oz medium diced Linguisa sausage

2 oz poblano chili pepper

cup of cleaned fresh spinach

The requisite olive oil to sauté

Cafe Miranda Foccacia bread, 3″x3″ square, cut in half oiled w/ olive oil
& toasted well (think big crouton)

Heavy fry pan on medium high heat, oil in pan add first the garlic, as it
browns add the onion, as that “sweats” add pepper & fry ’em, smell good? Add
the Linguisa & just lite brown it. Add the fish & tomato, maybe some
fresh oregano, & the stock. Cover, simmer till fish is BARELY cooked thru,
add spinach, season w/ salt & pepper. Put the crouton in a nice rather large
bowl & dump the lot on it. ‘

Quick, tasty & Local.

To thank Sept 11 First Responders

To thank first responders for their service and hard work within their communities and for putting their lives on the line each day they go to work, Berry Manor Inn in Rockland, ME will honor firefighters, police men and women, and emergency medical personnel with free stays on September 11, 2011 (or an alternative date if necessary) on a space available basis. Café Miranda of Rockland will partner in the cause to provide a free dinner for those who win.  To qualify first “like” Berry Manor Inn on Facebook at then nominate a first responder.  Self-nominations by first responders are encouraged! Please explain where you work and what you do in your Facebook post.  Feel free to tell your story too.  Winners will be chosen and contacted individually.  All those chosen are invited to bring one adult guest and will receive a complimentary overnight stay for two, homemade pie baked by the Berry Manor Inn Pie Moms and ice cream, a gourmet breakfast at Berry Manor Inn plus a free dinner for both in the travel party from Café Miranda. For more information, call 207-596-7696,


Norman “Skip” LaValley 1952-2011

St. George -Norman R. LaValley, Jr., known to his friends as Skip, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, July 14, 2011 after a short but hard battle with cancer.  Born on May 29, 1952 in Troy, New York, he was the son of Marlene and Norman R. Lavalley, Sr.  Skip was one of 9 children. He has three sisters, Susanna Manning, Debbie Lattimore and Karen Malandrucolo and six brothers, Michael LaValley, David LaValley, Stevie LaValley, Timmy LaValley, Danny LaValley and Jeffery LaValley. Skip attended schools in both Troy, NY and Burlington, VT.

In 2001 he married Melissa Hupper of St. George.  Skip served as a medic in the Vietnam War. He was a professionally trained clown (he liked to say he went to “Clown College” and preformed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and at children’s birthday parties. Since 2007, Skip worked at Café Miranda where he demonstrated his strong work ethic and eagerness to help. He volunteered with the Hospitality House and the Maine Lobster Festival.

Skip was an amazing man, husband and friend and was loved by everyone that met him. Skip will be remembered as always outgoing, always having a heart of gold, for being stubborn as a mule, for his strong work ethic and for helping anyone who needed a hand. Skip was a jack of all trades and succeeded at anything he did.  He worked hard his whole life and loved every minute of it. Skip enjoyed being with friends, having cookouts, camp fires, working on his flower gardens, fishing and taking family vacations. Skip will always be missed and never forgotten.

He is survived by his wife Melissa Hupper, two special children whom he treated as his own, Keegan and Kiara and close personal friend, Kerry Altiero.

For details about the service please email Skip’s wife, Melissa Hupper at


On June 12, 2011, Café Miranda will be hosting an art opening and benefit for Jason Philbrook and Jacob Post from Noon to 2:00pm. The afternoon will feature the artist’s work, tasty appetizers from Café Miranda, beverages from Central Distributors which will include Due Torre, Chartron La Fleur, Excelsior, Canaletto and live music from Rattlebox.

The artists and Café Miranda will donate fifty percent of their proceeds to benefit Café Miranda’s long time employee Norman “Skip” Lavalley whose life will end sooner than it should due to cancer. Skip is a very humble and giving man who has consistently given back to those around him. Coming from a less than ideal childhood Skip found time, love and dedication to give to two childrend (Keeegan -8 and Kiara -5). Skip and his wife, Melissa stepped in as second parents to assist the children when their mom was in need. Skip still asks nothing for himself – he asks only that these children be given a fun outing to York’s Wild Kingdom. And while these children have to learn the loss of a “parent” early on in their life, Skip wants to share smiles and a lasting memory. Which seems appropriate given that Skip was a professionally trained traveling circus clown.

Jason Philbrook said “We’re business men and neighbors on Oak street and I’m thrilled to see my neighboring business taking care of a former employee essentially like family during a tough time like this. That’s setting a good example for businesspeople and that’s why I upped the contribution and why I’m thrilled to combine the fundraiser with the scheduled exhibit opening event.

We will ask for a $10.00 dollar donation that will include soft drinks and appetizers served from our counter along with cash bar.

About The Artists:

Jason and Jacob are childhood friends who have grown up in fishing families in the nearby town of Owls Head. Their childhood involved much time spent outdoors and their interest in nature gradually began to involve photography of our wooded coast.

Jason now runs Midcoast Internet Solutions just up the street, but has a creative itch to scratch that is fulfilled with a serious passion for photography. He enjoys an eclectic variety of photo interests ranging from historical processes and styles, film & darkroom work, nature, photographing his lovely family, abstracts, people, and sports. He effectively alternates between traditional film & darkroom processes and color digital photography. Jason developed a knack for black and white film prior to the digital revolution and now makes it an intentional medium of choice for some subjects.

Inspired by Eliot Porter’s Maine photography, Jason did the first ever solo photography exhibit at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1995 with an exhibit of color nature photographs. Jason has not exhibited since due to work and family obligations, but has continued to photograph and study photography. Jason uses the Internet to find the old cameras, film, supplies, and advice to do traditional photography using gear that went out of use before he was born.

When not working at Rockbound Computer, Jacob gets away once in a while to immerse in photographing coastal nature closeups and island wildlife and plants. Being away on an island for days at a time, Jacob uses color digital photography’s benefits to the maximum, shooting great quantities and varieties of nature subjects with exacting detail and color. Jacob printed all the color photographs for this show using professional archival pigment inkjet printing equipment built for fine art needs.