26 | February 16, 2017 | The highland park landmark dining out hplandmark.com High-end cuisine in a snap Mirani’s At Home offers restaurant quality food for busy eaters Jacqueline Glosniak Contributing Editor Another busy day at the office. Hours spent chauffeuring the kids back and forth. Laundry, errands and doctor appointments. Let’s face it, we all find ourselves in these dilemmas — never having enough time in the day to finish a day’s work and then relax, let alone worry about what’s for dinner. For North Shore residents who find themselves in a jam when it comes to preparing a delicious and unique menu for dinner, Winnetka couple Kaveh and Madeleine Mirani have just the perfect solution — a dining concept that concocts fine restaurant quality food for either deliver or pickup. The Miranis, who have owned and operated eateries in Winnetka for the past three decades, recently introduced their newest venture, Mirani’s At Home, in an effort to tap into a dining market they say exists too far and few between. Kaveh Mirani hopes the concept will quickly become a fan favorite in the North Shore. “We noticed that many times, in this area — generally, this is a trend that is happening everywhere in the country — people don’t go out as much because people have children, they come home during the week and are tired, so we thought that right now, they don’t really have that much of a choice in take out food,” he said. “You either get pizzas or maybe some Asian food or you can order from a regular restaurant, but those restaurants are not really designed for take out and the prices are too high.” To understand the Miranis’ passion, one must get to know the couple’s background. Kaveh, who was born in Tehran, Iran, has a doctorate in economics and began his career as a university professor, and Madeleine, who hails from the Netherlands, originally worked in the field of foreign affairs as a diplomat. More than 30 years ago, when Madeleine’s parents came to visit the couple in the U.S., Madeleine says her parents remarked about how shocking it was that there was a vast lack of European-style coffee shops, eateries and overall places of old-fashioned European hospitality. It was at that point the Miranis decided to change the course of their careers and venture into the world of being restaurateurs. “So, we did research in New York and Europe, and started making the gourmet deli,” Madeleine said. “[We] felt there was a void in the market.” While Madeleine acknowledges that the hospitality scene has vastly changed since then, she believes they are still venturing into a market where there is a clear need. Originally, the Miranis opened their first establishment, aptly named Mirani’s, 24 years ago on Green Bay Road as a gourmet delicatessen, French brasserietype restaurant. “Gradually, customers that would come and take out food would say, ‘The food is so good, why not open for lunch?’” Madeleine said. Eventually, Mirani’s became more of a lunch restaurant, later expanding to a location on Elm Street in 2006. There, the Miranis were able to focus on a full-fledged French bistro menu. After closing Mirani’s last year to focus on their new concept, Mirani’s At Home officially opened on Jan. 16, offering a combination of French, Italian and other Mediterranean cuisines. Additionally, the Miranis ensure hints of their Persian and Dutch ethnic foods are also present on the menu. Diners can choose from a variety of a la carte chicken, seafood, pasta, rice and salad dishes and then stop by the business in person or place orders online or over the phone, with speedy delivery ensured within 20 minutes of ordering thanks to a collaboration with MIRANI’S AT HOME 567 B Lincoln Ave., Winnetka www.miranisathome. com (847) 446-4646 4-8 p.m. seven days a week Pre-ordered meal deliveries begin at 3:30 p.m. UberRUSH. Deliveries have a $7 flat fee. With food from Mirani’s At Home, Madeleine ensures the quality of the food is just as stellar as the old Mirani’s, but with the perk of prices being drastically slashed because of less overhead. “It’s wonderful, healthy food. It’s elegant and also unavailable basically, so we decided [to] try and see how people respond,” Madeleine said. “We want people to feel that there is that comfort of staying at home [and] don’t need to go anywhere.” During a recent visit to Mirani’s At Home, 22nd Century Media editors gladly chatted with the Miranis while sampling savory menu items. The chicken Parmigiano ($12), which includes breaded chicken breast and spaghetti with marinara sauce, is a staple Italian dish that’s good for adults and kids alike. The spaghetti is lightly sauced and the thin chicken slices are not heavily breaded, lending to both great noodle texture and appropriate meat portion. The mustard crusted salmon ($15), one of the restaurant’s staple dishes, features a breaded salmon with mustard sauce served over French lentils and fresh vegetables. The outside of the fish is crunchy but lends a soft and firm inside, and the dish undoubtedly stands out for it’s mustard flavoring that’s not too strong or overwhelming for the natural flavoring of a well-cooked salmon. The Northbrook Tower Editor Matt Yan’s favorite dish was the Mediterranean chicken kebab ($11), which includes diced chicken marinated in olive oil and signature Mirani’s spices and served with grilled vegetables. Sour cherry saffron rice can also be added to the plate for $6. The chicken’s light grilling lends great balance to the uniquely cooked grains. For $17, the steak classique features thick, 8-ounce cuts of prime sirloin simmered in a red wine sauce. Our portion Mirani’s At Home’s chicken Parmigiano ($14) features breaded chicken breast atop a bed of spaghetti in marinara sauce. Photos by Chris Pullam/22nd Century Media The fettucine alfredo ($12 naked, $16 with shrimp) is topped with a creamy sauce, Parmigiano-Reggiano and peas. was served with a side of bistro frites ($4), or french fries, which were not overly greasy and not salty. The fettuccine alfredo ($11) was much tastier than your average alfredo dish, since the noodles were perfectly cooked al dente and unlike many alfredo sauces, was not a heavy cream leaving you feeling overly stuffed. For an additional $4, shrimp can be tossed in, offering a nice balance between a seafood and pasta comfort favorite. The beet salad ($7), including greens, walnuts, blue cheese and vinaigrette dressing, made for a great option for vegetarian and The Glenview Lantern Editor Chris Pullam. For an additional $6, shrimp or salmon can be tossed in the mix. Finally, the Kurdish red lentil soup ($5 for a small,$11 for a large) offers a hearty and warm complement to be served alongside any of the Mirani’s At Home dishes. Mirani’s At Home is also happy to accommodate orders for small or large catering events and is currently building a larger menu for corporate fine dining. Additionally, the restaurant caters to gluten-free, allergy requests and dietary restrictions as requested by diners. With the masterpiece menu served by head chef Alvaro Chavez, the Miranis offer fine food for a reasonable price. “We’ve had comments from our customers already that said, ‘I might as well have been in a restaurant, it was so amazing,’ and that’s exactly what we want,” Madeleine said.
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