Between the Fourth of July and Bastille Day, celebrate Guy Reuge. Mirabelle, the St. James landmark that he closed in December, elegantly returns at the Three Village Inn. Classic French and creative New American, it's peak Reuge.
The chef now has two restaurants at the inn. The more casual, full-flavored Mirabelle Tavern opened in March as the kind of place you'd gladly visit once a week. The reborn Mirabelle, haute in cuisine and refined in style, improves on the original and in a handsome, serene setting. It's still a plum.
Reuge pairs exceptional local produce and meticulous technique. Perfectly poached North Fork vegetables finished with a truffle vinaigrette could make you a vegetarian. A square of tuna carpaccio, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and paired with a salad of microgreens, stays unfussy, allowing ingredients to shine. Pickled Spanish mackerel arrives with light tomato broth and ramps to advertise spring; the tomato tartlet with sour cream, basil-scented oil and fried basil announces summer. Rillettes of duck and foie gras with toasted brioche triangles and frisee salad: passport to Paris. Poached halibut under a pistachio-crumb crust and atop sherry-vanilla sauce vies for catch of the season with pan-seared weakfish that's backed by a ragout of local kale, beans and radishes with bacon. Pan-roasted Painted Hill Farm beef filet in a lush morel-and-Port sauce: a prime entree. And Mirabelle veterans can be reassured - the two-course service of duck has made the trip. Here, the seared breast is accompanied by a fava-and-coco bean ragout and shallot-cassis marmalade; the confit of leg, by a ragout of corn and a Serrano ham "parcel." The delectable ginger-almond tart finds rivals in the chocolate fondant and the rhubarb crumble.
Flaws are measured in grains of salt: too many with lamb sirloin and sides, too few with the Provencal eggplant-and-ratatouille appetizer.
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