Café Mirage, 531
North Main St, Port Chester, New York 10573
Fax 914 937 2769
|Monday - Thursday
||11:30AM to 10:00PM
||11:30AM to Midnight
||4:00PM to Midnight
||4:00PM to 9:00PM
On the Byram River, a
By M. H. REED
Published: April 9, 2006
DEVELOPMENT along Port Chester's downtown waterfront has
recently tended toward the mammoth with soaring shopping
malls and movie theaters lining the major intersection.
But a drive north along low-profile Main Street to Cafe
Mirage can restore one's sense of scale. Situated along
a small-town stretch of road next to the Byram River,
the restaurant offers a view of a gentler time: ducks
and geese taking a dip in the river.
This homey restaurant is one of a kind: welcoming, laid
back, accommodating. The open kitchen adds to the
informality. An eclectic menu built on basic bistro fare
is full of surprises, adding pungency, peppery heat or
fruity sweetness to dishes that have their roots in
Asia, France or regional America. The excellent breads
served here came from the Kneaded Bread, this cafe's
Main Street neighbor, and superior butter was worthy of
A blackboard menu listed fresh shellfish of the day. The
little neck clams proved cold, pristine and delicious. A
bowlful of steamed little necks arrived in a broth zesty
from the coppery liquor they released. Bangkok mussels
were also steamed, in fragrant, mildly spicy coconut
milk, which underscored their sweetness.
Spices — from mellow to incendiary — flavored many
dishes, and in the case of chilies, diners could specify
their preference. A request for medium heat with big,
crisp Thai lemon grass shrimp brought a dish a tad on
the fiery side of our notion of medium. Served with
creamy pinked goat cheese and a bed of greens, unusual
smoky duck quesadilla had lots of flavor. Although
skewered cubes of beef (Korean bulgogi) were tough,
glossy stir-fry noodles (pibimguksu) were satisfying and
countered the sharp pungency of kimchi.
A sampler of three soups was worth trying, especially
since it gave us a favorite for future visits: elegant,
silky lobster bisque. An Asian sampler met with less
success: the lobster spring roll needed seasoning, the
tuna dumplings were hard, and the crisped noodles
wrapping two shrimp were unpleasantly sharp.
Salads, an inventive lot, were fine both for starters
and for entrees. Combinations may include citrus,
various cheeses, pignoli, avocado, steak or shrimp.
Few places are successful cooking ostrich; the meat is
lean and easily overdone. Here this special was as
tender and as succulent as the lamb chop paired with it.
Grilled andouille sausage, mashed potatoes and fresh,
buttery spinach (without a hint of bitterness) shared
Tender rib eye steak under melted Gorgonzola and shell
steak au poivre with pommes frites made other fine
choices. Classic and spicy hot Jamaican jerk chicken
came with black beans and rice. Although curried shrimp
crisped with coconut were mellow, the soba noodles that
accompanied them were mingled with almost undetectable
julienne jalapeños, a sneaky addition that had us
reaching for the water glass, although some diners will
find the unexpected jolt delightful.
Brought with chopsticks, sesame-crusted yellowfin tuna
with wakame (seaweed) salad was decent, and better than
overly sticky seafood-packed gumbo and fresh but dull
A great bread pudding depends upon great bread, and this
kitchen's pudding had star quality, making an also-ran
of good, intensely chocolate mousse. Then there is the
splendid cheese plate, perfect for a shared ending or a
light supper. Ours held generous portions of Brie,
Manchego, goat, blue and Cheddar, all appealingly ripe
and even better eaten with that outstanding bread.
The limited wine list is adequate, but beer was the best
match for the food's assertive flavors. An international
selection of more than three dozen brands of beer cools
in a refrigerated case covering an entire wall. A bottle
of icy cold beer would be just the ticket for a
restorative time on the patio next to the Byram River,
no longer seen in the dark of a late summer night, but
531 North Main Street
ATMOSPHERE Eccentric little cafe hung with old cigarette
and movie posters and a couple of small inconspicuous
television sets. Outdoor patio, weather permitting.
Pleasant, accommodating service.
RECOMMENDED DISHES Bangkok mussels, steamed little neck
clams, duck and goat cheese quesadilla, Thai shrimp,
ostrich and lamb chop combination special, shell steak
au poivre, sesame seared yellowfin tuna, bread pudding,
PRICES Lunch: salads, sandwiches, pasta, $7 to $14.
Dinner: entrees, $18 to $24.
CREDIT CARDS Major cards.
HOURS Monday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight.
Saturday, 6 p.m. to midnight.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS Ramp.
THE RATINGS Excellent. Very Good. Good. Satisfactory.
Poor. Ratings reflect the reviewer's reaction primarily
to food, with ambience and service taken into
consideration. Menu listings and prices are subject to
Review published: April 9, 2006
In recent years, become
a town that remarkable number of worthwhile restaurants
Even in this context, Cafe Mirage stands out as a place
that merits notice. Judging from the full houses we've
encountered there on our visits, a lot of happy diners
agree with us. Owner Dave Haggerty presides in the
kitchen, while his wife, Katy, keeps everything running
smooth in the dining area, where a staff of attentive
servers sees everyone's properly taken care of. The
place is bright and cheerful, and if you like watching a
well-run kitchen operating, it's right there where you
can see it all. There's a prevailing atmosphere of good
cheer and warmth that are ideal accompaniments to fine
The menu here is eclectic, with many cuisines nicely
represented. The oyster bar offers whatever oysters and
clams are currently at their freshest, as well as
Thai-style mussels in coconut milk with Thai spices.
There are dishes with a pronounced Korean style, some
from the Caribbean, and others that bear the
unmistakable and inimitable flavorings of Louisiana. You
can choose sandwiches-including a generous half-pound
cheeseburger-and exceptional salads. In addition to the
regular menu, there are nightly specials. Also, check
out the well-chosen wine list and the wide selection of
domestic and imported beers.
We began our recent meal with a couple of wonderful
salads: one featuring mixed greens that seemed like
they'd just been plucked from a garden, enhanced by that
gorgonzola cheese and a fine Dijon vinaigrette; the
other combining arugula, grapefruit, gorgonzola, red
onion, pignoli, and a bracing poppy seed vinaigrette.
Lobster vegetable spring rolls were succulent and crisp.
By the way, the bread here is first-rate, too.
Our Cajun-Creole devotee opted for the house gumbo, with
"mudbugs" (crawfish), along with shrimp, scallops,
andouille sausage, and rice, all set off by a
marvelously savory sauce. Prince Edward island mussels,
a favorite here, were fine in the mariniere version, and
were probably equally excellent in the alternative cream
sauce, flanked by outstanding frites. Plantain-crusted
Tilapia was another winner, the fish moist and perfectly
cooked, flanked by marvelous black beans and rice and
ambrosial mango salsa.
The list of desserts include such goodies as a
bread-and-butter bread pudding with caramel and golden
raisins, intense bittersweet chocolate mousse, a
seasonal fruit plate, a nice selection of I cheeses,
and-our choice to share that evening - a fine crème
brulée, nicely crisped on the top.
Cafe Mirage is located at 531 North Main Street in Port
Chester, NY. They I serve lunch and dinner from Monday
through Saturday, and - worth noting - they're open
late. They close at midnight on Mon. and Tues., 1 a.m.
on Wed. and Thurs., and 2 a.m. on Fri. and Sat. It's
comforting to know that in an area not famous for
late-night establishments that you can find great food
at those hours. Call 914-937-3497.
www.cafemirageny.com , for directions and further
information, including their current menus. And, if
you'd like to reserve the place for a private party,
that can be arranged in advance. Cafe Mirage is a
winning combination of top-notch cuisine and hospitality
that you'll find habit-forming.
by Robert Hirschfeld
Dining After Hours In
CRAVING FOR CURRY
at a quarter to ten? Find yourself mooning for mussels
Cafe Mirage is the area's answer to all late night
needs. Chef/owner Dave Haggerty burns the midnight oil
even later these days-he serves after-hours diners
(firemen, nurses, doctors and, of course, other
restaurant industry people) his eclectic mix of
Caribbean, Cajun, French and Asian-inspired fare until 2
a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays (or would that be
Saturdays and Sundays?)
Prince Edward Island mussels served marinieres-style may
be a classic favorite, but my dinner companion and I
would come back for the mussels "Bangkok," served in a
warm coconut milk bath with just a touch of heat.
Diners in search of heartier fare can dig into steaming
bowls of andouille-spiked seafood gumbo, spicy Jamaican
jerk chicken with black beans and rice. or a shell steak
served with pommes frites. Pass on the
"sounds-more-exciting-than-it-is" plantain crusted
tilapia with mango salsa, which was bland. Opt instead
for the sesame-crusted seared tuna - it's good enough on
its own, but made even more likeable thanks to a
generous portion of ginger risotto.
The menu offers everything from a half-pound
cheeseburger for $11 to farm-raised ostrich steak for
$23; from the daily selections of raw oysters to the
chef's desserts of perennial favorites like chocolate
mousse, creme brulee and bread pudding. Some of the fare
you eat here will be better than others, but it's the
kind of place you'll keep coming back to.
What draws you back? Well, importantly, the food is
generally pretty good. But it's also just a nice, easy
place to be. The casual, friendly atmosphere, easy
attitude of servers and cheerful orange interior make
this just the sort of place to go to unwind after a long
day at work (whether the work ends at 6 or 11 p.m.) or
to fuel that late-night hankering for hollandaise-
topped pan-fried oysters.
531 North Main Street, Port Chester (914) 937-3497
Hours: Lunch, Monday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.;
dinner, Sunday to Tuesday, 6 p.m. to 12 a.m., Wednesday
and Thursday, 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., Friday and Saturday, 6
p.m. to 2 a.m. Appetizers: $7-$11; entrees: $17-$23;
Mirage Port Chester
531 N. Main St. (Terrace Ave.) Port Chester, NY, 10573
There’s “always something interesting to try” on the
Eclectic menu at this “small”, “funky” “converted gas
station” in Port Chester where the “big flavor”
combinations come from “very different” dishes, shaped
by French, Caribbean and Asian influences and best
enjoyed with a beer from the “extensive list”; a
“late-night gathering spot for chefs from all over
Westchester and Fairfield”, this “fun hangout” stays
open till between 12 AM and 2 AM, depending on the
night; N.B. it was renovated post-Survey.
“Cafe Mirage is an
oasis in Portchester” is what the Journal News had to
say about this completely original restaurant. This past
summer Cafe Mirage expanded and renovated their dining
room to accommodate the growing numbers of diners.
Chef/owner Dave Haggerty calls his menu a melting pot of
Caribbean, French, Asian, Cajun, American cuisines. The
menu offers selections like Arugula salad, prepared in a
completely inventive way, fried Oysters, Thai and/or
Curry Shrimp, that can be prepared mild, medium, hot,
or, for the very daring, volcanic. Cafe Mirage also
serves dishes like Farm Raised Ostrich that the New York
Times said is “skillfully cooked” a grilled salmon they
A graduate of the
Culinary Institute of America, with experience on the
East Coast that includes an apprenticeship at the Ritz
Carlton, Dave buys every ingredient personally to create
what Westchester Spotlight Magazine called the “Best
Late Night Menu In Westchester.”
Open well after every
other restaurant has closed, Café Mirage is a
“late-night gathering spot for chefs from all over
Westchester and Fairfield,” according to the Zagat’s
Survey. The restaurant has fish, pasta and meat specials
every night as well as a selection of over 40 beers from
all over the world that is forever growing. The wine
list includes domestic labels, some from New York, and
French wines, as well as 12 selections by the glass.
Dave’s wife, Katy, is
in charge of the front of the house, overseeing the
eclectic, fresh, wholesome food and wine is reasonably
priced and enjoyed by all. Dave makes all the desserts
and regulars love the Chocolate Mousse.