Growing up in the Sandy Hook section of Newtown, my family would sometimes venture into Southbury for a quick bite to eat. Miranda's has changed hands many times since the late-1970's when I was growing up, but I don't think their décor has changed a bit.
Stucco walls, pink pleather booths, and dim lighting fill the space, as do friendly smiles, efficient service and a great Italian meal. The arched doorway separates two dining areas with booths, and there is also a back room with tables.
The restaurant was very busy on a Wednesday night, always a good sign, especially on the take-out side. This place has a hometown feel and the waitress and two cashiers knew the customers by name. Everyone is very friendly and warm.
Skipping lunch, my 10-year-old daughter was ravenous, so we quickly skimmed the menu and ordered right away. Our friendly waitress was experienced and efficient and brought our drinks promptly.
We began dinner with the traditional Fried Calamari ($7.95), although their special with gorgonzola and hot peppers also looked quite good. I don't know any 10-year-olds who like that combo so we stuck with the old standby. The appetizer was more of a dinner sized portion and was large enough to feed four. The calamari was delicious, and thankfully didn't contain any of those "weird octopus arm thingies" that my daughter always picks out.
A house salad came with my meal, and my daughter gobbled up the bread our waitress brought while we waited for our dinners. The restaurant offers a good selection of wines by the bottle, low priced wines by the glass, and a variety of domestic and imported beers. I ordered the house pinot grigio which was a very generous pour, and very good for only $4.25.
The Chicken Parmesan ($14.95) I ordered was excellent and a very generous portion. Served with thick-cut spaghetti on the side, it was too large to finish after the calamari and salad. I wrapped up half to take home for my husband who enjoyed it as well.
My daughter had the Spaghetti & Meatballs ($8.95) from the kid's menu and she could only finish half also. She said "it was scrumptious, and the meatballs weren't too spicy or garlicy."
We ended our food fest with two Cannolis ($4.25-) to go. The cannolis were very good, not too sweet, filled with the traditional creamy filling and drizzled with chocolate sauce.
Our bill came to $63.50 with a 20 percent tip for excellent service. A family of four could easily pay around $45 for dinner, with pasta dishes and grinders as low as $6.95 and a huge selection of thin crust and gourmet pizzas. The restaurant is very family friendly.
The dinner menu had many other traditional Italian items such as Chicken Francaise, Veal Marsala, Seafood Fra Diavlo, and any type of pasta you can think of. Italian soups are also available. Their take-out menu features a large selection of grinders, pizzas, pasta, and calzones.
If what you want is hearty meals, low prices, and nothing too fancy, Miranda's is just what you're looking for.