Other than the removal of the salad bar, there haven’t been many discernible changes to the physical structure of the former Lucatelli’s restaurant, now called Mix, located on Elmira Road opposite the Northside Shopping Center. And happily, it still features its own dedicated parking lot.
The internal operation, however, is very different and quite appealing. It begins with the entrance itself. Lunch time, when we approach the main dining room, there’s a standing sign which informs that we may choose any table. I like that, as I think it’s customer friendly and means management has tasked servers to find us. And when the servers do arrive they pour a glass of cold water from a carafe containing a colorful tasty surprise which, on various visits, have included basil and mint leaves, cucumber and lime, and orange and cucumber slices. The carafe remains on the table for easy access. These two simple steps, seating ourselves and the creative water service, are a clear indication that Mix management is innovative and customer friendly. Although I’m not privy to the training program, it’s hard not to notice the service is incredibly friendly, helpful and efficient. If all the servers at Mix resemble Fio and Tristan, there is no better service in our area.
The menu has expanded dramatically since Mix’s opening three years ago. It begins with breakfast offerings that offer a variety of creative options, including a dozen interesting omelet combinations ($12.50-$13.50) plus a plain one with a group of a la carte items, which can be chosen to create your own. Omelet prep can be tricky: In an attempt to make sure all the ingredients are properly cooked it’s easy to overcook or undercook the eggs. At Mix, the omelets are expertly prepared. They are served with a ramekin of brown sugar oatmeal, which is too sweet for me, a biscuit, and some cheddar hash brown potatoes. There’s also an excellent selection of French toast, waffles, and pancakes.
At lunch I recently selected one of their fun sounding burgers. I ordered it rare but received it well done. It came as a double patty, with an almost imperceptible thin layer of melted cheese and juicy, tasty shavings of fried onions piled high.
At dinner, a complimentary initial offering of homemade popovers with a tasty homemade tomato dipping sauce was most welcome.
One of their highlighted items is fried chicken. Four parts are offered: wing, breast, thigh, leg. Any three cost $14.95 and four cost $15.95. With that pricing It shouldn’t be a surprise that I always order four, even if I have to take some home. The pieces are usually cooked just right although the breading is heavier than I like so I scrape most of it off.
Another of my favorites is the Duck Confit Grilled Cheese sandwich ($16.95).
I wouldn’t recommend Lobster Bisque Pot Pie simply because there’s so little lobster and the two tiny pieces I could find were cut so small my server and I had to actually search for them in the sauce. On the other hand, the Vegan Thai Noodle Bowl is beautifully seasoned with a generous portion of my selected protein, tofu.
Major categories include Butcher’s Block items, composed of steaks and chops. I very much enjoyed the lamb loin chops which arrived rare when ordered rare and yet were still beautifully seasoned. There’s a choice of sauces… I chose Bearnaise. I did wish there were accompanying sides other than a small stuffed half tomato. Mussels, Burgers, Sandwiches, Salads and Seafood are other major groupings. Fire Pot Seafood Gumbo can be ordered small or large. The description for small is that it serves 2-3, however I found it suitable for just one.
Dessert tray includes tasty homemade treats for $7.
About wine: At lunch, only glasses are listed unfortunately with no country of origin for guidance. Bottles are available, just ask your server. For dinner, wine offerings are more extensive. Once I ordered a bottle that turned out to be unavailable and server brought me a trial sample of a comparable one. Very professional.
Tidbits: Mix is closed Monday and Tuesday. Breakfast is served from 9 a.m. Wednesday-Friday and at 8 a.m. on weekends. Breakfast is served through lunch which ends at 3 p.m. Mix reopens at 5 p.m. for dinner.
Pricing is unusual. Instead of using dollars and cents as many restaurants do, they use decimals which is more common in expensive establishments. It’s easy to understand, however, I wondered why items listed in a single category were $10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7, 10.8.