In making the trek from my foodie hometown, San Francisco, to rural Ithaca, I tried not to get my hopes up about the food I would be eating for the next three years. I envisioned a few mediocre restaurants sprinkled with bagel shops and your occasional hole-in-the-wall gem. I soon learned how wrong I really was; a walk in the Commons showcases Thai, French, Mexican and American restaurants, not to mention tapas-focused cuisine (my favorite). I was over the moon. With all the variety that the Commons offers, I hadn’t gotten the chance to eat at Mia until recently when my friends insisted that we try it. Walking into Mia is an experience of its own; you are almost transported to a place that is fashionable and trendy.
Mia is unique in that it offers primarily French cuisine infused with Asian influences. The dishes offered on the menu are unique to Mia and feature many different cuisine types. Though the tapas experience intends for people to order many small dishes to share, we decided to order each order our own dish to serve as our own respective entrées. I ordered the warm ramen noodles tossed with duck-soy sauce and sesame oil, while my friends ordered sautéed tofu, smoked tofu buns, fresh Hamachi yellowtail tuna sashimi and diver scallops. The service was quick and our waiter knew every detail about the menu, which was helpful in figuring out what to order. We sat upstairs but there is lots of seating on the bottom floor with a view out into the Commons — perfect for people-watching or just unwinding with friends after a hard week.
Once the food came, we eagerly dived in. My dish was the perfect balance of tangy and spicy and used different Asian influences to bring out the duck-soy sauce and vegetables that were mixed in. Even just a bite of the other dishes proved that Mia easily combines flavors and ingredients to make cohesive dishes. The portions were reasonable for the prices and everything tasted fresh and flavorful. As a tapas enthusiast, and compared to other tapas restaurants I’ve eaten at, I thought Mia did a good job of offering a variety of options and high quality food. The variety allowed me to try foods from all over the world in just one meal. And while there were many seafood options, there were equally as many meat and vegetarian options. Out of my dining companions, there was a vegan, a vegetarian and a staunch meat-eater and each of us enjoyed our meal.
Although we skipped out on dessert because we were too full, the dessert menu looked just as extensive and mouth-watering as the main menu.
Mia is the perfect place to go, whether you’re looking for a romantic bite to eat or dinner with a big group of friends. You won’t find the cuisine style anywhere else in Ithaca and its central location in the Commons is unbeatable.