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by Meredith Mileti

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Mira Rinaldi lives life at a rolling boil. Co-owner of Grappa, a chic New York City trattoria, she has an enviable apartment, a brand-new baby, and a frenzied schedule befitting her success.

Everything changes the night she catches her husband, Jake, "wielding his whisk" with Grappa's new Mâitress d'. Mira's fiery response earns her a court-ordered…  See more details below


Mira Rinaldi lives life at a rolling boil. Co-owner of Grappa, a chic New York City trattoria, she has an enviable apartment, a brand-new baby, and a frenzied schedule befitting her success.

Everything changes the night she catches her husband, Jake, "wielding his whisk" with Grappa's new Mâitress d'. Mira's fiery response earns her a court-ordered stint in anger management and the beginning of legal and personal predicaments as she battles to save her restaurant and pick up the pieces of her life.

Mira falls back on family and friends in Pittsburgh as she struggles to find a recipe for happiness. But the heat is really on when some surprising developments in New York present her with a high stakes opportunity to win back what she thought she had lost forever. For Mira, cooking isn't just about delicious flavors and textures, but about the pleasure found in filling others' needs. And the time has come to decide where her own fulfillment lies—even if the answers are unexpected.

Keenly observed and deeply satisfying, Aftertaste is a novel about rebuilding and rediscovery, about food passionately prepared and unapologetically savored, and about the singular contentment that comes with living—and loving—with gusto.

"A delicious debut." --Jamie Cat Callan, author of French Women Don't Sleep Alone

Meredith Mileti lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and their three, mostly grown children. She is a graduate of Hamilton College and the University of Pittsburgh where she earned a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, and subsequently served on the faculty. Since taking her first home economics course in junior high, Meredith has loved to cook. An adventurous and eclectic diner, she appreciates any well-cooked meal, whether from a lobster shack in Bar Harbor, Maine, a friggitorie in Naples, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris or a Deluxe Double Egg & Cheese at Primanti's in Pittsburgh. Aftertaste is her first novel.

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Aftertaste 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
52chickadees More than 1 year ago
Mira Rinaldi seemed thoroughly satisfied with her daily chaos-filled life as co-owner and chef at "Grappa", the renowned NYC trattora, plus being the mother of their newborn daughter, Chloe and wife of chef and business partner, Jake. All is rolling along smoothly until the fateful night that Mira discovers Jake's indiscretions with Grappa's Maitress'd ; the sultry Nicola. Mira's already stress-filled life evolves into an emotional, anger-filled"roller coaster ride" culminating in her arrest for assault and an order to take anger-management classes. Between deep-seated anger and an unforgiving schedule, her participation in the classes is not successful, and so, after being overheard and misunderstood, as well as to avoid going back to jail, Mira offers to leave the New York City area (as well as her beloved Grappa) for six months and heads to her childhood home and her Father in Pittsburgh, Pa. With the upheaval comes sad memories, some revelations, new and renewed friendships and a lot of soul-searching within herself. Mira had always considered herself a strong woman, but, is she strong enough to create a new life, one not only for herself-but for Chloe as well? She will discover it includes enticements, opportunities, realizations, frustrations, exhilaration, excitement and, maybe peace and contentment she never thought she'd find. You'll cheer for her attempts at righting her topsy-turvy life, helped by a steadfast group of friends including tough businesswoman; Renata and husband, Michael, the guy with the heart of gold from her past; Richard, Ruth and toddler son Carlos, the new lady in her Dad's life; Fiona, crusty newspaper editor; Enid, and especially Ben. Your heart will reach out in sympathy, as Mira experiences the pain and loss of not only her marriage, but the business she poured so much of herself into. Ms. Mileti touches alcoholism with a skillful pen, and how it affects not just the abuser, but their friends and family, especially, younger generations. The attention to detail, especially the descriptions of the scrumptious dishes is enough to make your mouth water! I never thought about Karma much before reading this tale, but, I will now! "Aftertaste" may be Ms. Mileti's first novel, but I, for one, sure hope it will not be her last. I'm ready to embark on some new adventures with Mira, how about you? Nancy Narma
sfc95 More than 1 year ago
This book opens with Mira, the main character retelling her assualt of her husbands lover. It is funny, but not over the top, just funny in a looking back sort of way. This gets the reader hooked in my opinion, however the book has some lull around pages 120 or so and it takes about 50 pages to get back into it. Mira is depressed at that time and it is almost as if the emotion transfers to the reader and the pages. Once you get over the depression the book picks up a great deal and I found myself rooting for Mira the whole way. To me this book was like living Mira's life, the reader truly feels the emotions portrayed in her life. For an author's first novel it is a homerun, not sure how she will be able to top it.
ClubCritic More than 1 year ago
This extraordinary novel combines two of my favorite interests-- food and literary fiction. There are a lot of things I loved about the book-- the story, the humor, the drama, but most of all the beautiful writing-- hard to believe that it is Mileti's first book. I'm really looking forward to discussing this at our next book club meeting. Without giving anything away, there is a lot to discuss-- preferably over some good food!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We read this for our book club. Author has a conversational, easy to read style, reminds me of Jennifer Weiner in tone. Mira, our main character, is feisty and delightfully imperfect. Story explores anger, loss and friendship with a foodie theme for readers who have spent time in Pittsburgh, a wonderful flavor of the Steel City.
DolphinChick More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I am also, as Meredith Mileti puts it in a note about herself at the end of her fabulous book, “an untrained, albeit incredibly enthusiastic, home cook” and I fell in love with the heroine of this book, Mira! She’s funny and sarcastic and amazing in any kitchen! She has to take control of her life after finding her husband and a co-worker together…well…control may not be all she takes…she also took a chunk of the other woman’s hair without even realizing it! Love it!! And that’s just the beginning! It’s a wonderful story of finding yourself again after a long relationship ends (or does it?) and also about this beautiful love affair with food we all have and the important role food, or feeding those we love and care about, plays in our lives! At the end of the book Meredith includes several amazing recipes that were used during an important part of the story! Perfection!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story and easy read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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MapleValleyBrooke More than 1 year ago
Entertaining, engrossing, and very well-written for its genre, Aftertaste is a non-guilty pleasure. The book opens with the main character's husband cheating on her shortly after the birth of their child, and her rather violent, but understandable reaction that forces her to Anger Management courses. Similar to Bread Alone, the book narrates her painful and sometimes circuitous journey back to believing in herself and to creating a meaningful life. The writing is excellent, the characterization is rich and complex, and the book grabs the reader and doesn't let go until the final page. I look forward to more by this author.
NWIStacey More than 1 year ago
Mileti had me hooked from the first page! The rebuilding of life, love, and career was overpowering. I laughed and cried along with Mira. I groaned when Mira was acting foolish. I beat my head with the book, saying ¿NO! Not again!¿ When a reader has such great emotions from simply reading, you know you have an excellent author! Mira had the perfect life. She had a gorgeous and smart chef husband, a darling infant, the lucrative restaurant of her dreams, yet it shatters like a mirror hitting cement when Mira finds her husband in the throes of passion with one of their employees. Mira explodes, causing many legal battles to come about. She looses her husband, her business, her self-esteem . . . she is alone with an infant and has to rebuild her life. Regretfully, she returns to her hometown of Pittsburg where she slowly, and stubbornly, rebuilds her life, from herself up to her career. It takes a lot for Mira to do, but she succeeds! Not only does she succeed, but she does it well! Her friends and family are there for her throughout the story. She not only finds herself, but she finds love along the way ¿ and peace! Mileti has tapped into a foodies dream! The use of the five courses was an excellent way to divide the chapters in Mira¿s life! The knowledge of food, cooking, baking, cuisine, etc. that Mileti has included leaves no doubt that she has done the research, and done it well! I have fallen in love with Mileti¿s writing and truly look forward to another piece!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
When she was seven months pregnant, Mira Rinaldi hired Nicola as the Maîtress d'hotel at her Manhattan Italian restaurant, Grappa. Two months later she gives birth to Chloe. However, Mira begins to think her spouse and restaurant co-owner Jake is having an affair with Nicola. When two months old Chloe wakes her up in the wee hours of the morning, she finds her spouse not home. Mira with Chloe walks to nearby Grappa; there she finds Jake and the Maîtress d'hotel having sex. She explodes attacking Nicola. Later Judge Wilcox places Mira on probation and makes her attend an anger management seminar. Mira files for divorce and flees with her baby to her family in Pittsburgh. She knows she may lose her beloved Grappa but Mira refuses to retreat. Instead as her family and friends surround her with love she seeks a revised gourmet five course meal while Jake betrays her again even after their divorced. This is a terrific drama due to the mercurial Mira's reactions to life changes (having a baby, a cheating husband, a divorce, a potential move and much more). Mindful of No Reservations but with its own five course story line, fans will enjoy Mira's heartfelt love of cooking as she seeks a new way to balance the loves of her life. Harriet Klausner