First Taste: Mill Street Bar & Table
A just-over-the-CT-border seasonal American restaurant that lives up to its farm-to-table creed.
Located in the Byram section of Greenwich, less than a mile away from the Port Chester line, is a newish restaurant you should be excited about. The excitement about Mill Street Bar & Table starts with a term that’s overused and in most cases just isn’t true: Farm-to-table. Here though, farm-to-table is practiced in its truest form because Mill Street is owned by the Back 40 Farm Group (Back 40 Farm, Back 40 Kitchen, and Back 40 Mercantile) and when they’re not using ingredients grown on their own farm in Washington, CT, they’re getting goods via local farms, farmers markets, and purveyors that are all in Connecticut and New York.
At the helm of Mill Street’s kitchen is Executive Chef/Partner Geoff Lazlo, formerly of acclaimed restaurants like Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Gramercy Tavern, Chez Panisse, and The Whelk. He’s a third generation backyard farmer, who, by teaming up with Back 40, gets to put his passion of using farm fresh, seasonal ingredients at the forefront of Mill Street Bar & Table. Chef Lazlo’s menu focuses on the rustic cuisine of the Northeast with his own creative spin on things.
Homemade ricotta cavatelli with Bolognese.
Before you dive right into ordering those homey dishes, you should kick things off with a drink. You could opt for an ice cold beer (they have six on tap), or a bottle of wine from their extensive cellar, but the cocktails are solid. Of the Prohibition Era cocktails that Mill Street features, I enjoyed The Last Word (gin, green chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, lime juice) most of all. It was equal parts sweet and strong with some bitterness to balance it out. A contrast to that drink was a Daiquiri, served in its true form with rum, lime juice, and sugar. It’s a sweeter drink but not overly so, and don’t give into the temptation to chug it or the rum will hit you back.
When it came time to order I was immediately drawn to the flatbreads, namely the one with ham, egg, and cheese. The flatbread itself was thin and crispy and atop it sat a perfect yolk ready to be popped and the pleasantly salty slices of Benton’s Ham. I want this for dinner and again in the morning. One of the focal points of the menu though is the raw bar, where you’ll find everything from iced oysters to baked clams, sea urchin, stone crab claws, and very addictive grilled oysters with a simple but slurp-able white wine, butter, and thyme sauce. More starters include crispy duck ribs, caviar, and a bunch of super-fresh salads.
For bigger plates Mill Street offers an already acclaimed beef burger, whole roasted chicken, and grilled trout. While tempted by those signature dishes, I went with their pork meatballs (Wild Hive polenta, caramelized onions). The meatballs were crispy on the outside, and complemented by the creamy polenta. The onions added a much needed sweet element. I found the dish to be extremely filling but good on a chilly night. I also tried the homemade ricotta cavatelli with Bolognese that, for me, was one of the better Bolognese dishes I’ve had anywhere. The “sauce” uses pastured beef and is seasoned to perfection, including chili flakes for some appreciated heat. If alone, I might have licked the bottom of the bowl.
If you dare to opt for dessert (you should), go with the coconut cake. It wasn’t super sweet, the cake is moist, and the Valrhona chocolate smears on the plate provide bitterness. Finally, a cake we won’t get sick of after three forkfuls! Pastry Chef Caryn Stabinsky gets props for this one and it made me want to try every dessert on Mill Street’s menu.
I’m already plotting a return and a plan of attack for next time but FYI, Mill Street went from empty to packed in a blink on a weekday night, so make a reservation and show up hungry!
Mill Street Bar & Table
230 Mill St