A while back I ruffled a few feathers by suggesting that Millie’s brunch, while good, might not be worth the wait for a table. Some people disagreed and said it was worth the wait (that’s ok – personally, I still am not sure as the meal was a bit uneven). A number of people waxed poetic about the dinner and declared me wrong. The problem with that is that I was just writing about their brunch, not dinner – so, let’s stay on subject, OK? This time I‘m writing about dinner so take your brunch comments (if any) over to the other post.
Dinner’s out are becoming less frequent for us. With Finn in school and M pregnant if we make it out to dinner it’s becoming earlier and earlier. We’re not looking for early bird specials but we seem to be calling for opening times rather than closing times. The issue with that is I don’t close my store until 7 in the evening. If we eat out on nights I close it tends to be quick or a chain (shudder…) of some sort. There are, however, still nights that we just need to get out for a good meal. Wednesday was one of those.
After the typical debate between M and I (involving a good 15 or 20 restaurants) we decided while circling Shockoe Bottom on Millie’s and, once parking was located, entered the restaurant. My first thought, upon entering, was the music was better and not as loud before – good start. We were told that a table would be available soon, unless we wanted the worst table in the place (they didn’t actually say that but you could hear the apology in his voice as he pointed out a table flanked by the stairs and the door to the kitchen). Actually, we didn’t mind a table in a high traffic zone so we sat there.
As Finn pushed buttons on the table top jukebox we looked over the menu. The waiter approached and told us that they were out of a few items. I liked that. Too often your told about an item being 86′d while your ordering or even later. Nice to see someone making an effort. The other thing I really liked was a nice selection of 1/2 bottles. With M on the knocked up wagon it’s nice to be able to order something other than a full bottle that I may very well not finish or take home and forget about before polishing it off. Millie’s didn’t disappoint and I ordered a nice bottle of Trimbach Gerwurtzriminer – rich flavours of pear and apricot without being too sweet.
To start I ordered the Seared Beef Carpachio. I caught a hint of saran wrap on the first bite but but the rest was great. The spiced tomato puree gave flavour without overpowering and there were none of the stringy pieces in the beef. I thought the yellow tomato salsa a little bland but then I am not a huge fan of tomatoes and M thought it tasty so you be your own judge. (Of course, as I am writing this I checked their web site and they’ve posted a new menu changing this dish and a bunch of others…).
For Finn we got the Mac & Cheese with Asparagus, Oyster Mushrooms & Foie Gras Butter. Very tasty, although if you have a small child you may want to have them leave off the asparagus – Finn is a little picky about larger green items….
For an entree M had the Tamarind Oven Roasted Pork Loin. Tamarind can be tricky. I’ve cooked with it before and there is a very fine line between ‘needs a little bit more’ and ‘OMG, I can’t taste anything else’. Millie’s hit it perfectly and the roasting left the pork moist and juicy.
I had a bit of a quandry for for my entree. They had a Crispy Rendered Duck dish that sounded good as did the Spicy Thai Shrimp. Basically decided on the shrimp as I had just had a great duck sandwich at Can-Can a week or so ago (warm duck, melted brie, sauteed mushrooms on a sweet fruit and nut bread – mmm, yummy.).
The dish looked a little odd to me. The shrimp had little colour, like they weren’t cooked, and the noodles looked very odd. They were cooked perfectly, everything tasted great. I especially liked the fact that the spiciness was balanced so that, even though it was hot, you could still taste the individual ingredients. Very enjoyable. I was also very glad that I took a picture of the dish. Turns out it was just poor lighting that made it look odd as the shrimp as well as the noodles look fine under the harsh glare of my flash.
To finish M had a chocolate layer cake and I had the creme brulee. Her’s was excellent and mine was good but otherwise unremarkable. Service was friendly and efficient (although I think I could hear them thinking ‘why would you sit at that horrible table?’ as they walked by. It was actually fine and they all made an effort not to bump into me as they went by).