This past Saturday was one of those beautiful late summer days that you look forward to. You know that kind of day where it’s not too hot and everything in the world feels just right? Yeah, well, that feeling kept up as Dan walked down a beautiful, lush alley in the Byram neighborhood of Greenwich leading to Mill Street Bar & Table’s garden and outdoor seating. Entering the restaurant, he was amazed at the change from the last time we were there when the restaurant was Rouge. Whereas Rouge was dark, romantic, and kind of extravagant, Mill Street is bright, rustic, organic, SoHo vibeish, and welcoming.
There are so many enticing things that will bring you to this new restaurant opening on September. Let’s start with the food and Manager Partner/Executive Chef Geoff Lazlo. If you’re a follower of our blog or the Fairfield County food scene in general, you’ve most likely heard his name. He was the the Executive Chef of LeFarm and The Whelk and has also worked at such top restaurants as Gramercy Tavern and Blue Hill. His special touch on a plate is undeniable and where he truly shines is his work with farm and ocean fresh foods . . . and that’s exactly they type of Seasonal American fare he’ll have at Mill Street Bar & Table.
The restaurant will feature those farm fresh foods with a good portion coming right from it’s own farm, Back 40 Farm (Back 40 Kitchen is their sister restaurant that also uses the farm). Lazlo’s dishes will be based upon what’s fresh, what’s at the market, and what’s in season. You can also look forward to chef taking full advantage of their wood burning oven with wood roasted meats, pizzas, and more. Ingredients are so fresh, in fact, that Chef Lazlo will actually be printing up new menus each day. In addition, you can look forward to an amazing oyster and seafood selection, especially when you saddle up to the oyster bar. Yes, an 11 seat oyster bar where there will be 4 different taps to help you find the perfect drink pairing. On tap? A rotating saison, a gin/cocktail, wine, and cider. Oh, and that tap? It’s custom-made, Mother of Pearl!
Off to the side of the oyster bar is the beautiful garden room that offers a few four seat tables and four two seat hightops for walk-ins. So, that brings us to some great news: there will be reservations at Mill Street Bar & Table! Their hours will be (to start) from 5-11 Thursday-Saturday and from 5-10 on Tuesday and Wednesday. Eventually, they’ll be open seven days a week, fulfilling all our dreams as we live a short two minutes away.
Oh, but we’re not done. Nope. Walking down past the oyster bar takes you to the main dining room that has two cute round tables right by the window overlooking Mill Street and 11 four tops, six of those with comfy benches. If you make a reservation, this is where you’ll most likely end up. The room is accented with thick planks of wood and lush, green plants and flowers.
Then, finally, off to the right of the main dining area (also accessible by a door on Mill Street) is the bar and lounge (seating 11 along with 3 hightops and six seats along a side counter). Dan saddled up to that bar with Michael Galluccio, the General Manager who has been a bar manager and sommelier at places like Butcher & Singer throughout the country. Their focus at the bar is the same as Chef Lazlo: seasonal and local ingredients that can truly take center stage.
Starting off, there will be 4 rotating beers on tap, but the real focus will be on wine and cocktails. There will be 16 different wines available by the glass and 300 bottles displayed in a beautiful wine wall that divides the oyster bar from the main dining area. So, if you’re a wine lover, this is definitely a spot to check out, as Michael has an impressive and extensive knowledge of wine and will be featuring vintages that he loves and wants people to become more familiar with.
And, finishing things off, Michael and Dan talked about the cocktail program at Mill Street. We must admit, we’re pretty psyched! “The focus will be on classic, pre-prohibition cocktails and we’ll be using boutique spirits, too,” he shared. And, some of those boutique spirits are local, too, like Byram River Rum, made the town over in Port Chester.
In terms of plans for the drink menu, Michael had so much to share and so many things that he’d love to work into Mill Street. First, he has a killer NY Sour that he’s excited about making and is starting off with a drink that’s a fun play on a classic cocktail. The drink is a grilled margarita that features grilled limes, fresh oranges, tequila, and hand-crushed ice. Another drink you can look for features cantaloupe with tamarind, Processco, and vodka. “People loved that drink, but then we’re caught in a rough place. We’re using what’s fresh from the farms and melons will only be coming in for a little while longer. But, what’s great is that Geoff is great at preserving. We’re making shrubs and syrups behind that bar that can help us to keep those ingredients fresh.” Michael later shared that after many revisions of his cantaloupe cocktail that he felt like he needed something, like a “feather” as he called it. He brought in Chef Lazlo and he immediately said tarragon, and from that moment on, it was the perfect feather.”
Drinks will be served up in vintage glassware, too, adding even more to the drinking experience. The glasses and the decor that you find throughout the restaurant has actually been put together by Alexis, who went to countless flea markets throughout the area. The best place to spot her accents and styling is the upstairs cocktail lounge, just off to the right of the bar. There’s seating for about 15 or 25 standing, but with the comfy chairs and couches, you’ll definitely want to sit down for a spell and drink (and nom) away the day . . . and night. Michael shared, “I’m toying with the idea of starting up whisky service up there, maybe around holiday time. You’ll get one of these (he takes out a shining crystal decanter) and two glasses and then you’re set for the night.”
Other plans for the future are bringing Tiki drinks back (yes please!), custom-made sodas, and so much more. “We’re ambitious. We want Mill Street to be the place to be, the place to go to.”
Oh, without a doubt, we have a feeling it’s going to be wildly successful with such a well-thought out and carefully crafted drink menu paired with Chef Lazlo’s fresh, seasonal fare. Reservations can be made by calling them up at (203) 813-3323.
Mill Street Bar & Table
230 Mill Street
Greenwich, CT 06830