Technically, this is a second taste, as I’ve eaten at Bar & Table before. But since my dinner visit this past January, a lot has happened at what I consider one of the best restaurants in Greenwich and all of Fairfield County. I certainly gave them a favorable review and left with a full belly, and then the New York Times praised them with a “Very Good.” Since then, they’ve expanded their hours, and menu, to include lunch service two days per week and brunch on weekends. Go ahead, it’s OK to let out a, “YES!” and do a little happy dance.
When I heard the news, I grew eager to return and planned on brunching hard. I was invited back on a hot, sticky day, so I passed on Mill Street’s garden patio and opted to eat in the air-conditioned dining room. I immediately ordered up a cocktail, because that’s how you start brunch. The Cold Brew Negroni enticed me, but I worried that it would taste like mixing a Dunkin’ black coffee with a bitter, boozy Negroni. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The result was more coffee-milkshake like, but silky smooth despite the vermouth and Campari. Later, I chose their Improved Shandy, typically just lager mixed with some type of citrus drink or soda, but this one included Brooklyn Lager with grapefruit juice and gin that made for a refreshing, albeit stronger version. If those aren’t for you, Mill Street does fresh squeezed juices, mimosas, bloodies, beer, wine, and other worthwhile cocktails.
When it’s time to cure those brunch munchies, you have options ranging from healthy stuff like granola with yogurt or steel cut oatmeal, flatbreads, and sandwiches, alongside breakfast staples including buttermilk pancakes and eggs (Benedict or any style). My recommendation? Start with the bakery section, specifically the Bread Basket, where you get to choose four items, all made in-house by Pastry Chef Caryn Stabinsky. Everything (including desserts) she’s created to-date has been on point, but you can’t go wrong with the butterscotch scone, oatmeal bread, mini cornbread muffins with jalapeño, or buttermilk biscuit.
If you’re looking for more, Mill Street’s raw bar is a focal point, featuring both fried and grilled oysters, clams on the half shell, live sea urchin, and a bunch more. The flatbreads—which I loved on my dinner visit—are worth it and great for sharing, but being that this was brunch, I had to give their eggs Benedict a shot. They weren’t too smothered with hollandaise, the eggs were perfectly poached, and the English muffin was toasted crispy. The kicker was the salty, almost prosciutto-like Benton’s Ham under the eggs.
From there, I moved on to a couple of beefy sandwiches. The first must-have is the smoked brisket (poached egg, whole-grain mustard, English muffin), boasting dry-rubbed brisket that’s a touch spicy—which I liked—and a yolky explosion that makes a mess worth mopping up. The second is that brunch staple, the burger. I’ve heard raves about Mill Street’s pastured beef variation, and the rumors proved true. It doesn’t have many toppings—just mustard, aioli, cheese, and a leaf of lettuce for texture—and I suppose you could dab on some ketchup, but it doesn’t need it. The mustard provides that slight flavor punch, which that was enough for me. The brioche bun (made on the premises like all the bread here) held up to the patty’s mid-rare juiciness.
My only mistake? I didn’t save room for dessert. My mind wanted it, but my body couldn’t eat another bite. However, you should save room for sweets at the end. But first, brunch.
Mill Street Bar & Table
230 Mill St
(203) 813-3323; http://millstreetct.com