Milkhouse certainly has a splashy presence. Located, as the name clues, in the Milk District, the area of town surrounding the T.G. Lee Dairy facility at Bumby and Robinson Avenues, its name is spelled out in a blaze of marquee-like light bulbs as though announcing the production of a lactose-tolerant Broadway musical.
It has the trappings of being another in our continuing line of food halls that have opened or are planned for the area, albeit a smaller one than most of the others. But Milkhouse operates more like a restaurant, with customers invited to have a seat at a table or at the bar and order food and drinks from a server.
The main food option, at least in the evenings, is provided by Cicchetti Kitchen, or Cicchetti by Bruno depending on where you’re looking. The Bruno in question is Zacchini, of Pizza Bruno, who also has a Bagel Bruno outlet here. (Zacchini had previously opened a Bagel Bruno inside a Foxtail Coffee Co. in College Park; Foxtail is also in residence at Milkhouse.) But for evening comestibles, only the Cicchetti menu was available – well, along with Kelly’s Ice Cream, a perfect choice for a place called Milkhouse.
Cicchetti offers an array of tapas plates, but order correctly and you’ll leave fully sated.
Like the Bacaro Burger, a smash-style burger with two four-ounce patties with fully melted tellegio and a bit of spicy arugula on a soft bun. It was deliciously greasy.
My companion and I also enjoyed the Crimini from the “small bites on toast” section of the menu. It featured two crostini topped with roasted mushrooms, a hint of truffle and a dusting of parmesan. The mushrooms had a nice chew.
I also ordered the Steak Spiedini (mainly because they were out of the Fritto Misto, along with several other menu items). Spiedini means skewer – think Italian kabobs – and can be made with most any meat. Classically, the meats are breaded though that didn’t seem to be the case here. There was an ample amount of meat and except for a bite or two of gristle, it was good, nicely cooked to a medium rare and topped with an interesting sort of combination chimichurri and gremolata. Bits of citrus peel kept the garlic from taking control. Either end of the skewer was skewed with cipollini onions and shishito peppers that had a nice char.
Food comes out of the kitchen with remarkable alacrity. If you’d rather dine with leisure, don’t order all the plates at the same time.
Besides the bagle biz, ice cream stand and Foxtail, there is a full bar and an array of brews provided by Ravenous Pig Brewing Co. I enjoyed the Five Points IPA, which reminded me of Anchor Steam.
Our main server was delightful and attentive. Besides the long bar – which also has full liquor – seating is available at standard tables or hightops. There is also a covered patio where at least three dogs were dining with their owners, so that’s another point in its favor.
The Milk District is enjoying a surge in food and beverage providers. Milkhouse shares a strip with Mx Taco, sits across the street from Sideward Brewing Co. and is across the way from the recently reviewed Itsa Chicken. By the way, I said in my review that taking your chicken sandwich to Milkhouse would be bad form and was corrected by a number of readers who said it’s perfectly acceptable.
But do give the Cicchetti menu a try. Order an array and share them with friends in this delightful addition to the neighborhood.
Milkhouse is at 201 N. Bumby Ave. (map). It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-237-0575.