The Mill Restaurant
200 Central Avenue
St Petersburg, FL
In the heart of Downtown St. Petersburg, foodie enthusiasts will rejoice at newly opened The Mill Restaurant. Located on Central Ave adjacent to Jannus Live, this restaurant labels itself as American Rustic and if you look over the menu, diners will notice the underlying French and Southern food themes–see Frog Legs and Fish and Grits, below. The Mill claims to use all fresh ingredients; with the exception of ice cream, they told us that their food is never frozen.
Upon arrival, we were instantly greeted by a team of friendly staff. We were seated in the front corner by the window–a lovely table with a view of Central Ave as well as a quiet area to have easy, intimate conversations with friends. We learned that the staff all took part in getting the place up and running by working together on the various projects including assembling and painting the largest wheel-wine-rack I’ve ever seen. The decor is definitely rustic–tweed bag lamps, blue jean chairs, and antiques that look like they came from an old barn–but it all definitely works! There is even an antique tub in the bathroom used as a sink.
The menu is designed for a multi-course meal or small plates for sharing–so bring a date or invite some friends! The customized cheese board is popular because diners can order from an array of cheeses and other items they prefer on the board. The cheeses change daily so there is always something new to try!
As we glanced over the menu, we couldn’t help but notice the unusual flavor fusions and creative dishes. Highly-esteemed executive chef, Ted Dorsey, designed his menu as a work of art. From the cocktails to the entrees and everything in between–the combinations are extraordinary! Our waiter was well versed on the extensive menu. We asked for his recommendations and, after getting a sense of our tastes, he steered us in the right direction.
The drinks were handcrafted–even the ice cubes were hand-carved on site! Our waiter told us they used special ice made from special mineral water that had no air bubbles. It came to them in a huge block and they carved each cube used for the drinks. Talk about attention to detail!
Now for the eats!
Frog Legs with fried green tomatoes…crispy with a flavorful sweet and spicy glaze…everyone at the table thoroughly enjoyed The Mill’s rendition of this traditional French dish!
Crab Croquettes…Lightly flash fried, this appetizer came with three croquettes. We had four people in our group, so four would have been better, but we were able to share. Crunchy on the outside…soft on the inside…cooked to perfection!
Cider Braised Mussels…The mussels were served with the most delicious blue cheese broth…We were raving about it! The sizes of the mussels were on the smaller side, but the sauce is plentiful. We welcomed more fresh grilled bread for dipping. You just have to try it…Trust me!
Fish and Grits
Pan Seared Diver Scallops
Ancient Grain Risotto and Braised Torn Beef
We all enjoyed our meals and raved about the originality of the flavors. The prices were reasonable given the generous portion sizes and high quality, fresh ingredients. Our conversation with the staff included their plans for expansion–an outdoor patio with outdoor seating. Also, a weekend brunch menu is in the works. I’m positive it will have some super creative and unique items!
Overall, The Mill is another masterpiece for executive chef, Ted Dorsey.