downtown milford is my family’s go-to destination for a quick, casual dinner all year round. during the winter, it’s a perfect location to grab a quick meal in a cozy setting, citrus being a long-time favorite. come summertime, stonebridge’s outdoor deck is a lively location providing live music that can be heard for blocks. recently, though, we have become a little bored with the monotony of this rotation. reluctant to return to citrus after a subpar meal and slightly annoyed with the crowd at stonebridge who, let’s just say, likes to have a little too good of a time, we searched for an alternative that was still close to the harborside setting that we so enjoy.
the proprietors of eli’s restaurant group answered our prayers with a chic gastropub characterized by exposed brick walls and industrial beams contrasted with steel blue leather seating and butcher block tables. very avante garde. although the bar serves as the main focus of the large dining room, the bar crowd was both politely mild-tempered, even on a saturday night. we were lucky enough to be seated in a glass-enclosed alcove overlooking milford’s daniel street. from our seats we could overhear the music from stonebridge, but our enclosure effectively muffled the sound down to a more pleasant tone- perfect background noise.
to start, we ordered nachos- a dish that we enjoyed quite often in florida and have been ordering frequently ever since. i must say, eli’s takes the cake for their rendition. served in a cast iron skillet, a mountain of thin, crisp tortillas provided a foundation for an array of toppings- savory cubes of tender beef, creamy guacamole, cool and acidic tomatoes and rich, slightly tart sour cream, all complimented by a pleasantly mild and not too salty cheese sauce. eli’s version of the classic appetizer was the most harmonious we’ve experienced recently.
to kick off my memorial day weekend, i figured that a lobster roll was only appropriate. originally, i was skeptical, seeing as though eli’s is not known for seafood, specifically. now, however, they should be. i consider myself a bit of a lobster roll snob, spending the summers of my early years by the beach and enjoying countless rolls at the same restaurant- they practically knew my order by the time i was 10. with that being said, i was not disappointed by eli’s version of my long time summer favorite. the perfectly cooked lobster came crammed into a soft, fluffy, slightly sweet brioche bun, but what was on the side truly stole the show. in place of a typical melted butter sauce, this lobster roll came accompanied by a creamy, frothy butter sauce, enhanced with sweet corn. when drizzled over the lobster, the dish instantly brought me back to meals consisting of boiled lobsters and corn on the cob enjoyed on the cape. to compliment the buttery sweetness of the lobster, sauce and bun combo, i enjoyed a helping of tart, cool coleslaw and crispy, salty french fries that came served with a delectable malt vinegar dipping sauce.
overall, the meal was perfectly composed and made eli’s an ideal replacement for the restaurants we have grown to not quite love. i would highly recommend making a stop if you’re seeking well executed, classic dishes or interesting twists on local favorites.
sink your teeth into this!