Looking to spice up your date night, celebrate a special occasion or indulge in something beautiful with the girls? Put Milton’s Cuisine Garden Dinner on your calendar. We visited last Sunday, but upcoming dates include July 17, August 21, Sept 18 and Oct 9.
Milton’s sits in historic Crabapple (NOT Alpharetta – it’s decidedly Milton!) The building is a beautiful farmhouse design, with rich wood floors and walls, and white tablecloths…giving it a rustic, charming feel.
Behind the restaurant is Milton’s Acre- a breathtaking acre of fresh vegetables and herbs used by Chef Derek Dollar in his dynamic creations. As if having an acre farm in your restaurant’s backyard doesn’t show passion enough for local flavors, Chef Dollar is actually heading to NYC this week to fix a Georgia Grown dinner at the James Beard house. All the fruits, vegetables, seafood, fish, meat, poultry and game on the menu will have been grown, raised or caught in Georgia!
Forget NYC for now though; you can enjoy the fruits of the season right here in Georgia. First tip – get your tickets on Eventbrite as soon as you can – these monthly garden parties will sell out quickly.
We arrived at 6pm, valet-parked the car and then headed around back to the garden area. We found a cellist playing in the garden, a firepit, and hightops for meeting new friends. Of course, you know us; we headed straight for the open bar featuring a red and white wine, a few local beers and a specialty cocktail. What’s lovely about each dish on the menu, beginning with the cocktail, is that it featured veggies currently in season in the garden. My drink included St Germaine and cucumber with basil flowers – delicious!
The time before dinner allowed us to meander the garden (jealous that ours in smaller and weedier!) The sun fell behind the tree line before we even sat down, creating a shady oasis without a single bug!
After the reception, a dinner bell rang where we gathered to hear more about the meal being prepared. After that, we all made our way to the dinner table placed graciously between the rows of vegetables. Hanging lights, mis-matched farm chairs, eclectic china and delicate bouquets of hydrangea adorned the eating area. We were each given a large bottle of water, and wine and beers continued to flow throughout the night.
Our first course was served family-style: Chilled Zucchini & Cucumber Noodles, Red Satin Radish, English Peas, Yellow Squash Ricotta, Marcona Almonds, Sundried Tomato & Herb White Balsamic Vinaigrette. You can see Chef Dollar dressing the noodles on the garden’s prep station here. This was probably my most favorite dish of the evening – the noodles were so fresh, and the squash ricotta was perfect and unique!
After that came individual servings of Summer Vegetable Lasagna. Then a GIGANTIC plate of
Honey Braised Pork Shanks, Summer Squash Bread & Butter Pickles, Apple Slaw, Silver Queen Corn & Edamame Succotash, King’s Hawaiian Rolls, and Chipotle-Honey Glaze was presented on the table, to be shared family style.
The pork shanks were cooked to perfection – moist and juicy on the bone with the perfect crust and glaze. Another favorite was the apple slaw. We joked about the apple slaw and how we could possibly smuggle the leftovers home in my handbag. And summer squash pickles – have you ever had these? The hints of thyme made them unforgettable.
For dessert we ate Banana Pudding Ice Cream Sandwiches, rolled in Nilla Wafer Crumbs. They were huge, but I somehow managed to finish mine! #NoShame
After dinner Chef Dollar made the rounds to say hello and ensure we were filled. The sun was below the horizon, so made our exit after thanking him and dropping a tip for the conscientious wait staff. Overall, we were there about 2.5 – 3 hours…just right!
I love this as a date night activity. It’s more special than visiting a typical restaurant, and it gives you the opportunity to sit next to each other and have a sweet, intimate experience. Ticket’s are not cheap, at $135 each, but if you include all the free-flowing libations, the four-course meal, the beautiful setting, and the overall experience I would say this is truly a bargain!
Disclosure: Thank you to Milton’s for inviting me and my husband to visit. As always, opinions here are all my own. Yeah – it really was as good (better?!) as it looked!