- 18 Main St., Milford, OH, 45150
- Overall User Rating:
- (0 ratings)
- 11 a.m.-midnight Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday; noon-2 a.m. Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday.
- Official Web Site:
Just about anyone who loves to cook, or even eat, has probably thought about a restaurant they'd like to open. For most of us, it's a passing thought, a pleasant fantasy. But some people keep the idea alive and then one day, ignoring the odds and the hard work ahead, do it.
While Margie Potts was bringing up seven kids, teaching cooking, and appearing on TV (including early Food Network appearances), she had a restaurant in mind.
She opened it in May in Milford and calls it MJ's on Main.
It's in the former Latitudes, and is in some ways similar to that neighborhood bar/restaurant. The bar encourages hanging out, with a menu that includes everything from snacks to sandwiches to dinner entrées. Entertainment in the bar makes it late-night friendly, and a sidewalk patio adds one more option. Most of the dining tables are upstairs; some of them are romantically cozy.
I thought there would be a lot of dishes I could pick out as the specialty of a good home cook. But most of the menu is more casual-restaurant style, with familiar dishes such as burgers and Caesar salad and vodka penne. It's a well-designed set of choices in terms of portion sizes and flavors, and includes many healthy and light dishes.
For instance, there are no deep-fried appetizers. We started with warm spiced pita ($9.25) and a trio of spreads: a spicy hummus, an olive relish, and goat cheese with Peppadew peppers. Their lively, palate-awakening flavors would be good with a glass of beer or wine, but not so good with my mojito. Though made with fresh mint, my drink was far too sweet.
The standout appetizer was the crab and shrimp cocktail ($12.75), with very fresh and sweet crab, just lightly moistened with dressing and perfect for a warm evening. I worried a little about serving it in a footless martini glass that could easily have toppled over.
The salsa-filled portabella mushroom ($7.25) was good, and one of several choices for vegetarians.
Other menu categories are small plates, salads, sandwiches and simple suppers. From small plates came a knife-and-fork bruschetta ($8.75) topped with tomato, mozzarella, avocado and bacon, a combination that's a sure bet.
Simple suppers included a very simple chicken breast, grilled and laid atop corn and beans. "I'd be pretty pleased with this if I made it at home," said my friend, but a restaurant could do something a little more interesting with it.
Jambalaya ($14.75) was spicy and richly studded with shrimp, andouille and chicken, but it lacked some depth of flavor.
We weren't able to cover the salad or sandwich sections, though I was this close to trying the bison burger.
I usually bypass purchased desserts for whatever's made in-house, but I liked the idea of their samplers of cupcakes from Sugar Cupcakery, next door, and Madisono's gelato (both $8). I hadn't tried some of these gelato flavors before, and they're delicious, the burnt-sugar-anise and the salty caramel, in particular, though the dark chocolate-orange is hard to beat.
The sampling of Sugar cupcakes fit the restaurant's attitude well: Have a light dinner and eat them all yourself, or share them with your friends as a small snack after a more substantial, simple supper.