Meat, beer, and cheese, basically
Nanaimo has a lot of pubs. Some are the kind you go to to eat wings, drink swill, and watch a game. Pubs like the Oxy, or Millers come to mind. Others try to be a bit more gourmet. The Crow and Gate is a good example, or maybe Longwood Pub. These places have higher prices, but serve higher quality food and drinks in a nicer environment. The Milton Street Public House is like that.
The pub can be found on Milton Street (duh) near Fitzwilliam Street, across from the fire hall. It’s in the same location as the not-so-great Pig and Whistle gastropub before it, and the definitely-great Fox and Hounds British before that.
Our visit this time was for dinner. To start, we shared the fried cauliflower appy. This was served piping hot with a side of delicious curry aioli. The flowerets were only lightly breaded so even though it was a fried dish it was light (aioli perhaps not so much).
For mains, we ordered the special of the day, which was a veal T-bone, and a BCLT (bacon, cheddar, lettuce, and tomato) sandwich with fries. The veal was served with truffled polenta and vegetables with plum sauce and a rosemary “remoulade” We thought remoulades have mayo in them but whatevs. The veal was tender and the polenta perfectly made. The plum sauce added fun colour but not much taste.
The sandwich was was crusty (in a good way) and the bacon and cheese were generous without being too much. It was also served held together by one of those wooden sword things that are so fun to fiddle with while you are digesting after. The fries are also very special here with that coated crunch that we love. (Think like Costco fries if you’ve ever had them.)
For dessert we enjoyed a lemon cream pudding which was eh, fine. We washed all this food down with a couple of nice beers.
The dining experience was nice. Covid has definitely taken away much of the coziness that the Milton Street might have had last winter, but the restaurant has done a good job organizing the tables to fit diners in safely despite having quite a small space to work with. Our server was pleasant and attentive, though not conversational. The food came out of the kitchen somewhat quickly, though we were dining a bit early so it wasn’t yet busy.
Our food, drinks, and tip total came to just under $80 which we think is fair value. Adding a bit more sophistication to the desserts on offer would have improved our experience. Aside from that we recommend the Milton Street Public house for a fine meal and drinks – particularly for couples and small groups.
Oh yeah, we didn’t see poutine on the menu or else we would certainly have tried it.