No doubt about it, Sparks, Maryland's Milton Inn will be special occasion fare for most of us. I used a recent Groupon, but even with that, it's a splurge. But it's good to know what's worth a splurge before you do it, right? Their Executive Chef, Brian Boston, won the Maryland Restaurant Association's 2011 Chef of the Year.
Milton Inn has been operating as a restaurant for 65 years, but is in a 272 year old building. Sometimes, the dining room fills up, but there are a few tables at the historic and charming tavern. I saw some business people meeting at the sofa and coffee table. That would be a very impressive way to do business, for sure! You might want to consider making reservations. They have lots of different specials, including a chef's tasting menu/early bird type of special that's wildly popular. Dress seems to be on the dressy-preppy side.
In the tavern that does have a tv, you can order off the regular or lounge menu... I ordered off the regular menu. First, I started out with Pan Seared Foie Gras, served with blackberry balsamic and foie gras oil, prosciutto & chive crispy polenta and wilted baby spinach. This is quite the luxurious starter! The risotto cake was very tasty on its own, made even more so with a generous portion of perfectly cooked foie gras. Big blackberries garnished the plate. The spinach was good as well, adding a a different note to the classic dish. The oils just beg you to dip some bread in them.
I also tried another starter. Sauteed Veal Sweet Breads: sauteed veal sweet breads with Marsala mushroom cream sauce and toasted baguette. They weren't cooked in the traditional flour-dipped way, but rather like a glorious steak! They were plumper, meatier and more tender.
For an entree', I ordered Rack of Venison with chestnut granola crust, butternut squash risotto and shallots, Brussels sprouts with pepper, bacon and onion, finished with currant jelly reduction. Sometimes, game meat can be tough or chewy. This was not! It was more like tender filet mignon. I had a glass of Cote du Rhone with it and the wine added spark to the flavors. The side dishes were appropriately hearty and flavor-forward.
I also tried Grilled Pork Chop. It was served with braised red cabbage and apples, figs and onions, thyme rosemary potato pave, finished with a sparkling cider chanterelle mushroom cream sauce. It was a smoky-grilled chop, with grill flavors. The accompaniments lent sweetness and accentuated the richness of pork.
Dessert was a chocolate macadamia nut torte that had a cheesecake-like mousse layered with ganache texture and lots of buttery macadamia nuts.