Hamelstein Award – Model Milk

Since reading about Justin Leboe and the opening of his new restaurant in July’s issue of Avenue, I have been dying to go to Model Milk.  I think the tipping point for me was when I read that he had worked at The French Laundry.  Let me back-up.

In 2001, GQ magazine published a list of the Top 10 Places To Fly And Eat.

In 2002, I married a foodie who had read that article and he determined that we should go to as many of these places as possible.

On our honeymoon, we crossed one of these off the list by staying at Sooke Harbour House and eating at their  restaurant twice.  We promised ourselves that we would return.  It was wonderful!

In 2004 my parents took us to The French Laundry for our anniversary and we crossed the second place off of the list.  No words can describe this experience.

Please understand, the reason I am not elaborating on The French Laundry and Sooke Harbour House is because they each deserve an entire post.  And this post is about Model Milk.  No really, it is.

In the summer of 2005 while visiting family in Cleburne, TX (yes, I did just admit that out loud) we jumped in the car and drove 3 and a half hours to Hunstville, TX to eat at the New Zion Missionary Baptist Church BBQ.  This would have been the third place crossed off the list if it hadn’t been closed for renovation.  So we ate at Sonic and drove 3 and a half hours back to Cleburne.

All that to say we are serious about our food.  Chef Leboe’s resume is impressive and Model Milk’s website let me know that this was a restaurant that we had to check out.

We ate at the food bar which overlooks the open kitchen, our favorite place to eat in any restaurant if it’s available. The action in Model Milk’s kitchen didn’t disappoint.  Compact and sparkling clean, everyone quietly putting out works of art on a plate.

Radicchio Caesar Salad – Model Milk 2012

The Radicchio Caesar Salad although not a classic Caesar was a very satisfying Caesar.  It felt like comfort food, which is an odd thing to say about a salad.  Everything was chopped evenly making it easy to get all components in one bite and the portion was large enough that Josh and I both had our fill with one order.  Warning, there are whole anchovies in this dish.

Smoked Veal on Toast – Model Milk 2012

Then came Smoked Veal on Toast which was wonderful, and again a surprising blend of comfort food and freshness at the same time.  This veal will melt in your mouth!

B.C. Ling Cod – Model Milk 2012

Josh ordered the B.C. Ling Cod and was very pleased with it.  I think his exact description was “delightful!”  The broth was packed with flavour and the cod was cooked to perfection.  Once again the portion was large, so large that Josh didn’t finish even though he wanted to.

Maple Hill Fried Chicken – Model Milk 2012

I ordered the Maple Hill Fried Chicken and I think being born in Texas gives me a unique perspective on all things fried.  This was excellent fried chicken!  The texture of the meat was perfect, juicy and flavourful.  The accompanying greens and their slightly vinegary sauce were a great match for the  mushrooms and gravy.  I was happy to say the least, and full.

Lemon Basil Pot de Creme – Model Milk 2012

Did I mention that Josh and I were so full we couldn’t finish our entree’s, or large plates as Model Milk’s menu calls them?  Well, let me tell you what happened next.  The couple next to us ordered dessert, we saw them eating it, we lusted after it, we ordered it.  Oh yeah, baby, we ate it!  Lemon Thyme Pot de Creme.  It. Was. Good.

I am looking forward to returning for one of their Sunday Suppers which are served family style.  How cool is that?

We are awarding Model Milk the Hamelstein Award!  Great food, great atmosphere, great service.


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