Marc-André and I had settled on Milestones for our lunch meeting, after a lenghty back-and-forth. We arrived at Milestones, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cara, and found some seats at a high table in the lounge area, by the window overlooking the intersection of Sussex and Rideau.
Amongst the new Rosso creation, you can find the Newcastle Cheddar and Garlic Mussels, the Sicilian Mussels, the Chopped Salad (grilled chicken, avocado, chick peas, feta cheese in a medley of chopped vegetables), the Montreal Stack (smoked meat, aged cheddar, caramelized onions, tomatoes and blackberry ketchup), the Canadian Brie and Pesto Flatbread, the Chicken Noodle & Shiitake Bowl.
According to Cheapdude, Chef Rosso has created his own “swat team” that goes around to different Milestones restaurants to ensure they are up to his standards.
Both Marc-André and I decided to go for one of Chef Rosso’s new creation: I picked the Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich while he went for the Spicy Tuna Tacos ($14.99).
The lunch rush had come and gone, and the lunch crowd was now thinner, so it didn’t take much time for us to get our food.
Marc-André’s three tuna tacos looked very pretty, if small.
The Ahi tuna had been seared properly, and the two tones of pink were spectacularly appetizing looking.
The Ahi tuna sat on a bright, colourful bed of Asian sesame slaw. To garnish the tacos, a dollup of spicy chipotle yogurt, which seemed counter-intuitive, since usually yogurt is used to kill the heat.
The tortillas had been grilled quickly, you could see some light char marks near the edges. Still, Marc-André was disappointed: “The tortillas seemed to come straight from a box of so-called tex-mex Old El Paso taco kit.” Harsh.
But flavourwise, Marc-André seemed to enjoy the dish. “The vegetables were crunchy and the sauce was deliciously spicy – but the tuna was kind of lost because of the sauce and also because there wasn’t much of it in the tacos.” Overall, a nice creation by Chef Rosso, but sometimes you need more than a beautiful presentation to satisfy the customer, apparently.
My chicken sandwich looked good too, though it would be a stretch to say it looked pretty.
With my sandwich, I had the choice between curly fries and crisp mixed greens. Considering the fried chicken, I passed on the fries. (For an extra .99¢, you could get a Ceasar Salad or Yam Frites instead, and for $2.99, you can get a side of soup.)
The sandwich came with a side of house-made avocado salsa – but there wasn’t much else other than avocado in there.
Neverthelesse, I figured I would simply use it as a garnish for my sandwich, who then became spectacular, if not pretty.
A big piece of battered, deep fried chicken as the centre piece of the sandwich. Aged cheddar was added on top of the chicken, and it had melted ravishingly. A big slice of tomato, raw onion rings and lettuce were the veggie garnish of the sandwich, which was completed by a spicy chipotle mayo. All of it held in between nicely toasted mixed seed buns.
The sandwich was thick, making for a messy bite. Milestones labels the chicken “Crispy Cajun.” And if it was crispy, the Cajun flavours weren’t very strong – or spicy. The piece of chicken itself was nice and thick – but I can’t say I was impressed with the way it had been cooked. It was on the dry side of things. The aged cheddar was actually quite mild, but it had a nice melt, making it gooey and adding, along with the avocado, some moisture to the sandwich. The chipotle mayo had some heat – but I would have added more.
On the side, the salad was crisp and fresh, and on top of the mixed greens, tomatoes, red peppers, cucumbers and red onions were a nice addition.
Overall, not a bad sandwich, but not a big homerun.