Saturday, August 09, 2008

Taste of Champaign-Urbana - Milo's, 1st visit

Milo's used to be located at Lincoln Square Shopping Center in downtown Urbana. Now they've moved to the corner of Philo and Windsor. It prides itself on "Nuevo American Cuisine."

Yesterday my aunt and I met up with two of her library friends for dinner. I checked Milo's menu beforehand to determine exactly what I wanted to eat (since I hadn't eaten all day). It looked promising - crab cake appetizer, duck entree, cobbler dessert...

The restaurant on the outside looked rather cookie-cutterish, which probably couldn't be helped, builders you know. Inside it was a couple of notches above O'Charley's, but not much. Our waitress must have been going through PMS, because she wasn't exactly pleasant.

Two of us had the blackberry and cassis (black currant) iced tea. Not bad for me after I added my traditional 3-4 teaspoons of sugar. It just didn't taste too tea-ee for me. Milo's bread was so-so - I think they had whole wheat with pumpkin seeds. I know Adam wouldn't like it, or maybe he would after he comes home from his father's.

Me and Gail had the cold asparagus with wasabi mayonnaise, while Pat had a salad and my aunt the crab cake appetizer. Milo's had some weird rule about sharing, so we didn't "share". I am a big lover of asparagus and I know it's out of season, but my gripe about this dish is the fact that there was no taste of wasabi in the dressing!

My aunt didn't like her dressing either. It was very heavily flavored with cumin, to the point of overpowering. The three cakes were teeny-tiny and seemingly slapped among a big bed of greens. The only positive point in this whole experience is that there was no iceberg lettuce.

Crab cakes as entree looked better, although I didn't ask Gail what she thought. Pat liked her vegetarian lasagna. My aunt's duck was so-so, especially since the only duck I really like is Peking. For me it's duck = lamb, don't like the taste.

I snorfed down my filet mignon medallions because I was starving. The plate as a whole was warm, not hot. The onion rings were crispy and not too bad. There was a sharp burgundy-ish sauce that probably had balsamic vinegar in it. The garlic mashed potato was so-so, I've had better elsewhere. The vegetables could have used a couple more seconds cooking, not wilty enough. The filet was more done than medium. Isn't the meat supposed to be a bit bloody?

Anyhow, settled for creme brulet for dessert. Lovely presentation, but I don't think they chilled it well enough before torching it. The creme brulet was too sweet, even for me the sweettooth, and also salty. I've had better at Bonefish Grill.

The decor was modest, I think Biaggi's was better. The owners had floral paintings by local hairstylist turned artist Lloyd White on the wall. They were very beautiful and now I'm thinking about commissioning the guy to do one for me of red poppies. We were told the pieces de resistance were to be found in the restrooms. So off we went after dinner.

Expecting an incredibly beautiful floral offering to keep in tune with the rest of the restaurant, we were given an eyeful of a depressive nude man in the women's. Maybe next time I'll take a peak in the men's side. What do you think they have in there, a nude woman?