Jane Stern: A classic Westport restaurant comes back, sort of, in Georgetown

If you have lived in this area for many years I imagine that you often miss some of the great restaurants in Westport. I find myself nostalgic for the day when Maneros was where one went for steaks, The Clam Box on The Post Road was the place for (what else) clams, and a little restaurant on Main Street called Soups On was always filled with townies and celebrities who wanted a great comforting bowl of soup.

As I can’t wave my magic wand and bring back these classic places, I can at least tip you off to a new restaurant that recently opened in Georgetown and is run by members of the “Soups On” family. Wisely they have featured a few of the beloved soups and the chili on the menu.

I would be leading you astray by saying The Milestone is a soup restaurant. It is not. It is more of a good times bar and pizzeria but one with a surprisingly full dinner menu available. It is agreeably noisy and a great place to hear live rock and roll, blues, gospel singing and other raise the roof celebrations.

Milestone is situated on a funny plot of land near Georgetowns Main Street. Other bars and restaurants have filled this space but not successfully. I still find t he location odd and even a bit mysterious how to enter the restaurant. There are a number of doors, ramps and stairways leading in. I entered through one of the doorways where I had to walk up some steps and found myself in the tavern first. The tavern is a large and spacious bar. Early in the evening it was filled with the voices and laughter of people having lots of fun: chatting, laughing, drinking beer and watching TV. To my right I could see tables to sit at, some indoors, some outside. I could see a big friendly dog sitting with diners at an outside table. For me dogs, cold beers, and laughter are always a good combination.

Although I have been a restaurant critic since dinosaurs walked the earth; recently

I have become aware of a new genre of pizzeria, let’s call it “bar pizza”. Some of the places that serve bar pizza like The Colony in Stamford with their hot oil pizza, and more recently Bar in New Haven (famous for their mashed potato pie) are great examples.

I believe that although the menu is expansive Milestone fits this unique category. Many people come here for the great pizza. Pizza is highlighted on the menu and fits perfectly with the upbeat dining rom.

The pizzas come in one size. I guess you could say medium, but I see lots of diners ordering two or three and sharing them. The pizza is less Neapolitan Connecticut style then “by the slice” New York Style. The pizza crust is thicker and the underside not as charred as New Haven style. I very much liked the “Jake”.. the name for a classic pepperoni pie, the discs of meat were highly spiced and tasty, and cooked until the edges curled which is just how I like it.

The sausage pie with hot cherry peppers is also a winner, little hot bombs are set off in the mouth with every few bites, the heat makes it go perfectly with cold beer. Another popular pizza here is the “Salad Pie”. I am not sure I understand it or its popularity. A Salad Pie is a regular pizza dough circle but loaded not with meats or peppers but with a giant pile of stemmed arugula and carmelized onions. I like salad and I like pie, I am not sure if I like them as one. Perhaps (guided by New Haven’s now legendary mashed potato pizza) to get on the foodie map if you must serve something never before seen.

Detouring from Pizza, the fabled Soups On Soups are as great. The lovely green Pea Soup made with creme fraiche, mint leaves and olive oil croutons is something I could eat everyday. The original Soup’s On Chili is as good as I remember it, actually better. There are many chili cookouts around Georgetown, I hope Milestone enters one. I hope I am a judge.

On the menu there are an assortment of “small plates” as well as full course dinners.” In the full course section my eye was caught by a listing for “Balls”. It caught me off guard…balls? Really? Milestone Balls are served with a simple tomato sauce, a green salad and garlic bread which finally gave me a clue that these are meatballs. I swear I am getting stupid as I age (or turning into a cougar) because I stared at the listing for Balls for at least fifteen minutes and could only think dirty thoughts.

Once I moved beyond “Balls”I was intrigued by the listing for Crispy Spatchcock Chicken. It rang distant bells in my memory and when I googled Spatchcock I learned this is not a brand name like Perdue, but a tried and true way of preparing a chicken so that it cooks quickly but remains crisp and savory.

Spatchcock chicken is actually a truly ancient recipe, It has quite the culinary lineage. Spatchcock (according to food historians) is an ancient abbreviation for “dispatch the cock” a special recipe notation that informs the chef to quickly grill the bird after it has been split down the back and the two halves spread flat. It cooks quickly and has maintained its popularity through the centuries because it is really fast moist and crisp.

Georgetown has gone from a no mans land of crummy bars and second rate restaurants to an eating “scene”. The Wire Mill BBQ, (one of my favorites ) is a stones throw across the road from Milestone. In the parking lot I could hear live music coming from both places. It was so festive and summer -like that it made me want to linger over Spatchcock Chicken, move on to BBQ ribs and then linger until breakfast when I could load up on Uncle Leo Doughnuts at the end of Main Street.


2 Georgetown Road

Redding Ct 06896

Jane Stern is the co-author of the “Roadfood” books.