Restaurants & Bars 23

Bar B-Q Milford, CT - It IS Reopened!

cheereeo | Dec 27, 200912:48 PM

So here's prior link to the first talk of this story. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/662487

The Enabler will be happy to hear that Arturo from Il Forno is back at the Bar BQ as a server.

Here's what I found out; I'm not sure I got the entire story as the woman had to leave me mid-conversation as she was being beckoned away. The bartender formerly from Il Forno (a really nice, down-to-earth woman who appears to have a lot of followers) is now a co-Permittee with the original owner of Bar BQ Rest's son (owner from the 1960s as she said Bar B-Q had three different owners during its existence). She told me that Il Forno has nothing to do with the new Bar BQ. Arturo is back as I stated above, but I am unsure if he is also a co-permittee or just a server. A busboy from Il Forno is also back. I asked her about the original neon red sign, and I guess in typical Milford not-business-friendly-planning-and-zoning-permit fashion, they were not allowed to grandfather in the original neon landmark sign. She said they worked on the new sign for four months to get it right. It is quite similar to original sign but no longer on the roof or in neon. The inside decor has not changed from Il Forno's renovation as far as I can tell. When I called to come in on a Wednesday night and asked if casual was OK, she said absolutely. The music is more casual. The menu is just a bit odd, almost like they can't find their definite direction or niche just yet. The sign outside says Bar BQ, Chicken, Seafood, Ribs, so tThey had BBQ on the menu of course, along with fried food, and burgers and sandwiches and more formal entrees, but they appear to have some fancier items on the menu as well more on the Italian side. I ordered the BBQ Rib and Chicken combo. When I asked what kind of chicken it would be since they had it listed alone on the menu in three different forms, our waiter told me it was going to be roasted. It came barbecued (Server Error #1). The chicken was barbecued exactly like I remember the original restaurant with a very almost fake looking red sauce--it was a quarter chicken--the thigh and leg were great, but the breast was kind of dry. The pork ribs the same bright red sauce. Clearly they are not smoked but I enjoyed them. They appear to be boiled and then broiled with the sauce on at the end. They were very tender, but no smoke ring, etc. My husband had rib dinner. He asked our waiter if he had a choice of potato, and the waiter told him they would come with an au-gratin style potato on the side. Both dishes came with fries (Server Error #2). We went with our two kids and the menu had the usual kiddie options too and they appeared to be welcomed there. Other tables had kids as well. Getting to the funny direction of the restaurant, was for appetizer we had a wonderful perfectly seared scallop and chestnut and arugula appetizer and a delicious beet salad with goat cheese--see what I mean. My husband had delicious fried calamari that was cooked perfectly. Is it casual or more refined? Arturo delivered our barbecue meals and said in his heavy accent "Buon Appetito" when he placed the bbq plates down--cracks me up. I guess ultimately it is a good thing as whomever you dine with, they will be able to find something on the menu to eat. We did not have desserts and are non-drinkers so I can't speak to the wine selection. The most annoying thing that I found, which is a huge pet peeve of mine when dining out: I overheard another patron who dined there with his family talking to the owner about how great their meal was and when she asked "what did you order?" he responded with "your pineapple porkchop special was incredible" and something his wife had that was also one of the "specials." We were never told of any specials (Server Error #3). Usually because this has happened to us in the past, I specifically ask if there are any specials, but that night I didn't as we went to try the ribs. Annoying. I hate that. I think our server Chuck was new and learning; he was very nice and worked hard. Anyway, that just drives me crazy when they are too lazy to make the patrons aware of the specials. I cannot recall if they offer a twin lobster special or even if they had lobsters on the menu which was always a staple at the original Bar B-Q.

I have not yet found a website, and no one was around when we left to ask for a paper copy of the menu. It'll be interesting to see what folks think of it. Overall, the folks inside were very friendly and welcoming that created a very nice atmosphere. And I'm sure as with any new restaurant, they have to get all the kinks out, etc. And. . . it'll be interesting how the City of Milford takes to it--you know for years, there was talk about who was the longest running restaurant in the City--the Bar BQ, Pilgrim, or Lasse's. Well, Lasses never shut down and reopened, so I think they still hold that claim. Anyway, do go. I'll be curious to read what the Chows think.

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