Aha - - Another new upscale place in Milford, CT! website not fully up and running yet, but here it is: www.johnnyraysrestaurant.com
The restaurant located across the street from a scenic car wash on Bridgeport Avenue is a hidden gem that I hope will get better with age. We stopped there on a Saturday afternoon for lunch after calling and speaking to a nice gentleman who recited practically the entire lunch menu to us over the phone. When we arrived, the beautiful water wall immediately smacks you in the face. We sat in the bar and there was just one other table dining there. The bar is very large with high ceilings and exposed HVAC ducts. A few booths and a beautiful bar with granite countertops. A grand piano off to one side. I wonder how the acoustics are when it is busy. The dining room in the back is quite pretty, albeit dark with no windows. It is clear that a decorator was used. Nice round booths in a peach hue. The bathroom was also really nice with glass basin and glass tilework. I really wonder if they are affiliated with the tile store next door. Definitely did not cut corners on the decorating here.
Now, the menu. . . When we were seated, the waiter accidentally gave us the dinner menu instead of the lunch menu, so we were able to catch a quick glimpse. Definitely upscale. Prices were various to high but nothing extreme and pretty inline with other upscale places. I'm curious how the owners will describe their menu. I'd have to say Spanish/Meditteranean/Italian? They serve incredible soft brown bread, whipped butter, and some plain bruschetta along with pickle, olive oil and hummus tray--the assorted olives and marinated garlic and pickles (cornichons) were so good! For lunch, we had the wild mushroom goat cheese pear appetizer that was fabulous. Their calamari were fried beautifully light and came with a pignoli, basil, tomato sauce. Disappointment on the appetizer was that we had ordered duck spring rolls, but the waiter said they hadn't been made yet that day (?) I had a pappardelli pasta dish with a veal ragout that was good, but I had wished I tried something more daring--tasted like a basic meat sauce to me. A guest had a shrimp and chicken dish served over mashed plantains that looked absolutely incredible. Another guest had their cuban sandwich which she said was disappointing because it was described to be on a special bread and pressed but it appeared to be served on a regular italian hoagie roll loaded with ham and turkey and pressed--nothing special she said. When asked, the waiter also told us that they regularly serve a sweet potato and chorizo soup that sounded interesting.
I'm sure they are ironing out the kinks and going on a Saturday afternoon during a quiet time is not the best time to review a new place and get the full experience. Several people drove by and stopped to pick up a copy of the menu while we were there. Our young waiter was a sweetheart.
Please, if you go for dinner, do report in; I'm curious.
I hope a lot of people start going, so they can really get this place up and running. I'm sure it will get better and better as more and more people frequent it.