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The Miller Tavern on Yonge at York Mills

Hey....had lunch there today at a Chowhounds suggestions...it was almost one of the worst lunches I've ever eaten...had the cup of soup and veggie wrap....soup was only lukewarm and not at all flavorful and wrap was like a piece of paper stuffed with tasteless veggies...c'mon you guys...aren't we looking for great food...how did that ever get posted as yummie.. are we on the same page or what...guess I'll take everything with a grain of salt.....will check the posters from now on Yuuk....Miranda

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  1. Dunno who said it was good. I've been twice now; once for lunch, and once for dinner. The only reason we did the dinner was because our friends had a coupon for free dinner for 2. Good thing it was free. I find the food to be pretty bland and tasteless, and for that they charge outbloodyrageous prices. The decor leaves me cold, which brings me to the internal temperature there, freezing both times (once summer once winter). Service awful both times; the waitstaff could care less, all they want to do is move the table multiple times, so before you're even finished your apps, the main is being zipped under your nose.

    Nope; wasn't me you hear that yummie from!

    2 Replies
    1. re: The Goddess

      The Miller Tavern is neither particularly good nor particularly bad. Like most restos everywhere, it's average, acceptable, not distinctive at all in its cuisine. The best thing it has going for it is its charming setting at the edge of a lush park near Yonge St.and York Mills Rd., and its free parking lot (which it usually jammed, it seems, when I get there of an evening, forcing me into the nearby public parking lot). I've been many times, mainly because I live in the area, and the Miller papers the neighborhood every now and then with $25-off coupons. If you don't have a coupon, or can't take advantage of $1 corkage on bring-your-own-wine on Monday evenings, you'll find your bill can be rather high given the quality of food you get - indeed, it probably pays to seek out much better food at a similar price nearby, namely Coppi, or Sequel, which are just a few blocks south down Yonge St. But if you know what they do well, you'll have a pleasant evening (I've never been for lunch). Don't be too demanding of its kitchen. It does a nice steak dinner at about $26, a good price. It does a good Irish salmon. One or two of the pastas are pretty good. So are some of the salads. Most everything else I've tried there is not bad, just forgettable and, in my view and given the nearby competition, about 20 per cent overpriced. The booth seating in the upstairs dining room is spacious and comfortable. The service is usually good, but - like most places with young staff - is sometimes desultory. Maybe because the waitstaff seems to have changed quite a bit every time I get there. I never seem to see an in-charge person around, directing things, which may account for the shortcomings of the service. The wine list, if you decide not to bring your own on Mondays, is good (a nice selection at $35). In short, it's a good joint if you live nearby and if you know what to order, but it's not something I'd travel across the city to experience. Take advantage of its strengths, stay away from its weaknesses. I've never had any luck with their poultry dishes.

      1. re: The Goddess

        Couldn't agree more - we used to go there for drinks and snacks on the patio in the summer - one of the best spots in the city to go with a gang in terms of summer vibe. Lost enthusiasm when I realized how expensiveit was going to be every time.

        Seafood nice and fresh, but everything is just North Toronto bland.

        Their specials are rather overwrought - they just seem to pile fat upon fat for fat's sake. Not a terrible idea if you're adding fois gras to lobster; less exciting if you're dding cheese to a burger.

        We stopped going a couple of weeks ago. We went down for a late lunch on what looked to be one of the last nice days of patio weather for the season. Patio not crowded, although there were a few leisurely tables enjoying the day.

        I ordered cobb salad, my wife ordered seafood salad. Half an hour later, I asked the waiter "how are we doing on the salad?".

        He looked at me like I'd just blown my nose in the breadbasket, and said "if it was ready, it would have come out by now".

        I complained to the young manager on duty, and his response was a deer-in-headlights stare and a mumbled apology. No attempt to put things right - not even one of those $25 coupons that the Miller throws around North Toronto so promiscuously.

        We had awesome charbroiled burgers, and better service, fifteen minutes later at Harvey's on Avenue Road.

      2. Nope, I never would have recommended that place. It's overpriced, mediocre food. Honestly, you would have been better off at Milestones or Baton Rouge, north of Sheppard.

        If you're looking for something more upscale (and non-chain) then most of the options north of the 401, then my recommendation would be Wildfire, which is on the west side of Yonge, another couple of blocks down from the Miller Tavern. Nice atmosphere, reliable food. Won't blow you away, but it will be good.

        6 Replies
        1. re: TorontoJo

          Or isn't Auberge de Pommier in that nabe?

          1. re: Wiley

            Yep, but that's *really* upscale! That falls into the category of an expense account lunch for me. :)

            1. re: Wiley

              Yes, the justly-celebrated Auberge du Pommier is indeed just a little north up Yonge St. from the Miller Tavern. But the Auberge is also in another price level entirely. It's about $200-plus (with wine) per couple, so at that level it damn well BETTER be terrific. The Miller Tavern clocks in at about $125-$150 per couple if you don't have its ubiquitous $25-off coupon and can't take advantage of its $1 corkage on Monday evenings. At that price, and in that neighborhood, its natural competitors are, as I've mentioned, Coppi and Sequel, or, as TorontoJo has accurately suggested, Wildfire, a well-run steakhouse that delivers a consistent experience, and - besides steaks - does poultry much tastier than Miller Tavern. But on a sultry summer evening (agreed, some months in the future), at a table overlooking the tennis courts in the charming little park, with the $3 million castles of York Mills Valley in the near distance, you have to go with the Miller Tavern - provided you're prepared to put up with occasionally indifferent food.

              1. re: juno

                I usually whip into Yonge an Lawrence once a week from the 401 picking up cheese then leave town. I love lunch! Is Auberge du Pommier a place someone can go by themselves? Can I read a paper or is too formal?

                1. re: The Boss

                  Auberge is fancy, but at lunchtime, I can't imagine anyone raising an eyebrow at a single diner reading a paper. The service is generally quite gracious. I'd give it a go and see if you like the atmosphere for lunch. I would also try Wildfire for lunch on another one of your trips.

                  http://www.oliverbonacini.com/auberge...

                  http://www.wildfiresteakhouse.com/

                  1. re: The Boss

                    If you don't feel comfortable dining alone and/or reading your paper in the dining room, you could ask to eat your lunch in the bar. The bar menu (offering the same food as the dining room) is slightly less expensive, and the atmosphere is less formal.

            2. The place is overpriced and overly ambitious. Try any of the restaurants a little further south on Yonge Street for a decent meal, especially the new one....I forget the name...it has no sign....it's on the east side of the street, next to a place called Cravings...anyone know what I am talking about????

              1. Their salads are wonderful though. The salad chef is a pro.

                1. Back in the day, my friends and I used to hit the Miller to enjoy a few cold ones, and chase women. But food? All they had was pickled eggs, sausage sticks, and potato chips. Then they went all upscale. But I never gave a thought to eating there -well, except for the chips. I swear the eggs stayed in that jar for months at a time.

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: rbp foodie

                      Has anyone checked out their brunch on Sunday?

                  1. I agree. The place has been a total disappointment since it reopened. The setting is great. The patio is really nice in the right weather. And the oysters in the lounge, as well as the setting, are pretty good. But the food in the dining room is overpriced and not special at all. And the service is awful. What an opportunity wasted!! Go to the lounge, have a drink and some oysters and then go and eat somewhere else.

                    1. Had been highly recommended so went. Was excited since just around the corner from home. Wife and I went for dinner and we were not impressed. She had fish and I had surf and turf. Food was average at the best. Atmosphere was not at all what expected. Service was poor as waiter seemed more interested in a larger table (larger tip) he was serving. Think he finally realized and tried to make up for it. I would much rather go back to Wildfire just south then go back again

                      1. I liked it when it first opened and have had a few good meals there. I generally stick to the seafood and some of the appetizers. Definitely it has fallen off. They used to do these interesting oyster shooters, which are now gone, and the menu doesn't look like they've done much to innovate since the opening. The bar downstairs is the preferable venue, but yeah, stick to drinks.

                        1. I'm curious why there are so many negative reviews (namely 18 at the time of this post) for the Miller Tavern (Yonge/York Mills).

                          I've been to the Miller Tavern for a few times on business and the most recent visit would be the Valentine's Day dinner with my fiancée. Despite the general trend of the comments above, we had an amazing evening.

                          The service was prompt, the staff courteous and very considerate. When we told them about food allergies they were more than willing to address the concerns.

                          We started with the Lobster & Corn Chowder and the Butternut Squash Soup, then the Tavern Beef Tenderloin w/ Lobster Tail and US Prime New York Striploin w/ Lobster Tail, finishing with the Chocolate Mocha Cappuccino Trio and the Vanilla Creme Brulee for dessert.

                          The soup could be considered average but the entrees were certainly far above. The tenderloin and striploin were cooked as requested and each bite was both flavorful and tender. The lobster tails were very juicy, tender and rich in flavor as well.

                          The total bill came to $130 before taxes and gratuity. Which considering the $25 off coupon was valid for V-day, led to a generous tip for the waiter. They also provided us with two (2) complimentary $25 off Weekend Brunch vouchers -- for which we are looking forward to enjoying.

                          Please consider giving the Miller Tavern a chance before condemning them. They are a bit on the pricey side, but they do seafood very well and steaks even better! ...C&A

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: chaznangie

                            Welcome.
                            Then it's certainly changed from my last visit! Have to admit I didn't try the seafood (not surprising as Toronto is hardly a fount of seafood places). So I stuck to the steaks and 'simple dishes'. And they failed miserably. Overcooked, poorly served (two of us received our mains 10-minutes apart) and the place was physically deficient e.g. crumbs around from the previous occupant of our table (I hope - the alternatives are even worse).
                            My reaction was that it wasn't a patch on the Keg (say).
                            I love the location so had hoped that the food would be adequate - can anyone else support an improvement?

                          2. I have my worst meal of 2008 at Miller Tavern, they mess up my order and the food is awful. Everything tastes awful. The burger is like $20 but quality is worst than East Side Mario or the likes.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: skylineR33

                              At its fine-dining price point - about 20 per cent more than it has any right to be - the Miller Tavern either can't or won't improve. And why should it, when the good burghers of York Mills and Lawrence Park - its constituency - like it just fine? Agreed, the joint isn't up to much in the quality of its cuisine. It's very, very forgettable at best, with some menu items - the beef tenderloin steak, for example - better than others. But it has some things going for it, like the setting on the edge of a park and the spacious, comfortable seond-floor dining room. Unlike some quibbly Chowhounders, not everyone insists on good, imaginative food. All the locals at the Miller seem to want is a pleasant, inoffensive night out. The food need only be palatable. And if the bill's a little higher than it should be, what the hell - they live in that nice mansion just across the park, so what's a few extra bucks despite the drop in their portfolio? If they want better, there are a half-dozen better-value joints a l0-minute drive away. For sure, a place like this would get killed in Leslieville and other neighborhoods south of Bloor Street. - where many food-obsessed Chowhounders seem to reside - but up here, in the rarefied atmosphere off Yonge north of Lawrence - ambience reigns over good eatin'. The food is good enough, if you're not too demanding of the kitchen. The service is, well, game if not particularly polished, so it's hard to get too indignant about it.

                              The pain of the Miller is lessened somewhat by the $25-off coupons with which the management papers the neighborhood once or twice a year. Add that to the modest $1 corkage for bring-your-own-wine on Mondays, and you can almost get your money's worth of an evening. If you go other nights, the wine list is unusually reasonable for north Yonge Street. What DOES annoy me, though, is that Chaznangie, who clearly lives in the neighborhood, got his $25-off coupon in the mail recently and was able to make use of it (on Valentine's Day yet!) - and I didn't get mine. I, who live almost around the corner from the place. Perhaps I should have a harsh word with my mail carrier. I hope he's not one of those who, years later, is found to have stashed thousands of undelivered cards and letters - and expired $25-off coupons - in his basement, thereby robbing me of the chance to pay a pittance instead of the regular $28-$29 for the perfectly adequate small cut of the beef tenderloin, in which I've never been disappointed. Yet.

                            2. I agree with all of the negative comments posted here. The one person who had a pleasant experience clearly is the exception. I took my family for the Sunday Brunch on Mothers Day - what a disappointment! Its Mothers day so you'd think they'd at least try to cater to the kids accompanying their mothers (who did they think would come with the mothers!?). Instead they offered ONE option for the kids: chicken fingers and fries - for the base $25 brunch price! WTF! Since we didn't want that option we ordered the base burger for $17! And the chefs special dessert of 2 mini cupcakes for $9...Now to make matters worse the server didn't think to at least smooth things out and just charge us the $25 instead of the $26 this all added up to. When I asked to speak to the manager to express my disappointment all I got was a blank stare and a "ya, good point - I'll make sure the owner is made aware". The food overall was bland and boring and I wouldn't waste my time or money on this place again - unless I saw a change in ownership and culture in the staff...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: mjuliennow

                                I had brunch there on Saturday with my boyfriend. Service was good, if a little inattentive. The breadbasket was delicious (lemon loaf, buns, muffins, croissants) and served with jam. I had a yummy Bellini and BF had a mimosa. The mains were a huge disappointment though: I had the potato rosti with smoked salmon, artichoke dip and quail eggs and BF had Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon instead of ham. Everything was cold, and my potatoes were overcooked. The fruit salad on the side looked like it came from the fruit trays you buy at Costco. Desserts were good (crème brulee and apple cake) but we really didn’t need them after all that food.

                                We had a coupon for a free brunch ($25 value) so with tax + tip, the total was $40 for both of us. I thought that was overpriced – I can’t imagine paying full price!

                                Place was filled with families too: not a quiet, adult brunch spot by any means.

                              2. Plain and simple -

                                Their food is overpriced and tastes like crap.

                                Their drinks are good and some are even reasonably priced.

                                Go for the Patio during summer evenings for drinks, and drinks alone.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Sadistick

                                  Ready or not...
                                  I have been frequenting the Miller for quite some time now and find alot of the negative comments to be a one shot deal. Over the past few years, yeah sure my steak has been over cooked and had to send it back a couple of times but few and very far between. I enjoy the bar, good atmosphere, pleasant conversation and the bartenders know what I like. However, I am starting to notice the influx of children lately and it honestly is begining to worry me. I realized right off the bat the the lack of a kids menu, booster seats or high chairs that although not stated, an 'off leash zone' was not their intention. I quickly came to appreciate it and it has become a sort of haven if you will away from the screaming and the 'daddy can I have, mommy can I have' that is let face it some of our lives. Don't get me wrong I wouldn't trade mine for the world but come on! As I look around lately scattered throughout the first dates, late night business meetings and what I have now come to know as date night, I can't help but notice that it is starting to become a more family oriented place and it is a real shame. I know I'm not alone when I say that there are places that are more than willing to cater to your rug rats where you can still get your $25.00 bottle of pinot grigio like, off the top of my head, Jack Astors, Dave and Busters, Boston Pizza and last I checked old faithful Chucky Cheese.

                                  I pray that you the owners stay strong for the sake of all of us that just need a break and choose to spend it with you at the Miller.

                                  1. re: JMagnetic

                                    I take my kids here once or twice a year and they love it. Age ranges from 1 to 11. We usually split a bunch of appetisers and then the chocolate fondue. The food is so so, but the kids like it.

                                    1. re: Crispy skin

                                      I dont take my kids to Jack Astors or Boston Pizza because the food sucks. Dave and Busters is not in my neighbourhood. They like Chucky Cheese once in a while. Miller spring rolls and lobster quesidilla, oysters and oyster shooters are all good though.