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Mar 16, 2008 06:41 AM

miller tavern-a review

Last night four of us went for a casual dinner at the Miller Tavern on Yonge.Overall I would say that the meal was "functional" but overpriced.

We started with drinks and they were the standared fare from scotch to wine to ceasars.

The main issue that I can see there is the service. While ok, it struck me as distracted or disinterested. Nothing was especially wrong or rude but it did seem like every time we wanted something we had to ask. It was never anticipated. This ranged from asking for water to the bread basket to ordering dinner.Once we requested these things they were accomodated but with little enthusiasm.

Requesting suggestions or inquiring about certain dishes was met with noncommital answers or a shrug. As well it always seemed like the waiter was trying to get away and had something else to do. I do appreciate that they are busy and he had other tables to attend to, but isn't that his job? When I go out to a restaurant I want to think that my patronage is important and that the good money i am paying (and at this restaurant really good money) is appreciated. I don't want to feel like I am just being accomodated by being there.

That being said the restaurant is obviously not hurting for businass. It was packed so obviously enough people are very satified with the service and food.

Speaking of the food the reason I have not mentioned it thus far is that it was fine, neither great or bad,just overpriced.

We``started with appetizers of the surf and turf quesadilla, the fried calamari and a couple of salads. The quesadilla was very good the calamari seemed fresh and the salads were fine but a bit overdressed.

The mains included Pad thai, seared tuna and steak. The tuna was prepared as ordered but a bit bland. The pad thai was tasty and the steak was a bit oversauced but certainly respectable

Actually the warm cornbread in the breadbasket was excellent.

Dinner for four with four drinks came to about 150 dollars a couple including tip.

As stated the meal was ok, the service passable and for the experience and food given the price was, in my opinion too high. It is not a place I would avoid but I would'nt go running back.

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  1. Yep, that sounds pretty accurate.

    1. Agreed, there's a lot not to love about the Miller Tavern, of which the main complaint is that most of the menu is overpriced by about 15-20 per cent (compared to similar restos in the neighborhood). Perhaps that's why the joint occasionally papers the surrounding area with $25-off dinner coupons. It's management's way of saying, I suppose, that he knows it's overpriced, but his ego won't allow him to lower his prices, thereby admitting that he may have somewhat misjudged his market. About $150 a couple for mostly mediocre food is what it'll cost you there, as Alfie has attested. But if you can get a hold of a coupon, and go on a Monday night - when corkage for bring-your-own-wine is a mere $1 - and order those few dishes that the place does well and aren't hilariously overpriced, you can get out for a manageable $100 or so. Stick with simple dishes like steak or salmon. About the service, nothing can, apparently, be done. It has been like that since the place opened: scattered and distracted. I regard it as charmingly amateurish. The young staff mean well, and can occasionally be quite good, but mostly they're just doing this gig for a short time and aren't committed. Though the place isn't a total washout. The dining room is handsome, the booths and tables large and well spaced, and in the summer it's a nice view from many tables over the lush nearby park. And the place has its own parking lot, though good luck finding a spot because it's often jammed - often, I suspect, by those who park free and then hike to the nearby York Mills subway entrance for the trip downtown. Still, the fact that that lot is packed most every night suggests that, in that neighborhood of $2-3 million homes, there are lots of couples prepared to pop $150 for very, very average food and functional - at best - service, merely because it's in the neighborhood. It's certainly no place to drive across town for. I still go about a half dozen times a year, invariably on a $1-corkage Monday - when there's at least a fighting chance of finding a parking spot in its lot - because it's handy to where I live, and find it satisfying enough (especially if I've got a coupon).

      1. I've been here a few times. The only thing drawing me to it is the fact that it's a convenient location for 5-6 girlfriends from all over the GTA to meet. Close to the subway, 401, free parking, somewhat varied menu. Agreed that the food is mediocre and the prices way too high. Esp. if you ever frequented the place as the Jolly Miller (yikes!). Lovely patio in the summer though.

        1. Thanks for the review. I had been very curious about what it was like. I am sure it has changed since 'the day'. I have a hard time imagining what fine dining in the place that used to sell us bad ten cent draft would be like! Sigh, those were the days hahaha. I suddenly feel old.