In the Kitchen Adam Hicks has worked in the food industry since the age of 14. After graduating from the culinary program at Johnson & Wales University, he held a series of jobs in the Boston area before opening Depot Street Tavern in Milford. Together with four sous chefs, he's created a destination for locally sourced comfort foods and craft beer. The tavern, which opened in 2015, features breads from Milford's Italian and Portuguese bakeries, and meats, eggs, and dairy from area farms. It's casual and welcoming and almost always busy. The menu changes every six months. "We're trying to be a local enough place where you can go every day," Hicks said. "You can bring your kid here after a soccer game. You can meet here with your accountant. We're not just a once-a-month, my grandmother's birthday kind of place. Our return rate is very very high."
The Locale The restaurant has a classic pub feel and a snug size. The main dining room has about 12 tables, as well as a sizable bar. Additional seating is available on an enclosed porch. The restaurant is on Depot Street, in the spot previously occupied for more than 40 years by Crivello's Crossing, which originally served mill workers in Milford. Free parking is available on-street, as well as in a parking area across the street. Within the next few months, Hicks plans to expand with a second restaurant in the Canal District of Worcester.
On the Menu When I stopped in for an early dinner, the service was attentive. Each member of the wait staff carried a tablet with the night's drink specials and featured craft beers. The combined lunch-dinner menu includes a lengthy list of appetizers, salads and sandwiches, as well as traditional entrees. Appetizers include the Kung Pao Calamari ($8.99), a favorite since the restaurant opened. It features a sweet sauce, julienne peppers and carrots, peanuts and a sprinkling of sprouts. A new appetizer, Addi's Tater Tots ($12.99), is named for Hicks's daughter. These aren't frozen then fried blobs, but crispy fresh potato cakes, with chopped bacon and chives. "Pop em in your mouth and enjoy," Hicks said. Among the hot sandwiches, called "handhelds," I chose the Cuban pressed sandwich ($10.99), which is made of a braised, tender pork shoulder, seasoned and shredded lightly and topped with swiss cheese and ham, and served on a crusty French roll. The meal came with pickle spears and homemade potato chips. The Porketta Burger ($9.99) was another winner. For the unfamiliar, porketta is a spiced ground pork, seasoned with herbs, fennel and garlic. It's topped here with provolone cheese and served on crusty Portuguese bread, and was fabulous. The dinner menu also includes a Homemade Porketta Ravioli ($19.99), a dish that won the Depot Street Tavern the 2016 Worcester's Best Chef competition.
The restaurant features a Sunday brunch. Reservations are taken for parties larger than eight during the work week only. The restaurant is closed Tuesdays and on Sunday night.
Depot Street Tavern, 45 Depot St., Milford 508-488-6844; www.depotsttavern.com
Mary MacDonald can be reached at email@example.com.