Note: The Mill is now under new ownership and only does onsite catering. Hopefully that will change and the beautiful landmark will again be opened to the public.
Many people are familiar with the iconic Mill at Spring Lake Heights as a restaurant for fine dining or a prime venue for weddings and other affairs. We discovered this past Friday that happy hour at the Mill is a great way to unwind after a stressful day. We enjoyed a combination of discounted drinks and unique appetizers along with some enjoyable live entertainment. Added to that is a panoramic view of the mill pond complete with swans.
We were told by a friend that singer, musician and song writer Bruce Foster was playing that evening and she asked we would join her. That sounded like a splendid idea after dealing with a summer Friday traffic back from Bergen County; half of which was wheel clenching and the other just crawling. (I am so glad I live here.) We decided to pick her up and we all went together. We captured a small table in front
of the grand piano just as Bruce was setting up along with a guest musician and friend, Dr. Charles Hage, a well known ObGyn and acupuncturist, who was fondly referred to as Charlie. Charlie was celebrating the birthday of his lovely twin daughters who were present, along with his wife that evening. The duo entertained us with a mix of early Beatles with Bruce on 12 string and Charlie on 6 with very good harmonies. Bruce also performed solo classics from Bruce Hornsby and Marc Cohn and mixed in some of his own music from past recording ventures, which include an album called Shark Frenzy, a collaboration with Richie Sambora in 1977. This evening Bruce Foster played guitar, piano and harmonica. The show was energetic, nostalgic and highly entertaining.
Now lets talk about the food and drink because that’s what we do. The happy hour at the Mill offers $6.00 premium martinis, $4.00 premium cocktails and $5.00 glasses of wine. The most interesting part of the happy hour menu is the wide range of half price appetizers. We had the mini crab cakes, the mini burger trio, fried calamari
and the lamb lollipops. The lamb lollipops are rib lamb chops wrapped in bacon and served with chimichuri sauce. The mini burgers are served on little brioche rolls with cheddar, crisp fried onions, tomato and lettuce. The mini crab cakes are served with a corn salad, citrus and crab spiced aioli. Between the bar menu and the lighter skinny menu there are 16 different appetizer choices ranging from an old world bar pie to sauteed shrimp with smoked paprika, fresh lemon and parsley. I have eaten dinner in the restaurant on several occasions and did a review on it and the food was exceptional. Everything we tried at the happy hour lived up to our high expectations. This will inevitably become a regular unwinding spot all year round for us.
Happy hour at the Mill is every Tuesday though Sunday from 4 to 7 PM. There is different entertainment on different evenings, Bruce Foster plays every Friday. Their website touts it as the “soon to be famous happy hour” which is probably true. It is definitely worth a stop after a long day.