Fried Ashley Farm’s Chicken- mac & cheese, braised Tucker Farm’s greens.
Photo: Becky Stein
Photo: Becky Stein

First Look: The Mill Kitchen and Bar, Roswell

Opening in the sprawling former funeral home building that was once home to Relish, then Pico Autentico, the Mill Kitchen and Bar takes over one of those locations that could be considered cursed. But with executive chef Marc Taft of Marietta’s Chicken and the Egg, owners Scott and Randy McCray of McCray’s are betting that a comfort food concept near Roswell Square will prove the third time’s the charm.

The look: The brothers McCray put together the farmhouse chic design using reclaimed wood for rustic tables and walls in spaces illuminated by hanging metal lamps. Surrounding the entrance hallway and open kitchen, multiple seating sections include a spacious bar area, a main dining room, and a stone patio with fans, heaters and a fireplace.

The scene: One recent weeknight, there was a buzz in the air, as a steady stream of diners ducked in from the cold to experience the new atmosphere and menu. Around the bar, servers stayed busy delivering drinks and snacks to a chatty after work crowd.

The menu: Taft’s offerings hit all the familiar categories of gussied-up Southern farmstead fare. Count on black-eyed pea hummus ($5), deviled eggs with candied bacon ($7), and pimento cheese fritters ($8), among the starters. Main plates include Ashley Farms fried chicken with mac-and-cheese and braised Tucker Farms greens ($17), pork shank with Red Mule grits and braising vegetables ($18), and Enchanted Springs mountain trout with winter root hash, bacon-roasted Brussels sprouts, and ham hock reduction ($23).

The drinks: Signature cocktails ($10) also have a decidedly Southern flavor. March to the Sea mixes Redemption Rye, absinthe, sweet vermouth and orange bitters, while the Tipsy Pig is a porky concoction with Bell Meade Bourbon, sweet vermouth, bacon and brown sugar syrup, black walnut bitters and candied bacon. The current draft beer list includes Left Hand 400 lb. Monkey ($7) and Terrapin Hopsecutioner ($6).

The extras: The Mill opens for lunch, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., this week, and also will begin serving brunch, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., on Sundays.

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