Latham House BBQ Team: Red, White and Que KCBS 2014: Cresskill, NJ
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Mill House Brewing Company: Poughkeepsie, NY

Mil house brewery exterior

While I received some excellent recommendations from readers for a restaurant in the Rhinebeck/Kingston area, we landed on this newish brewpub in Poughkeepsie, which we found via google. Off we went.

Mill House Brewing Company is in a beautifully restored mill, with lots of exposed brick, a private room upstairs, a large bar, and outdoor seating on the second floor. And a parking lot, which is nice. A really sharp looking place. Take a look at what it looked like before:

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 4.08.04 PMImage courtesty of Google

Greeted by a large and bright bar, we grabbed two stools by the window and started reviewing the menus, with “We Built This City” on the soundsystem in the background. How the band that recorded that God-awful dreck is even remotely related to the band that recorded “Miracles” is beyond me. Thankfully the 80s music that was on quickly segued into excellent stuff like Squeeze and Dexys Midnight Runners and INXS.

Mill house brewery bar booze copy

While I fully expected to see a focus on beer, what with this being a brewpub and all, I was a surprised to see such a thoughtful cocktail program. The selection of booze was well beyond that of an average restaurant. It was exceptional. Fresh juices, infused syrups, barrel aged cocktails—someone gave the cocktails deep consideration. And I'm not one to let that attention to the good stuff go to waste. Those beer-drinking heathens don't know what they're missing.  We got right to it...

Mill house brewery cocktail menu

We ordered the “Mill House Rita,” essentially a spicy margarita, and a “Rhum Raisin,” which included aged rum, lime, orgeat, cinnamon, and Pedro Ximenez Sherry (lending the raisin). Both were executed very well. You'll hear me go on about ridiculous things such as how long a bartender shakes a drink, but that's because those ridiculous things are important. Our cocktails here were shaken properly. Did I count 40 shakes? Probably.

Mill house margarita
Mill house margarita

The menus (both a small plates bar menu and a regular menu) had all sorts of stuff that we would have ordered. There were some Southeast Asian influences, along with a section just for sausages (housemade, I believe, and also available for sale to go). Lots of focus on local producers, we noticed. We started with the Deviled Eggs, as chomping on them helps the decision making process, I've found.

Mill house brewery deviled eggs

There was nothing necessarily game-changing with these eggs, and this is preferable. They were just how they should be. And, served nice and cold. I like my eggs refrigerator cold. If they start to warm up, they lose their snap. This, is not preferable.

Mill house brewery fish tacos

Tuna tacos were served on flour tortillas. I generally prefer corn. They were, however, super. The tortillas were grilled to a slight crunch. The tuna was done in a poke fashion--which may very well be my favorite way of eating tuna--served with a slightly spicy/creamy sauce, and avocado. Real winners, and a better fish taco at a pub I cannot recall.

Mill house brewery burger

The burger is billed as “The All American Burger.” Described as “two 4 ounce patties, iceberg lettuce, Vidalia onions, kosher dills, American cheese, on a sesame seeded bun, with fries,” well, yeah, that's what I'm talking about. A roadside stand style burger. You may not get to order your burger to a specific temp, as these are thin patties. Think Shake Shack or Taylor's Refresher. The burger was delivered as advertised, served hot, melted cheese, grilled bun, and exactly what we were hoping for. The fries were of the standard frozen variety (wait, were they skin-on?), and cooked crisp and seasoned well.

Mill house brewery beer list

Our server was the tops. He greeted us and let us know that one side of the bar has TVs while the other one doesn't (nice touch). Specials were recited with prices. Cocktails were made well. Beer was sampled. A growler was filled.

A focus on local ingredients. Great cocktails and booze. Good service. Beautiful comfortable spot. Hooks under the bar for your bag. Craft beers. Food executed well. We sat there saying that if a place like this was near us, we'd go all the time. Mill House Brewing Company is a real gem, and exceeded our expectations in every way.

Edit: We visited Mill House Brewing Company again, and had another great meal (click me).

Mill House Brewing Company : 289 Mill Street : Poughkeepsie, NY : 845.485.2739 : Just a short shot from Walkway Over the Hudson (not to be missed).