There are many people out there who consider breakfast to be one of those meals that has to be boring. You know the type…the ones who always order two eggs over easy, bacon and toast, even if there’s a scrumptious Eggs Florentine or an exotic French Toast on the specials board. Now, I’m not scoffing at anyone who eats a low-key, eggs over easy breakfast…heck, after all, anyone who eats breakfast is eating the first and most important meal of the day. However, I feel breakfast is one of those meals that dares you to try something different.
And, if you’re in Milford, Connecticut, The Corner Restaurant is the ultimate TRIPLE DOG DARE. From dishes like African Hash and Spiced Indian Duck Tortilla to their Peaches and Cream Stuffed French Toast and Alligator Jambalaya, The Corner thrives on making converts out of boring breakfast folk.
First, a special thank you to my friends John and Kristine Wells who opened up their beautiful home to me. I’m so happy we were able to spend a little time together.
I’d also like to thank Michelle and Amer Lebel, their children and staff who welcomed me to Milford in true celebrity style. I felt so incredibly special…it brings a big giant smile to my face just thinking about that day. I also want to thank John Berchem, City Attorney and Ben Blake, the Mayor of Milford who took time out of their busy day to support The Corner during my visit.
Situated on the longest coast line in Connecticut, Milford was established in 1639. In fact, next year, Milford will celebrate their 375th birthday. The city’s vibe is quintessential New England – historic and beautiful yet mixed with a young, vibrant energy. It’s quite the combination…and The Corner Restaurant fits perfectly.
Established 16 years ago, The Corner Restaurant has been a locals’ favorite ever since it opened. And, for good reason. It’s cozy atmosphere, filled with regulars from near and far, is decorated with an assortment of antiques and memorabilia from Michelle’s and Amer’s travels – making you feel right at home. And, that’s just the decor. The food is truly the centerpiece to this beloved restaurant. If I didn’t live on the opposite coast I, too, would be a Corner regular.
Upon reflecting on the feast Michelle and Amer laid out for my visit (which I will describe next), I actually had to look up the word feast. According to Merriam Webster, feast is defined as something that gives unusual or abundant enjoyment. It’s amazing how some words nail it…because that is truly what happened to me at The Corner. I had a FEAST…a true foodie’s feast.
I started my feast sipping on a cup of coconut coffee. Normally I’m not a fan of flavored coffee, but the coconut blended nicely in this roast. Michelle also gave me a glass a freshly squeezed orange juice…it was like sticking a straw directly into an orange. So good.
First up was their Alligator Jambalaya – layers of crisp, flaky flatbread, eggs and their alligator jambalaya. The alligator jambalaya is a brilliant combination of alligator, shrimp, fresh crab meat, andouille sausage, tomatoes, onions and a secret blend of spices. All of the meats are fresh and full of flavor. And, what did my first bite of alligator taste like? I guess…chicken? Really good chicken. 🙂
Next was their African Hash and Lobster Benedict – two very unique Benedict-style dishes. Both were served on an English muffin with poached eggs…but that’s where the similarity with a standard Eggs Benedict ended. For instance, the African Hash is a Benedict topped with a Middle Eastern influenced spicy beef and lentil hash. The fragrant spices in the hash pair well with the creamy béarnaise sauce, then it’s all topped with crispy shoestring potatoes. The other dish was their Lobster Benedict…equally delicious and completely different. Served with an English muffin and poached eggs, this dish has a surprise waiting with each layer. First is the English muffin, a grilled tomato and then the first surprise – a crispy goat cheese medallion. Then, poached eggs are topped with the next surprise – pieces of deliciously sweet lobster meat finished with a freshly made hollandaise sauce. I had never had goat cheese with a Benedict before but I highly recommend it.
Believe it or not, breakfast didn’t stop there. My next adventure was their Spiced Indian Duck Tortilla…it’s like the breakfast wrap’s dangerously exotic cousin. Take pulled duck and remove all the fat, sauté it with tomatoes, onions and Indian influenced spices. Then, add scrambled eggs, supremely creamy white American cheese, wrap it in a bacon layered tortilla that’s pan fried and you have, one amazing breakfast wrap. It’s a dish you must experience.
After that came some incredibly delicious sweet treats…three kinds of Stuffed French Toast. All made with French bread, I was able to taste a little bit of each which was a little bit of heaven in each bite. The first was French toast stuffed with fresh strawberries and banana. They first hollow out the French bread then stuff it with sautéed strawberries and bananas. Add a little dab of their home made whip cream and you have a food coma-making dish. Next up was their Apples, Cinnamon, Raisin and Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast – The Corner Restaurant’s very first special and something they’ve perfected over the past 14 years since they introduced it. My favorite of the three was their Peaches and Cream Stuffed French Toast.…with sweet chunks of peaches and a vanilla cream sauce, it’s definitely dessert for breakfast.
The last item I had the pleasure of tasting was their Pecan Crusted Poached Pear. Infused with a little Grand Marnier (not to worry lightweights, the alcohol is cooked out), the pear is poached then rolled in real Vermont maple syrup and crushed pecans. What a finale to my Connecticut culinary adventure.
By this time, I, like their French toast, was stuffed to the brim. I said my farewells to everyone and thanked Michelle and Amer, who is truly an artist when it comes to breakfast. I walked around Milford a bit and prepared for my next visit.
If you’re in or near Milford, treat yourself to a visit to The Corner Restaurant. I should note that The Corner Restaurant is cash only so save your money and spend it well. 🙂 They’re located at 105 River Street. Or, you can visit them online at www.thecornerbrunch.com