A New Market for an Old Neighborhood
The corner of Milton Road and Oakland Beach Avenue has long been Eatery Row — La Panetière, Corner Stone, Oakland Beach Deli, and Piazza Pizza. When the first two closed their doors, many culinary tears were shed; both establishments had attracted loyal and appreciative clienteles over their long lives. Where else were we going to go for fine French food and charm and innovative and healthy (other than Paul’s chicken nuggets) takeout?
But new doors open every day, and with the arrival of Ocean Blue Prime restaurant and Milton MKT, the neighborhood is four-square again.
The week Milton MKT opened customers were lined up on Milton Road well before noon to grab lunch. We happened to be walking by and got in line. It had a different feel than Corner Stone, a white, California-beachy look. Chicken nuggets were on the menu (we knew our grandchildren would be excited). We were more excited to see the “rotating specials”, “all-day made-to-order” menu, variety of salads — Zen Seaweed, Farro and French Bean, Calabrian Tuna with Couscous, Cold Peanut-Sesame Noodle, Poke Bowls, and three kinds of Steamed Dumplings.
Despite the fact that the market was knee-deep in customers, we got the attention of Chef Naldo Morales, who also has his own restaurant, Harbour Fish & Company, in Mamaroneck. The owners of Milton MKT, Ashley and Mike Wood, who live nearby, also own Village Social in downtown Rye, six other restaurants, and three bakeries. Their combined experience shows in the friendly professionalism of the crew and the high quality of the food and beverages (make sure to try the organic Italian ginger beer).
Morales, who was born in Guatemala and emigrated to the United States with his mother when he was very young, started working in restaurants when he was 11. “I learned to cook from my mother,” he said.
His favorite thing on the menu? Lobster rolls. We can vouch for the turkey wrap, the chicken and vegetable dumplings, the Thai empanadas, the shrimp and steak burritos, the pasta salad, the tortilla chips.
Within a few weeks of opening in late spring, the Woods and Morales saw that their customers gravitated towards the healthy offerings. “While many come in the morning for substantial breakfast fare — bacon, egg, and cheese and breakfast burritos are wildly popular, — they head to the salad case for lunch,” shared Morales. For those who want to mix in protein, chicken, salmon, or beef can be added. And for those who can resist the house-made chicken nuggets, there are “daring” plant-based nuggets with vegan fries.
“We offer different specials every week,” Morales explained during our second visit. “When we sell out of a certain dish, we add it to the regular menu.” And when a frequent customer comes in and asks if they’ll be making a pasta or potato salad, for example, it’s likely that the requested side dish will be on the menu the following week.
Milton MKT also offers catering service, about which we have heard first-rate reviews. The shop, at 544 Milton Road, is open Monday through Saturday from 8-6 and Sunday from 8-4. Call 914-921-2140. The website will be up and running next week and online orders can be made.