We hear a lot about people leaving Nova Scotia these days, but Joanne and Adam McCullough are bucking the trend.
The couple recently moved their young family from British Columbia and have opened the Millstone Public House in Dartmouth.
Adam, who grew up in Nova Scotia, says the time was right to come home, and that Baker Drive is the perfect setting for the pub/restaurant that he and Joanne envisioned.
“This area is growing by leaps and bounds and it was really ready to have something in this spot, again,” Adam said. “We have a lot of people come in and say how much they’ve missed having Rocco’s here.
“We wanted to create a place where people could come and have a meal, or just have a drink and watch the game.”
The Millstone is divided into three spaces that allow for both a cosy, casual dining experience and a more pub/sports bar feel. The front room has a lovely central fireplace and is flanked on 2 sides by windows. The bar features seven (!) televisions and an amazing bar top made from 317-year-old wood brought all the way from Golden, BC. The third room can be used for private functions and serves as over-flow on the weekends.
Antique sports memorabilia is displayed throughout the spaces (Adam describes himself as an avid collector) and the most prominent piece of art is an enlarged sepia-toned photo of a Nova Scotia boys’ rugby team dated 1895. For the McCullough’s, the idea that those boys lived and loved and played, but are now gone, is one that inspires them to seize the day and enjoy life.
The Millstone’s chef is Jamie MacDougall who brought a large following from his days at La Pearla. Adam says he was the first and only chef they interviewed. “We lucked out!”
My husband and I recently visited the restaurant on a rainy Thursday lunch hour, and the place was very busy. We sampled several menu items, and were quite delighted by our choices.
The Thai curry and coconut mussels ($12.00) were plump, fresh and flavourful. Two pieces of crusty garlic bread were included to sop up the delicious sauce. The fish tacos ($11.50 for two) offered fresh haddock very lightly coated, wrapped in tortillas and garnished with salsa, avocado and cilantro. Good, but not great. (I crave more crunch in my fish tacos.) The Millstone burger ($14.75) was a thing of beauty: a glossy, tasty bun, thick juicy hamburger patty, sautéed mushrooms and onions, brie, bacon and arugula, served with crispy fries and a not-too-garlicky Caesar salad. Wow!
On all fronts–atmosphere, food and service—the Millstone hits it out of the park. We’ll be back.
The Millstone Public House is located at 250 Baker Drive in Dartmouth