The Perfect Bite
St. Johns Magazine's exclusive reviews of Local Restaurants by Local Foodie Lori Allen
Off The Beaten Trail
19 St George St, St. Augustine, FL 32084
by Lori Allen
I love finding off the beaten trail hidden away restaurants. Whats even more of a find is one that has been refurbished revamped and has come alive again. Milltop Tavern is just that restaurant. If you blink an eye you will pass its entrance which is right off of St. George Street in St. Augustine. Upon entering you will find a cool bar area, a place for a band and seating overlooking several courtyards. You can enjoy drinking, dining and dancing al fresco! A group of us girls tried several of their specialty drinks, the Pick me up was just that! Made with Baileys, Amaretto, half n half, coffee and all topped with whipped cream. So cool and creamy it gave you that “pick me up” to continue going the rest of the day. The other favorite was the Purple Lollipop, made with grape vodka, grenadine, blue curacao and lemonade and came with a purple sucker. So refreshing and so fun! The food has been revamped as well. The peel and eat shrimp was plump and juicy. The pretzel bites were tossed in just enough garlic and parmesan that kept you reaching for more. We were just snacking that day but my mom and I went back for dinner to give the fried shrimp a try. It had a nice light seasoned floured batter and tasted very fresh. I opted for the potato salad instead of fries and it had just the right amount of mayo, not too overpowering that you couldn’t taste the potatoes. Yum! They had a limited menu during spring break but they will have their full menu up and running in April. So if you are in the mood for some great drinks, fun, food and entertainment and want to take a break from all of the hubbub downstairs…search for the Milltop sign and head on up!
Fun facts: The Milltop was originally a gristmill, built in the 1880s. It first became a bar in the 1950s. The building was expanded in the 1970s and became known as Milltop Tavern and Listening Room. They were well known for their live music, the unique treehouse feel, and wonderful location on St. George Street. In 2016, this building required a complete renovation. Because of the historic site, the city of Saint Augustine performed an archaeological dig, and unearthed interesting items like pottery shards, a well, and even a two foot diameter gopher tortoise shell! After Hurricanes Matthew and Irma they are finally rebuilt. They were even able to salvage their Pecky Cypress paneling and reused it on the stage and bar!
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Lori Allen is a local who moved from the Boston area to attend Flagler College and never left. She is a family person that loves the beach, football, working out and finding new places to try. Her love for food comes from her northern background and her love of cooking as well as meeting new and interesting people. She has never met a stranger nor has she ever been afraid to try an intriguing place. (Check out all her reviews on stjohnsmag.com)