As most of you know, I’m a newbie to Montgomery. I’ve been covering the village since February, but I bought my home here this summer.
So when I say I’ve been waiting for to open up, I understand that I’m only talking about a matter of months, where you all have been waiting years since Jason’s closed. That said, I’ve been waiting for Gray’s Mill to open up, ever since meeting owner Tim Ivers back in July.
His concept was simple—affordable American food, served with style in one of the coolest buildings in Montgomery, and the hope of revitalizing the downtown. It’s no secret that downtown has been having a rough time of it lately, and each time Ivers appeared before the Village Board over the past few months, he got the same message: “We love this. Please hurry.”
Well, it’s here. Gray’s Mill opened on Friday, Dec. 2, and the staff there has been slowly ramping up to full speed. As of this week, they’re open their full lunch and dinner hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. (They’re closed Mondays.)
It took me a while to get there, but I’m very glad I did. On Wednesday, I had dinner at Gray’s Mill with my father Bernie and his wife Caroline. We were guests of General Manager Debra Metzinger, who knows her stuff: she’s been in the hospitality industry for more than 30 years, and recently served as director of operations for the Herrington Inn and Spa in Geneva.
So here’s what we had.
We started off with the gulf shrimp, topped with ham and served with zucchini flapjacks in a wild mushroom broth. Kudos to Executive Chef Robin Corbitt: “zucchini flapjacks” is not a word combination I ever would have come up with, but man, were they good.
I ordered the Yankee pot roast, with fries and grilled vegetables. When they say “fries,” what they mean is giant slabs of potato, seasoned perfectly. My father chose the pork chops, which come topped with a delicious apple fritter. And Caroline took on the roasted chicken, with mashed potatoes and vegetables. And when I say “took on,” I mean ate about half of it, since the portions are huge.
A quick note about Caroline: she can’t eat gluten, and this has been something of an issue at restaurants in the past. But the Gray’s Mill staff was right on top of it, coming up with a host of options, and being flexible enough to change anything they could to accommodate her. That was nice.
Everything was great, and we got so much of it that I’m still eating leftovers. But dessert was the best part. In addition to sampling the caramel cheesecake and mocha latte cake, we had the Montgomery caramel pears. My mouth is still kind of singing. They’re served over sweet zucchini bread (but the staff was kind enough to bring out a bowl of just the pears for Caroline), and the combination is superb. I think I could have eaten just that dessert and been happy.
Had we not been guests, our meal would have come to $64, for three people. Considering the amount and quality of the food, that’s pretty great.
After dinner, Metzinger took us on a brief tour of the building, and I found out what longtime Montgomery residents have known for a while: Gray’s Mill is gorgeous. So much history there. So glad to see it back open to the public.
If you haven’t been to the new Gray’s Mill, you should. It was definitely worth the wait.