Our Gourmet: A lot to like at Pizza Loft in downtown Milford
On nights when live music is on stage downstairs, we suspect quiet is not the case, but this night it was — perhaps the music started later.
The 1.5-pound serving of steamy shellfish was more than large enough to satisfy two, and the garlic-shallot sweet sherry broth was tasty enough that we used spoons to gather as much per bite as we could. Soon there was nothing left but an empty plate of shells and a small, untouched bowl of marsala sauce, provided as the standard accompaniment but entirely unnecessary.
Entrees at the Loft come with Italian Wedding Soup, salad, and a side of pasta or potato or rice. That is a nice lineup for hungry diners, but perhaps too much for those who enjoy appetizers off the menu.
The main courses were standout.
Filet and Lobster Bearnaise, at $20.95, is one of the most expensive items on the menu, but I was in the mood for surf and turf, and this dish enticed me. A healthy portion of fresh lobster meat was piled atop two sizeable, 2-inch-thick tenderloin filets, with the lobster topped with creamy — but still light — bearnaise sauce, and the tenderloins perched atop sliced garlic toast. The toast had soaked up the beef's tasty natural juice, and accompanied by a good-sized portion of fresh steamed broccoli, this was a filler, killer dinner. The tenderloin (medium-rare) was super tender; the lobster was generously sauced, not smothered, and a side of spaghetti with just butter and garlic added just the right starch to accompany.
Baked seafood pie at a lot of restaurants is not a dish that one might call light. But not so at Pasta Loft, where the spinach herb cheese features nice pieces of fresh leaf spinach, a subtle cheese and herb combination and just a dusting of bread crumbs, while the makeup of the dish and careful preparation enables its main ingredients — Gulf shrimp, haddock, lobster scallops — to shine. And it is a large dish, loaded with seafood and with an aromatic presence that bespeaks quality.
Pasta Loft benefits from the best of several worlds in the center of Milford. The bar crowd that can spread out and enjoy drinks, pub food, TV sports and live entertainment; weekend visitors looking to warm up with a lunch or afternoon bowl of soup; families taking advantage of a good children's menu (all $5.95); and the upstairs dinner crowd that wants a full gourmet dinner or a Frugal Fare entree (all $14.95) featuring soup or salad and dinners from swordfish to ribs to steak tips and fancy salads with salmon.
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