By BRENDAN DALEY
For all of your life’s milestones … there are many better alternatives to Milestones.
Cambridge’s most recent addition to Hespeler Road has been keeping busy, but is it worthy of the hype? When Milestones opened its doors nearly a month ago, eager customers were quick to fill reservation books. Luckily a last-minute phone call was able to land me a reservation for 8:30 p.m. on Thursday – the only unreserved time available.
With its contemporary architectural design, Milestones is sure to intrigue those who travel the strip. The inside is just as elegant as the outside and is very typical of all upscale steakhouses. Bulbous light fixtures adorn the ceilings while illuminated blue glass moldings add to the dim, ambient lighting. Paired with chocolate brown wood trim, a centre fireplace and wall-spanning bar, the interior screams luxury.
The Thursday crowd appeared to consist of employees on work outings, couples on dates and the odd family. While some were dressed casually, the majority were dressed in business casual which seemed appropriate for the atmosphere and class of restaurant.
I arrived five minutes early at 8:25 p.m., was greeted by friendly wait staff and seated immediately. We started with drinks – water for myself and a draught Coors Light ($5.99) for my acquaintance. On average, beer costs around $6 with mixed drinks, such as a mojito, costing $8.49. The restaurant has a large wine list, with bottles starting at $28.
The first complaint of the night occurred when our waiter, a seemingly new and inexperienced employee, arrived with our drinks a couple of minutes after ordering. The beer which my friend had ordered was warm and almost undrinkable. However, we decided to put the issue aside and order our food.
At 8:40 p.m. we placed our order. Being our first time, we decided to go all out, ordering the top sirloin with crab and shrimp ($27.99). The description read, “Certified angus beef top sirloin with Chilean crab and tiger shrimp in a lobster butter sauce.”
At 8:47 p.m. the salad, included with my meal, arrived. It was a generous portion of roasted garlic Caesar salad served on a chilled plate and covered in cheese, croutons and cloves of roasted garlic. The Caesar dressing wasn’t overly vinegary, yet it was strong enough to give the salad flavour. Overall, it was very good and surprisingly filling.
At 9:05 p.m. the waiter presented the main course. The food was nicely presented on the plate and looked appetizing. I cut into my steak to find that it was cooked exactly as I ordered it – medium. Surrounding the steak was a scoop of mashed potatoes, six tiger shrimp, four asparagus stalks, a few cherry tomatoes and … where is the crab? Upon checking in on us, I asked the waiter about the elusive crab that didn’t make it to our plates.
“Didn’t I tell you? I thought I told you. We’re out of crab and have been doubling up on shrimp instead.”
Major disappointment. I understand that these scenarios are unavoidable. However, we should have been told before paying $27.99 that crab would not be included. Apologetic, he offered to get us more shrimp for our meals. Although annoyed, we let it go to avoid any further delay.
The rest of the meal was enjoyable. The steak was juicy and tender with a smoky taste and crispy outer layer. The asparagus tasted fresh and was well cooked resulting in tenderness instead of the stringy and chewy asparagus that is often served at other restaurants. Lastly, the mashed potatoes, mixed with the lobster butter sauce, were smooth and creamy with virtually no chunks.
Overall the meal was satisfying. However, the seemingly frantic wait staff did not add to the experience. Aside from the confusion, they seemed to be impatient and unfriendly.
On a positive note, the service at Milestones was very fast despite a full house. Additionally, the interior decorating creates a comfortable, relaxed environment that even provides some privacy to each booth and table.
At the end of the day, Milestones is simply overpriced. The expensive meals were good but not spectacular. I have had food equally as good at restaurants of a lesser status and cost. Combined with the poor attitude of the wait staff, my personal experience warrants a negative review.
Therefore, I give Milestones a thumbs down.