In From The Cold

MILAN GRILL 39 East Main St. Milan 734-439-7774 Hours: Sunday-Thursday 7am-10pm; Friday- Saturday 7am-11pm

It was a cold, dark winter’s night when my family arrived just south of Ann Arbor in Milan. Things got brighter and warmer, though, once we were inside the Milan Grill. “This is a very nice place,” my son, age eight, commented. I was glad he felt comfortable. When I glanced at the restaurant’s menu online, with some entrees approaching $20, I had been suspicious the restaurant might be too posh and serious. But, with its rich family history, opened by the Stamatopoulos brothers who also own the City Limits Diner in Saline and Alpha Coney Island in Dexter, it maintains an easy feel. The four brothers have been in the restaurant business since the 1980s with their comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere extending to five restaurants across southeast Michigan. 

Milan Grill takes up three storefronts in Milan’s downtown. The décor is predominately earth tones— sage green, brown, dark orange and red with plenty of tables and booths. Open since 2009, Milan Grill serves lunch and dinner and began offering breakfast last fall. Dinner choices include salads, soups, pastas, seafood dishes, sandwiches and burgers. Prices range from $7-13 for burgers and $13-18 for entrees which include fish tacos and N.Y. Strip Steak. 

The restaurant was sparsely filled on the weeknight we visited. I laughed, then, when we were seated at an L-shaped booth next to the kitchen. “Is this okay?” the host asked us. My kids—excited at the prospect of securing the largest booth in the place—happily hopped in. 

Our server told us the chef took pride in his food and everything was good. Her personal favorites were the baked mac-n-cheese, chicken piccata, and the Wabasher burger, a 12-ounce burger topped with bacon, provolone cheese, fried onion straws and BBQ ranch sauce.

Mouthwatering selections

I selected the baked mac-n-cheese while my husband chose fish and chips with a house salad. My son ordered a cheeseburger and fries off the kids’ menu while my five-year-old daughter asked for chicken tenders and fries.
Other kids’ menu selections included cheese or pepperoni pizza, spaghetti, grilled cheese, mini corn dogs or fish. Kids’ items cost $4.99 (drinks are extra).

The server brought a basket of rolls and my husband’s salad. The Italian-style rolls were buttery and dusted with herbs. My son inhaled
his, but my daughter found the butter taste too strong. Meanwhile, my husband complimented his salad’s “good homemade Greek dressing.”

When our meals arrived, my portion of mac-n-cheese looked small. After one bite, however, I could tell I would not be able to finish it all. It was deliciously rich blended with cheddar Monterey jack and parmesan cheeses. I liked the crusty top and the chewy texture and flavor added by bacon pieces mixed in. My daughter liked it, too. She kept grabbing a cavatappi noodle, popping it into her mouth, and smiling. This was in addition to her nibbles of chicken tenders. My son devoured his cheeseburger while my husband enjoyed his “tasty” fish and chips.We had plenty of fries, chicken tenders and some mac-n-cheese to take home.

The dessert tray boasted selections like cheesecake and chocolate cake. Our kids chose the chocolate ball, which was a fist-size ball of something (!) covered in
a chocolate shell. When we broke through the shell, we found thick chocolate cake, the texture of a dense
brownie. It tasted like a cake pop, those trendy desserts made with half cake mix, half frosting. As we left, we shared our pleasant experience with the host. “Everything we do, we stand behind,” he replied. The Milan Grill is a familyfriendly restaurant with plenty of offerings to satisfy the whole family.

To avoid wait: They are busiest
Friday and Saturday nights. Monday
nights are busy for families, too, but a
good time to go because kids eat free.
Noise level: moderate
Bathroom amenities: Changing tables
in both men’s and women’s
High chairs? Yes
Got milk? Yes
Kids’ menu? Yes
Anything healthy for kids? Kids’
items come with fries. A side of fresh
fruit is available separately.
Food allergy concerns? Talk to your
server who can consult the chef,
who is knowledgeable about all of
the ingredients.

Katy M. Clark lives with her family in Saline. She blogs at