Milestones executive chef Jason Rosso with general manager Joe Sheridan.
BY VICKI GILHULA
A few days before Milestones Bar &Grill in New Sudbury opened this week, the wait staff went through their paces and sampled menu items.
“We don’t want any associate to tell a customer they can’t recommend something they haven’t tasted on the menu,” says Milestones executive chef Jason Rosso. He was in Sudbury for a few days to train the kitchen staff.
About 95 per cent of our food is prepared here,” says Rosso. It is not prepacked and reheated. He and Sudbury Milestone’s general manager Joe Sheridan are sure patrons will taste and appreciate the difference.
Sheridan, a Sudbury native who attended Laurentian University, is back in town after a career which included managing Holt Renfrew at Yorkdale. He has invested in the Milestones franchise with his brother, Mike, and sister-in-law, Louise. They are convinced Milestones offers a unique dining experience in the city.
An opening party was held Wednesday (Jan. 8) evening and the restaurant opened its doors to the dinner crowd Thursday (Jan. 9). Milestones is open every day for lunch and dinner. It is open weekends for brunch at 10 am, and is opened to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
The first Milestones opened in British Columbia in 1989 and there are now 48 in Canada. The franchise is part of Cara Operations, which also owns Kelsey’s, Montana’s, Swiss Chalet and Harvey’s. Cara recently acquired Prime Restaurants Inc., which owns Casey’s, Eastside Mario’s and Fionn McCools.
Rosso trained at the Culinary Arts Program at Humber College, and has worked around the world. He brings his well-travelled palate and global experience to his job. Previously he was head chef at Peller Estates winery in the Niagara region and chef at Sassafraz in Toronto’s trendy Yorkville.
He and Sheridan describe Milestones as the “best of the best;” “upscale, casual dining for people who are a bit adventurous but not intimidating;” “a place for a date, business meeting or a family celebration.”
The restaurant is named Milestones because it is the kind of place people will go to celebrate special occasions in their lives. “But it is also affordable so people can eat here two or three times a week,” says Sheridan.
Menu items include steak, prime rib, braised lamb and grilled salmon. For the adventurous there is Latin American-inspired dishes and Asian-influenced appetizers and entrees
Currently the Thai-basil stir fry is very popular with Milestones customers.
Rossi got the recipe from a street vendor in Thailand. “His family has made the dish for two generations. I would eat it every day and he taught how to make it. It’s authentic,” he said.
“Jason takes food seriously,” says Sheridan. “He recently spent eight months developing a beef paddy that is glutton free.”
Milestones is located at 1299 Marcus Dr. across from SilverCity Cinemas. Sheridan has already made arrangements for it to be the official restaurant for Cinéfest. The dining room, which has high ceilings and lots of windows can accommodate 200 people. “We will have room for 74 more on the heated patio,” says Sheridan.
The décor is very chic and modern, but in keeping with Milestones’ “cozy and familiar” style, the Sudbury restaurant features large photographs of local historic scenes on the wall.