Just days ago I aimed my car west and headed to Keller, which until now has been known for its Babe’s Chicken, at least in my mind. Stepping into boutique restaurant Milk and Honey is like walking up onto the back porch of an Amish couple at supper time, which for the uninitiated, that is a very good thing.
The restaurant actually has a southern gentility to it, and is stocked with trinkets that your grandmother coveted so much. I am talking the needle-point, the glassware, and all the photos that could be stuffed into a trunk. It’s actually very quaint and comforting.
The night I stopped in it had been raining all day and it was late with just a single hour to closing time. Still, the restaurant was dotted with happy guests finishing up their final courses of black bottom pie. As I moseyed to my table I spotted Judy Chamberlain, who is a contributor to craveDFW and a long time food writer. She is also the hired song stylist who gently belts out requested tunes, many of the 30’s and 40’s. I have a penchant for the Rat Pack, so I knew this would be a fantastic evening.
After reviewing the menu I found a few comforting dishes to taste and sampled the wine I had brought in as this restaurant is BYOB. Again, a good thing.
Soon I would be noshing on gentrified country vittles such as fried chicken and one of the best chops I have had in ages. The selections of chicken included an airline breast and a leg. Genius. Both are served crisped, but moist and meaty. There were a few surprises including a chicken fried poached egg yolk that burst into action when sliced.
I had read about the chef just a few weeks ago where the writer explained that the chef had worked in some fancy pants dining spots in New York. Where it is true that chef Joshua Harmon had indeed cooked at Le Cirque and Buddakan, these were merely stages that enhance the chefs abilities as they travel down the path of cookery.
Although he has some classic training, Harmon did work at Chef Pointe Café in Watauga, the quirky gas station restaurant that serves up a perfect cioppino and a heavenly shepherd’s pie. The chef also worked at Stephan Pyles stating that he idolized the chef and particularly enjoys the style of Matt McCallister. That is a style of cooking that probably will be downplayed at the little Keller restaurant, at least for the time being.
Harmon’s love for cooking began as most chef’s say, from their mother. This chef is no different. She actually opened Milk and Honey as a tea room, making lovely sandwiches and sinful dessserts. He speaks of her fondly, “she treats you like you’re from new Jersey but talks like she is Blanche Devereaux. Every time I come by the house she will ask if I have eaten. She is very much that Italian mother but with a southern situation,” said Harmon.
The pair work comfortably together, and that is a good thing since Milk and Honey is a family operated business. Mom, sis, and even Harmon’s fiancé are in on the daily operations. I say this while listening to the recording of my visit when the family broke out into a rendition of “Meet Me In St Louis” which they claim is the house tune.
Milk and Honey is a fun restaurant that is hidden from time and a cold civilization. It is a place to take on a hardy repast and enjoy the company of your friends. I like that.