When A Bartender Becomes A Gentleman Farmer

by Steven Doyle

Rocco Milano has pulled a Green Acres on us. Milano is the engaging barmen at Private Social and until recently he lived very close to the Uptown restaurant where he works. Now his commute is a bit longer as he drives in from his 60-acre farm in Valley View just north of Denton.

“Yesterday I spent about 10 hours digging and dropping in a bunch of fruit bearing trees. I have a bunch of berry shrubs I am putting in next. I have this spectacular herb garden. Right now the chocolate mint is flourishing like you can’t imagine,” said Milano, “How cool is that to see these plants grow from a seed and take them to the final product?”               

Milano plans to use much of his harvest behind the bar at Private Social.

Milano estimates that his garden is about 1,000 square feet, but has major expansion plans that will involve use of a tractor to plow his fields. Future plans involves green houses and chickens.

“The transition is interesting. I was living in the West End and waking up to sirens and all the traffic and whatever the city life is, but you get home after a shift at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning and there’s not a sound out there not found in nature. Dallas has an incredible skyline, but there is nothing like seeing the billions of stars.”

So what does a star bartender sip on while tending his fields?

“This past fourth of July I was making a really good drink on the farm. It is going to sound crazy but it is fantastic. I juice some pineapples and took that pulp and added it to some simple syrup and let that simmer for about an hour. I strained that and added Laphroaig. You have to like scotch to enjoy this one. It’s a Whisky Dip and is absolutely incredible and easy to make.”

Laphroaig is an extremely peaty Islay whisky and has this rich smokiness that is extremely distinct.

As for our bartender/ gentleman farmer, we wish Milano much luck with his crops this year and look forward to sipping the fruits of his labor.

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