Best Dining in Clermont County- #3 20 Brix
For Hunter Thomas, opening his own restaurant has always been his dream. After many years in the restaurant and hotel business, he finally decided he had enough. He was going to pursue that dream, which eventually became a reality of what we all know today as 20 Brix. 20 Brix is a wine bar, restaurant and wine retail store located in the historic district of downtown Milford. Brix, pronounced BRICKS not Brie, is a German wine making term. Hunter opened 20 Brix in 2007 as an upscale casual restaurant with wine being the main focus. When opening this restaurant he actually first selected his wines and then created the menu based upon his wine list. Hunter loves learning about wine and the perfect food pairings and he wanted to share that with his customers. Each server at 20 Brix will be able to help you choose a meal and wine that will complement one another nicely. I thought that was a nice and unique touch to this restaurant. Originally, the restaurant only served wine, which was his main goal, but for all you beer lovers out there, don’t worry. Hunter realized that craft beer is popular and growing at a fast rate so he decided to expand his bar by adding craft beer and liquor. As with your wine, your server will also be able to pair craft beers with entrees and the majority of the beer served at 20 Brix is coming from local breweries.
Your selection of wine is endless. The wine list at 20 Brix boasts 300 wines from all over the world with around 100 by the glass. During your meal you will have the option of ordering 2oz. 5oz. or the entire bottle and all wine is available and retail ready for you to take a bottle home with you as you leave. According to Hunter there is a wine for every occasion and dollar amount to meet your needs. Every Tuesday 20 Brix also hosts a wine tasting and occasionally a beer or bourbon tasting. That is a night you won’t want to miss.
Did I mention food? The food here is thoughtfully created, carefully cooked and simply amazing. The wider variety on the menu gives you many options to choose from. A lot of people think of 20 Brix as a fine dining restaurant, but Hunter described it as “driving your own ship,” A meal at 20 Brix could include a small glass of wine or beer with a burger or a pizza or you could buy a $150 bottle of wine and combine it with a fine Southern classic like a North Carolina catfish or Kentucky sliver fin. Overall, the food at 20 Brix is described as a mix of new American cuisine and traditional southern cooking with a sprinkle of classic French. Hunter mentioned a few popular menu items including the Chicken and Waffles and the Classic Burger. Other menu items included a slew of salads and appetizers including the mushroom bruschetta, crab cakes and bacon wrapped apricots. I also thought the Brix Board sounded delicious to share with company, which included an assortment of meat and cheese, which I know goes nicely with the right glass of wine in your hand. For your meal, your options expand including a perfectly cooked steak, sliders, shrimp and grits, pan roasted duck breasts and jumbo scallops, just to name a few. Is your mouth watering yet? I also noticed on the menu that above the entrees you will find a small text box that says “Thoughtfully composed dishes. Substitutions discouraged.” I thought it was neat knowing that Hunter, his chef and team have really put a lot of thought into their menu. They have worked hard to create the perfect tasting meal for you and they want you to enjoy that meal. It might make you step outside of your comfort zone a little, but I think that says a lot about this restaurant.
During my time with Hunter I was also able to sit down for a nice lunch and try 20 Brix myself. Hunter mentioned that the burgers and sliders were a popular item on the menu so I decided to go with the sliders to see what they were all about.
The sliders were quickly served to me and turned out to be the perfect size. The meal also included traditional fries, ketchup and condiments for your sliders. My favorite part about the sliders were the onion straws. The onion straws were embedded into the bottom of the bun. It was delicious and gave a much different (but better) taste to your burger. Aside from my sliders, I briefly mentioned to Hunter that the Chicken and Waffles on the dinner menu is one of my favorite meals and before I knew it, he surprised me with my very own Chicken and Waffles. I was already so full because of my first meal that I was only able to take a few bites, but those few bites were amazing. Luckily, I was able to box them up and save them for that night’s dinner. The Chicken and Waffles weren’t like any other I have ever tasted before. I am use to a sweet waffle, but this one introduced me to a whole different style. The waffle was a cheddar cheese, it was unique, but amazing. The whole plate was sitting in a sauce that mixed so nicely with the chicken. Chicken was perfectly cooked and the Thai Chili Spicy Syrup topped the entrée off perfectly.
At 20 Brix you can create your own experience with family and friends. You are guaranteed to enjoy upscale casual food, wine, craft beer and service. This isn’t your everyday sports bar, but once you try it, this will be a restaurant you go to again and again, believe me! To learn more or make a reservation at 20 Brix you can visit their website at www.20brix.com.