Last night I was effing fancy. I was invited to an event to celebrate the first anniversary of what I think is one of, if not the best restaurants on the whole darn island.
I met Ana the first week Husband and I arrived in the Dominican Republic. At the time, she and her sister, Gabby, had just opened Guli’s, this sweet little coffee shop down the street from where we lived that would later become my writing office since they had the best cappuccino in town. I was enormously pregnant and there was no way I was walking to Husband’s school in the inferno heat of August here so I was on the phone with Apollo Taxi* when half way through my call an unfamiliar voice urged me to hang up. Who in the world… I turned and looked at her to make sure she was talking to me and not someone else. She repeated herself, “Hang up. I’ll give you a ride.” I didn’t know this person. I didn’t know who she was or if she was crazy and I had only been here for a week so I was on major guard dog watch of everyone, yet oddly enough, I listened and hung up.
She introduced herself as one of the owners and alumni of Carol Morgan School where Husband had just started. She had probably seen enough of us expat teachers come through here that she pegged me as one or maybe she just felt sorry for my enormity but since she was on her way out, she offered to drop me off. Of course for a moment I thought that maybe riding with a stranger wasn’t a good idea but she had an air-conditioned car.
Fast forward to last year. Ana and Gabby joined forces with a brilliant chef (Henry) and opened Mila, a perfection of a restaurant. It’s like J.Lo’s ass but for food – always ahhmazing and always a good showing.
Last night, the flawless performance continued. All gussied up with my salon hair, red lipstick, and stud Husband on my arm, we walked in to the polished shine that is Mila. When the host asked if we were there for the event, I thought I was going to pee my pants. The event, I thought, How freaking fancy are we?
I tried to keep it classy and then saw the first and second bars that served up drinks. Free drinks. Keep it together, Legra. Keep. it. together. Champagne! What… where?! Classy who? One of the stations was offering up champagne?! Yes. One glass please but keep ’em coming. The wine station felt betrayed, I’m sure, but I had to roll fancy tonight and how often is there free champagne. Across the room was the Brugal rum station, a fun corner with the new line of Brugal’s flavored rums. I’ll be back for you, rum punch. (Try the coco-pineapple flavor with chinola [passion fruit] juice. Dangerous.)
Husband and I took a seat at one the table that seems to have become our table at Mila and people-watched as guests began arriving. People watching here is fab. The women in [no joke, not exaggerating] 5+inch heels and fashionably modern clothes are only outdone by the men. Men here roll fancy AF.
And then came the food. Yay! Hors d’eouvres. Little mini foods of yum that allow me to try more than one thing while not looking like a fat chipmunk storing up for winter. But store I did. First came the Arrancini Risotto Balls. Then the Margherita Pizzettes followed by the Fried Asian Dumplings that were as pretty as they were eye-rollingly delicious. Next out were the mini-spinach quiches, the prosciutto bruschetta, and the chicken satay skewers in a peanut sauce. I didn’t say no to one thing. I seldom do at Mila, as I’ve learned that everything I order is always beyond delicious.
But, quite possibly, what sets Mila apart is their service. Customer service in DR is on the horrendous tip. Mila wouldn’t have to do much to beat out the rest but they don’t settle for better; they shoot higher, they shoot for best. Our service there is always impeccable. I could explain this by telling you about Fernando. Fernando is part of the wait staff at Mila’s and while we’ve gone there a bunch, I know his name because he’s awesome and not because of the amount of times I’ve frequented the place. In my history of dining and drinking, I have only known two names of servers: Fernando is one. (Carly is the other but Carly is the only one at Pino’s in Highland Park that knows how to make a gin and tonic the way I like it so she’s indispensable.) In addition to Fernando, everyone was on point.
I sipped away on my champagne that evening feeling so fancy that when a waiter came to take my glass – that still had a sip left – I let him. Normally, I’m drinking every drop of that whole glass. But not tonight. Tonight I was fancy. (Tonight it was free).
Glasses filled, bellies full, and a loud cheers to terrific people that will hopefully be feeding us and showing us the art of dining well for a long time.
Information for Mila:
Av. Sarasota No. 114,
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Reservations: 809-532-MILA (6452) • firstname.lastname@example.org
~ UNTIL THE NEXT BOTTLE ~
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- One of the more reputable taxi services here. Make sure to ask for an air-conditioned car… especailly if you’re pregnant.
This is not a sponsored review. The views and opinions expressed on Drinking the Whole Bottle are 100% my own so readers can guarantee that, compensated or not, I give my honest opinion on products, services, websites, etc. Any product or service received complimentary for testing purposes will be identified.