On July 12, John and George were joined by Joe Hermann and Pete Hostetter for lunch at Padrino, a comfortable, unpretentious, moderately priced Italian restaurant in the heart of Milford. Trail proximity is excellent; the restaurant is only about a five-minute walk across the river bridge from the Milford trailhead parking lot. The menu offers the full gamut: appetizers, wings, soups, salads, pizzas and hoagies, as well as heartier entrees and even a children's menu. Padrino is unabashedly Italian, so that is reflected in the menu choices. Full bar service, including wine, is available. Four local craft beers were offered on draft, with numerous others available in bottles and cans.
Padrino is in the center of downtown Milford, so street parking is limited. However, they have their own parking lot at the rear of the restaurant, and other free parking areas are adjacent to it. If you park in the back parking lot, you find yourself walking a narrow passageway between buildings to get to the front. You will pass the covered outdoor eating area which, unfortunately, overlooks nothing but the parking lot, but might be appealing in the evening when ambiance, rather than view, becomes more relevant. The Friends delegation chose to be seated in the air-conditioned main dining area because the outdoor temperature was near 90 degrees.
Padrino is "family-friendly," so expect to see (and maybe hear) small children. The eating area is basically one large room fronting on the street, with a small bar to one side, and a separate banquet-style room to the rear (along with access to the outdoor patio eating area). Decor is understated but not austere.
It’s worth mentioning that Padrino had the cleanest restrooms of all the places we have visited so far.
Hoagies proved to be the most popular selection for the group: John had the $8.50 Italian Beef Hoagie with a side of au jus for dipping (great addition). Of course he opted for fries, to satisfy his fried-food cravings. Pete took the $7.50 Hot Italian Hoagie with standard chips; Joe selected the $8 Meatball Hoagie with chips. George, ever the odd man out, picked the $12 Chicken Carbonara (diced chicken and bacon over fettuccine Alfredo). Pete and Joe stuck with water, while the two lushes, John and George, each had a couple of craft beers at $5 a serving. The hoagie eaters' consensus was that all their sandwiches were "good"–but no one claimed his was either outstanding or memorable. George was less enthused about his meal; the cubes of chicken were bland and essentially tasteless, and the dish was very light on the Alfredo sauce. Our server was friendly and funny, but because there were only two servers to handle the fairly robust lunch crowd, the service was a bit slow.
Padrino offers reasonable value at a relatively modest price and a location convenient to the Trail. The food is decent. The atmosphere was decent. More draft beer choices would be nice, but all-in-all it gets a 3.5 bell rating. We recommend you try it sometime when you are on the trail and passing the Milford trailhead.
111 Main Street, Milford
Hours: 11 am to 8 pm Sun.; 11 to 9 Mon.; 11 to 10 Tues. - Fri.; 11 to 12 Sat.