Comforting, and cutting edge. Rustic and refined. Local ingredients, with global influences. And all you need to experience a meal here, is a little bit of Milk Money.
Inside this historic brick building on Water Street in Providence, Rhode Island, Milk Money is a cool craft restaurant and bar with an old time feel, and exciting new flavors.
A graduate of nearbye Johnson and Wales, Marisa Walachy is Milk Money’s soft-spoken, quietly creative executive chef, cooking dishes that range from classics to colossal.
“So Milk Money is small plates, tapas style, seasonal, local food. We consider ourselves globally inspired. I like to stay a little bit refined, but I also know that when I go out to eat, I want to feel good when I leave there, I want to feel fulfilled, and we stick to small plates, but they are kind of heavy, because we want you to fill your stomachs, and feel good when you’re eating our food… It’s a little bit of everything I personally love Asian cuisine, so you’ll see a ton of that on there. I’m also Italian, so I kind of stick some of that in there. But everything else is just American, good, hearty, feel good food.”
Yup, this food will make you feel good alright. There’s housemade salt and vinegar potato chips with horseradish aioli dip. Wildly creative salads like this one with beets, edamame, and sunflower seeds, or another stacked with shaved asapargus, arugula and feta. Or check out the Buffalo style deviled eggs topped with crispy chicken skin. Perfectly seared scallops with grapefruit and fennel. And savory, deep fried Rhode Island fritters with sausage and chese in the batter and a red pepper dipping sauce.
“It’s just a ricotta based doughnut that I realized eventually that you can make savory. And make it almost a clam cake fritter. They’re filling, they’re crowd pleasing, they’re delicious, they’re golden brown, they’re everything you want in a fritter.”
There’s a lot of Southern influence on the Milk Money menu as well, like this huge bowl of Shrimp & Grits, that’s slow-cooked and creamy, with plenty of smoked cheddar and crispy bacon. And then there’s the absolutely irrestistible, and ultra-popular fried chicken.
“Fried chicken has been on our menu since day one. It’s not going anywhere, it won’t go anywhere, it’s a fan favorite for sure. It’s confit chicken, then we soak it in buttermilk, use togarashi seasoning, and bunch of spicy Asian chiles, and it’s served with a kimchi aioli, which is definitely the house favorite, people get it with everything that they order. It’s a little spicy, crispy, everybody just loves it. Personally, every time that I make an order of it, I fry off an extra stick for myself. We toss it into togarashi butter, so it’s just smothered in warm, spicy butter. It’s easy, it’s simple. We take it, and we kind of made it our own. We made it a little bit more fun, a little bit Asian, a little bit less southern American.”
And while the menu mostly focuses on comforting small plates, there’s one dish that’s definitely not small at all: the four pound ribeye steak dinner.
“Huge portion of meat. It’s meant to be served family style. It’s ridiculous, it’s 64 ounces, the bone is anywhere from four to eight ounces. So, that’s pretty much all meat. It’s literally as long as my arm. Yeah, it’s just a 64 ounce bone in rib eye steak. We put some mustard, and herb seasonings on it, crisscross it on the grill, throw it in the oven, cook it to your temp obviously. Served with a big basket of fries, some greens, some sauteed greens, and bechamel. I don’t know, it’s literally just anything that any steak and potato lover would want.”
For something a bit more manageable, you can get a grown up grilled cheese at lunchtime, packed with pulled chicken, cranberry marmalade, and smoked cheddar. And for brunch on the weekends, you gotta try the Mexican-inspired Chilaquiles.
“Chilaquiles, breakfast nachos, my favorite whenever I go out to eat if it’s on a menu, I order it. Ours is pulled chicken, black beans, some cheddar cheese, and chimichuri, with a sunny side up egg, it’s pretty much as easy as it gets, and it’s just delicious.”
If you want to spend your Milk Money on some dessert, there’s a classic plate of homemade cookies & milk. Or, check out Chef Marisa’s siganture New Orleans style beignets made with a special ricotta based batter.
“These are beignets, they’re French toast. You get 6 to an order, they’re tossed in confectioner’s sugar. So we’ve got cinnamon, maple syrup, a little bit airy, fluffy, but they’re meant to stay a little moist with the ricotta in it, that’s what it’s there for more dense, cakey. I would encourage everybody to always save room for dessert. I always say eat your dessert, maybe first.”
And no matter what you eat or when, you can be sure your Milk Money will be well spent here.
“I just want people to, the first bite, when you see somebody take a bite, and you see their face, and they give the little head shake, the nod, like yeah that was good, that’s all I want. I want you to like taste it, and feel good after you eat it. I just want people to be happy when they see it, and then when they put it in their mouth.”
566 South Water Street
Providence, RI 02903