Originally known as the York Mills Hotel, The Miller Tavern dates back to the 1860s, when it used to be a resting spot for horses and carriages on their journey through Hogg's Hollow, a popular stopover for travellers looking for a drink. Like other 19th century inns and taverns, the hotel went through a succession of owners and periods of changing fortunes. During Prohibition in the 20th century, the Inn became a gambling den that was eventually closed down following several police raids. It was renamed The Jolly Miller, and became a hotel and tavern until 1964.
The Jolly Miller Hotel in 1945
The historical landmark was updated and renovated in 2003 and after a 10-month $3 million makeover became the Miller Tavern, complete with an oyster lounge, one of the city's largest outdoor patios and a lovely glass-enclosed, heated veranda, which is particularly popular in the cold winter months. The new modern interior has retained some of the original brick walls, and features cozy fireplaces, rough-hewn pine detailing, comfortable bankette seating and modern lighting and decorative features.
Foyer of the Miller Tavern
The upper level of the 2-storey dining room
The outdoor patio, a popular destination in the summer
but chilly on an October afternoon
Offering casual dining to the North York business and residential crowd, the Miller Tavern caters to all tastes, from a selection of salads, starters ad lounge snacks to burgers and quesadillas, to fresh fish, seafood and steaks. Downstairs on the lower level, the Miller's Oyster Lounge, with more casual dining, large screen TVs and long road-house bar, also features a raw bar with a selection of fresh shucked oysters, popular with the after-work crowd.
Miller Caesar Salad with romaine, tortilla-style croutons and pancetta
Goat Cheese & Beet Salad with mixed greens, black lentils and pine nuts
with a cider vinaigrette
Lamb Bolognese with shaved parmesan, toasted pine nuts
on fusilli pasta with truffle oil
Nova Scotia Lobster Quesadilla filled with meat from a 1-pound lobster, boursin cheese,
chopped tomato and bell peppers all wrapped and grilled in a flour tortilla
There are definitely hits and misses on the menu, but the Miller offers an eclectic if not pricey menu, with courteous staff in a casually elegant uptown setting. The upstairs dining room was full on an October Wednesday afternoon, so they must be doing something right.