With its quaint Main Street district and Little
Miami River views, Milford seems worlds away from the hustle and bustle
of downtown Cincinnati. But the food sure doesn't taste that way. Chef
Paul Barraco of 20 Brix brings the flair of downtown (or — dare we say
— out-of-town) cuisine to the suburbs.
want to cook food that could be anywhere downtown or in Hyde Park, and
not say we're doing •Milford food.' It tends to be somewhat of a
destination place to eat, but I want to be able to feed the locals,
too," says the Midwest Culinary Institute graduate.
So what's the difference at 20 Brix (named after the scale for sugar in wine)? Barraco gets products from the backyard.
come in all the time and say, •Hey, I grow this' or •I have chickens,'
so we try to utilize as many of them as possible, because the quality
is always better than a giant purveyor," he explains.
an abundance of eggs in Blanchester and blooms of mushrooms popping up
on nearby Mound Street, Barraco has a perfect canvas for his "slow
food" philosophy. In June, diners can expect dishes brimming with fresh
tomatoes and cold soups, best enjoyed on 20 Brix' romantic but
Barraco also sticks to the
20 Brix wine bar's reputation when creating his dishes. However, he
tends to pair the wine with the food, instead of the food with the
wine. Even with some connoisseur-worthy wines and avant-garde menu
options, Barraco prefers unassuming cuisine.
as simple as making the perfect meatball, I think that's the best stuff
in the world because it's not gussied up. We've just perfected it for
Driving the point home, Barraco even admits, "I love ramen noodles."