In 2016, Washington D.C. became the fourth Michelin city in the U.S., joining the ranks of Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. Honoring top restaurants that have experiences worth traveling for, the French company sent anonymous inspectors to visit countless restaurants throughout the District. Focusing on cultivating the ultimate guide to dining, they include more than star ratings and high price points. The guide also features the Bib Gourmand List, which showcases “restaurants offering exceptional food at moderate prices.”
New to this prestigious list is Millie’s, a Nantucket style seafood restaurant. Stepping into the space, you feel as if you’ve been transported into a summertime haven where the living is easy. As a concept from Georgetown Events, whose motto is: “Your local escape,” Millie’s lets your stress melt away.
We sat down with the owner, Bo Blair, to talk about Millie’s Nantucket charm and the expanding D.C. food scene.
How did Millie’s begin?
My partner, David Scribner, and I started it together. We opened the first Millie’s in Nantucket nine years ago. David and I both grew up in D.C., and when we got out of school, I moved to Nantucket and wanted to get into the restaurant business. David was out there cooking, and we met through a mutual friend.
What made you first open Millie’s in D.C.?
We created Millie’s in Nantucket and started talking about opening another one a few years later. We also own Jettie’s and Surfside in D.C., which feature some Nantucket flair. Eventually, we thought it would be really cool to have a Millie’s here too. The space we found is truly the perfect spot for it. It’s close to where our first Jettie’s and Surfside clients all live, and the neighborhood clientele vacations in Nantucket, so it really just made sense.
What’s your favorite thing on the menu right now?
David has a really amazing seared tuna dish he’s been doing for years. It has sticky rice and wasabi creme fresh, and it’s my favorite dish in town.
Why should diners visit Millie’s?
We really wanted to create a place where you feel like you’re on vacation when you come. We have such a deep connection to the island, and we love bringing a piece of that fun and relaxed vibe to the city. If you’re in D.C. in the summertime, and you can’t make it to the beach or if it’s happy hour, and you need to shake off the work day, come to our patio.
Do you think the DC food scene has changed?
It’s exploded. From Navy Yard to Shaw to 14th Street to the Wharf–everybody is interested in opening a restaurant in D.C.. If you’re seeing success all over the place, you think it’s worth a shot. It’s an explosion of talent and drive. D.C. is a food town, and there’s an unbelievable variety of food.
Where do you like to dine in D.C.?
Who on the Bib Gourmand List do you want to check out?
The Red Hen is high on my list. I just have to book that reservation in advance!
Millie’s Spring Valley
Address: 4866 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington D.C., 20016