It was November 2020 when new owner Cassandra Kelley set out to improve the beautiful property formerly occupied by the Riverside Cafe at Regatta Pointe Marina in Palmetto. Mila’s is located on the northern shore of the Manatee River and is part of the marina property along with The Riverhouse Waterfront Restaurant. But this casual waterfront eatery is a bit different from its neighbors.
Mila’s is named after Cassandra’s niece and offers a personal feel when it comes to dining. Most of what Cassandra learned in the restaurant business, she learned alongside her dad when he decided to open and operate the Cass Cay Restaurant and Bar at the Burnt Store Marina in Punta Gorda. It was his retirement dream and she came along for the ride.
Today Mila’s has a full menu, full bar, and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’ve been going there since before they completed the outdoor deck and I can tell you that the new space was the smartest move for this location. Now you enter through a covered deck area which is fully outfitted with a bar and TV wall along one side; high tops and tables; and a stool seating and bar rail area along the water to enjoy the views. The air-conditioned indoor space has also received a makeover with new floors, wall coverings, and a large mural depicting an underwater manatee scene.
Let’s talk about what’s on the menu. They offer a Weekend Brunch Buffet for $19.95 ($14.95 in the summer) which includes Pancakes, French Toasts, Scrambled Eggs, Grits, Corned Beef Hash, Goulash, and some other breakfast favorites. Mimosas are .99¢ (with purchase of breakfast buffet). That’s how you start a weekend without breaking the bank!
For lunch and dinner, you also have plenty of options including appetizers, soups, salads, flatbreads, fried baskets, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, and entrées. My first visit sealed the deal with their homemade Clam Chowder and Crab Cake Sliders. The Smokehouse Sandwich is a favorite as well. It features sliced smoked brisket, cheddar cheese, grilled onion, and bacon with BBQ sauce.
On another visit at dinner time, we enjoyed the Fish & Chips and Mila’s Burger. The Fish & Chips features hand-battered Alaskan Pollock served with tartar sauce and lemon. I also recommend the Crispy Shrimp, tossed in a sweet and spicy mayo, and the Chicken Quesadilla if you’re looking for some tasty appetizers. I love onion rings and these didn’t disappoint at all. The Mahi Fish Sandwich and Fried Shrimp Basket were good options for us as well.
Milas has a large menu, so I suggest bringing some friends along so you can try more of the food you love. A sunny day or a star-filled night are perfect times to have a delicious meal while you enjoy this expansive and unobstructed view of the Manatee River.
They now offer a Saturday Evening $40 Prix-Fixe Dinner for 2. It includes one appetizer, two entrées, and a dessert. Where else can you enjoy a full 3-course dinner with a front-row seat to the river for $40? Oh! And did I mention that there’s also live music? Check out the “news” section of their website to see the upcoming schedule. Daily Dinner Specials can also be found on their Facebook page.
Mila’s on the Manatee is located at 955 Riverside Dr, Palmetto, FL 34221 and they’re open Monday – Friday 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM, and Saturday – Sunday 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM. If you stop by (and I hope you do!) be sure to tell them you heard about it on Discover Bradenton!