The new kid on the block gets all of the attention, and for Mile Wine Company, being the latest addition to Stockton’s Miracle Mile has definitely had its perks.
“We did a lot of market research before, so the initial wave of popularity was expected to some degree,” says co-owner Cynthia Marsh, who owns the Mile Wine Company with her husband Paul. “People were having to go to Lodi or Sacramento for a similar experience. We knew there was a demand, so we are happy to be the ones to fit that need.” The Mile Wine Company targets two specific demographics – the 30-plus crowd and baby boomers – as regular guests. So far, they have benefitted greatly from this outreach. “It has been
unexpected how successful we have been,” Cynthia shares, on the restaurant’s late-September opening. “We knew we would be busy, but not this busy.”
Cynthia, who works as an urban planner with the city of Stockton, worked as a server in the restaurant industry as a young adult. Paul served as the lead sommelier and dining room manager at The Firehouse Restaurant in Old Sacramento. In this role, he managed a 25,000 bottle wine cellar valued at nearly two million dollars. He has also worked for a wine distributor as a sales representative. “ (Paul) has years of vineyard and winery knowledge, and that definitely adds to the uniqueness of our restaurant,” Cynthia explains. Cynthia has joined her husband in taking courses in wine and has developed a real passion for wine tasting. To accompany the wine ‘vibe’, Mile Wine Company offers weekly wine tastings on Thursdays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
One of the signature dishes of the restaurant, Maryland-style Crab Cakes, is a perfect complement to many of the wines they have in stock. “With Paul being from Maryland, this is a dish that we take a tremendous amount of pride in,” says Cynthia. “Our crab is always fresh, and we will have snow crab for the fall and winter.” With a young, up-and-coming chef running the kitchen, Mile Wine Company is looking to further expand its dynamic menu by next year. “Our chef grew up in his family’s restaurant in Tracy and brings excellent energy to the establishment,” she points out. “We have put a lot of thought into the food we offer and how it is served.”
The Filet Mignon Carpaccio is also a signature dish, as well as the less formal El Cuban Panini. Serving a traditional Cuban sandwich in a Panini form shows the couple’s roots as former residents of Florida, where
Cuban sandwiches are tremendously popular. “We order the bread directly from a bakery outside of Tampa,” Cynthia imparts. “The dough is frozen as soon as it is made. It is then shipped directly to us and we bake the dough onsite.” The most popular appetizer is the deviled eggs with bacon jam. In the first month of opening, it has already earned a loyal following. The two dessert selections satisfy traditional tastes with the caramel apple cake and crème brulee.
For those on the go or who prefer cold cuts, the deli section of the restaurant is most appealing, highlighted by over 15 different types of cheese. Most of the cheese comes from local dairies in northern California. They also just hired a cheese specialist. “We want to be known as a place with highend artisan cheeses from small, local dairy producers,” Cynthia offers, “but still offer our gourmet farm to fork food, in a casual package. You can be dressed up, in jeans or even flipflops and still feel comfortable.” The ambiance at Mile Wine Company has received a lot of notice, too. The bright colors and decoration were the brainchild of Cynthia, who has interior design experience. The influence of jazz music can be felt throughout the bar, and on Friday and Saturday nights live music is offered for patrons. Most performances are soloists and duos performing jazz and blues songs. “We have traveled a lot, so I wanted
to make the design sophisticated but casual, rustic, yet modern,” she says. “We want it to be an awesome place to go, no matter what the occasion.”
The occasions will change a bit now that Mile Wine Company is about to enter its first holiday season. “We are anticipating being very busy throughout the holidays,” Cynthia predicts. “We are already receiving requests from both corporate and private groups. By the end of the year, we will have an expanded deli, online ordering and new menu items just in time for the holidays.” It is important for Cynthia that Mile Wine Company maintains its flexibility as a restaurant, which is key to keeping a high level of customer satisfaction. “It doesn’t matter if you are on lunch from downtown or rushing home to feed your family,” she says. “Our job is to provide our guests with the meal they need.” By Rodric J. Hurdle-Bradford
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
MILE WINE COMPANY
2113 Pacific Ave, Stockton