12 Old Mill Road, Redding, CT (203) 544-9988
The Wire Mill Saloon & BBQ has been serving up tasty creations from their custom-made smokers for over five years. Chef and owner, Gino Marsili, attended Johnson & Wales Culinary School in Providence, RI, and then moved to St. Simons Island, GA, to open a fine dining Italian restaurant. While living there, he met his “Georgia Peach”, Robin. Many of the current recipes come from friends and family of Robin’s.
The restaurant name reflects the area’s history. The Gilbert & Bennett Manufacturing Company was a mill that produced wire fencing and other industrial items. Gino’s Dad, Vinny, worked at the mill for 34 years. There is a photo of him at work in the mill as well as other photos and signs from the mill hung throughout the restaurant.
Prior to transforming into the Wire Mill BBQ, the restaurant was a deli. Gino subsequently purchased a locally-built smoker and set about learning the smoking technique. The deli quickly became a BBQ destination and Gino’s father-in-law custom built a commercial grade smoker for Gino to expand on his venture of BBQ specialties. Two years later the Wire Mill Saloon and BBQ was opened in the Georgetown section of Redding.
We began our lunch adventure to Wire Mill with appetizers – Bootsie’s Brunswick Stew for my husband, and a ¼ Rack of Baby Back Ribs for me. The stew was a good sized bowl, full of chicken, pork, okra, corn and mildly hot spices. The ribs were tender and flavorful – smoked just right with hints of cherry and apple woods. They were just firm enough to hold on to the bone, but pulled away with ease. Served on the side was their White BBQ sauce that is ranch-based with the tang of horseradish. A nice complement to the savory ribs.
The Wire Mill serves Memphis-style dry rub BBQ, with an assortment of house-made BBQ sauces on the table including Classic BBQ, Honey and Vinegar. All of their sauces were a little tangy with a vinegar base.
Since the appetizers were so filling, we decided to split a combo platter for our meal (the menu mentions a plate-sharing charge, but that has been discontinued). We decided on beef brisket and pulled pork – with another ¼ rack of ribs on the side! Combo platters come with two sides and cornbread – we chose the hand-cut curly fries and macaroni and cheese.
The brisket was thinly sliced to show off its nice pink smoke ring – the mark of true BBQ. Dave thought the brisket could have had a bit more flavor in its bark (the outside that gets all nice and crusty when smoking), but I thought it was sufficiently flavorful and juicy. The pulled pork was a classic taste, piled high on the platter. There were plenty of leftovers to package up for home.
They also offer smoked chicken and homemade smoked sausage – items to try on our next visit. The menu includes sandwich versions of the smoked meats as well as burgers and salads. There is a children’s menu available for those under 12, and homemade desserts too (though we were much too full to even think about dessert).
Another offering is “Family Feast Take-Out Meals” which serve 2-4 or 5-7. It is suggested to call early to guarantee availability. You can also get smoked meats by the pound “to go”.
Prices are comparable to other BBQ restaurants we have visited with appetizers ranging from $6-$14 and platters from $18-$28. Sandwiches and burgers are served with homemade chips, pickle and cole slaw and range from $11-$14. Salads are served chopped with your choice of dressing and have the option to add smoked meat on top. The full bar offers up your cocktail of choice as well as locally brewed beers.
The t-shirts that the staff wore had some fun sayings on the back. “Puttin’ the South in Your Mouth” and “You can smell our butts for miles!” brought more than a few chuckles to be sure.
The Wire Mill is not a large space, so expect a wait during busy times, though when the weather is nice they also have quite a few tables on the patio. They are open Tuesday-Saturday 11 am – 9 pm, and Sunday 1 pm – 8:30 pm (or sooner if they sell out!).