Inside the new Blue River Cafe
Main Dining Room-------Bar Dining Room------Music Dining Room
Blue River Cafe Garden Dining
Located near the scenic Blue River in downtown Milltown, Indiana.
Enjoy gourmet dining and live entertainment. Gourmet menu changes weekly. Our entertainment schedule offers a variety of musical styles.
Let our Certified Chef prepare a meal for you that you will remember.
Come dine with us!
All about us
"Blue River Cafe's history as wonderful as its food"
Review from the Evansville Courier November 6, 2011
September 9, 2011Article
The Blue River Cafe re-opens July 28, 2011
Posted: May 10, 2010 3:48 PM EDT MILLTOWN, Ind. (WDRB Fox 41) -- A southern Indiana landmark was destroyed by a fire early Monday morning.STORY
By Christine Barbour and Scott Hutcheson Bloom"Woods' cooking is bright and vibrant with seasonal flavors, and local produce is the key to making it tast right. She says, "We use local produce and eggs whenever we can get them.""
By SUSAN REIGLER • Dec. 23, 2000 The Courier-Journal
"There are many pleasures to be had from a visit to the Blue River area of Southern Indiana. You might canoe along the river itself and be treated to the sight of a kingfisher skimming the water or a great blue heron perching on an overhanging sycamore branch. Keep your ears open, and the calls of wild turkeys can be heard from the wooded hillsides sloping up from the river banks. Too often, one has to sacrifice one pleasure for another, such as the satisfaction of a civilized meal for the enjoyment of nature. But not so near Milltown, Ind. After a walk in the woods or a paddle downstream, you can stop by the Blue River Cafe, still clad in your L.L. Bean or Orvis best, and savor cooking of a high order, not to mention cocktails or a bottle of excellent, but modestly priced, wine. That's just what friends and I did one recent weekend. Several tables were occupied upstairs, where a music teacher and his young students were enthusiastically entertaining patrons with Christmas carols, and down, though the restaurant couldn't be described as crowded. This was good, because there seemed to be only a single, overworked, but cheerful server in attendance. (The apparent proprietor hovered a lot but could manage only to stir himself to bring wine. Not once in a busy evening did he help serve or clear a plate.) There was a long, multi-minute wait for our orders to be taken, but we were enjoying our conversation, and once the food started arriving, it was well worth the wait. We started with cups of soup ($1.75) and green salads (included with a couple of dinners). The clam chowder was a creamy, savory delight loaded with plump shellfish, but the star was the roasted garlic soup. Its mouth-coating richness was complemented by a flotilla of herbed, crunchy croutons. Salads were equally fine, made with very, very fresh greens and homemade dressing. (The chunks of blue cheese in one could have been spread on crackers and served as an appetizer.) We managed to try half of the eight entrees. Black Angus prime rib ($14.95) was a notably lean cut, seasoned on the outside and juicily roasted. The slice ordered was served medium-rare, as requested. The baked potato on the side was foil-wrapped and a little tough, a rare slip in quality from the rest of the meal. Fried apples were tart, crunchy and sweet with a dash of sugar. Roasted chicken ($10.95) was falling off the bone. Flavored with, but not overwhelmed by, orange and rosemary, it had a wonderfully crispy skin that sealed in the moisture of the meat. The rice pilaf on which it was served had been cooked in broth. An interesting side vegetable was the order of spinach ravioli nudi, little cakes of spinach and cheese shaped like pasta pillows but without the cases. The baked orange roughy ($12.95) had a hint of anise or fennel. (Had the chef splashed a bit of aquavit in the baking dish?) Its flaky flesh was delicately encased in a Parmesan crust, which highlighted, but didn't mask, the seafood flavor. Italian baby limas on the side displayed a dash of oregano. Having covered beef, chicken and fish, we also had a vegetarian entree. The vegetable strudel ($9.95) was fashioned with homemade, feathery puff pastry stuffed with a subtly seasoned, layered medley of mushrooms, squash, tomatoes, spinach and onions, all held together with a dollop of pepper cheese. Each vegetable flavor held its own, but also blended with the others just a little differently with each bite. We shared a bottle ($20) of a fruity, but dry, red wine from Bonny Doon Vineyards of California. Madiran Heart of Darkness (1998) was appropriately named for riverside dining. We had just enough room left to share a pair of desserts (each $2.75). It was tough to choose from the list of seven, and if the other five are as good as the ones we had, the Blue River Cafe should double as a bakery on those days it doesn't serve meals. Arkansas pecan pie was served warm, oozing around the plate at the touch of our forks. The pumpkin maple cheesecake exhibited more maple than pumpkin, but the imbalance was easily forgiven".
Performers, fans move indoors at Blue River Cafe By Grace Lee Uy - The Courier-Journal "Yesterdays chilly weather kept more than a dozen musical acts from setting up their show outdoors in the center of Milltown, for the first Blue River Music Festival. Instead, they took their instruments -- and their audience -- into the warmth of the Blue River Cafe on Main Street. . . . . The Woodses plan to make the show an annual event for the town., although they may earlier in the year next year". (see the Courier Journal for the complete article) "Debra and Mark Woods, who owned the Blue River Cafe since December, came up with the idea for the outdoor music festival"
By Jackie Carpenter - Managing Editor
"Milltown's not getting older, it's getting better, especially in terms of music. The small town that sits on both sides of Blue River will celebrate its 161st birthday Sunday from 1 to 11 p.m. with a music festival sponsored by Mark and Debbie Woods of Blue River Cafe. The cafe is well known for its gourmet delights and the town is known for Cave Country Canoe rides on Blue River". (see the Coyrdon Democrat for the complete article)
"Milltown will begin, Sunday,
what is hoped will become a Crawford County tradition: a birthday celebration featuring live music on Main Street. Various entertainment is scheduled from 1 to 11 p.m. The event is free of charge and is open to the public. . . . . . This year's festival, sponsored by the Blue River Cafe in Milltown features several well-known regional artists performing Irish, traditional and original folk music., After dark a Louisville-based jazz/rock band called Planet will headline the event". (see Clarion News for the complete a
Laura Dreistadt, Field Coordinator, Southern Regional Office
"With less than a thousand residents and a remote location in the hills along the Blue River, Milltown seems an unlikely place for gourmet dining. But for more than a decade, hungry locals and visitors from across southern Indiana have flocked to the Blue River Cafe for a taste of the good life. Through the restaurant's popularity, a former lodge hall has been reborn as a focal point of the community. . . . The Milltown Knights of Pythias surly never dreamed their circa-1890 lodge building would one day house a successful restaurant. Fine cuisine plus a clientele of local regulars and tourists have been the recipe for success." (see Indiana Preservationist - Aug. 2000 for the complete article)
by Marty Rosen
"When restaurateurs say "location is everything," they mean that the secret of success is to go where the customers are. In that sense, the Blue River Cafe is romantically contrarian: If it relied upon causal drive-by traffic, it wouldn't have lasted 10 years, hardly anybody just happens through Milltown on a typical night. But in another, better sense, the Cafe is perfectly located. . . . Some diners were in causal business clothes, others in jeans and leather jackets. Everyone seemed comfortable and widely spaced tables made for a sense of intimacy even admist a cheerful conversational buzz." (see Louisville Eccentric Observer for the complete article)
EATING OUT by Linda Negro - Courier & Press assistant features editor
"Canoers know about it. I suspect wildflower fanciers have been keeping it a secret too. It took an e-mail from a generous reader to clue me in to a delectable find beside the Blue River in Southeastern Indiana. My search brought me to the Blue River Cafe in Milltown. . . . If not for the healthy vining jungle of plants in the window it would have looked as if the store front restaurant had been closed years ago. Inside painted detailing, Modern art and intricately pieced wooden tables coated with a thick gloss made it more intriguing.. . . . You'll see me at the Blue River Cafe again this summer, even if I have to plan a canoe trip as a ruse for returning." (see Evansville courier & press for the complete article)
by james nold jr. . . . . .
"a time that rewards the impulse to jump into the car and take a day trip somewhere new. Few locales reward that impulse as fully as Milltown, IND., about 40 miles west of Louisville (off Indiana 64) -- both for the canoe trips you can take from there on the scenic, undaunting Blue River, and for the dining you can reward yourself with afterward at the Blue River Cafe." (see Louisville Magazine for the complete article)
A cafe in the Indiana countryside is putting on airs By Susan Reigler - Courier-Journal restaurant critic . . . . .
"When Mark and Debra Woods' cabin in the Colorado mountains burned down nearly a decade ago, the way was clear for them to enter a new phase. They changed from commuters working in the electronics industry to people Henry David Thoteau would have recognized as neighbors." (see the Courier-Journal for the complete article)
by Randy West
"An amazing thing happened in Milltown last week. Fifty of Louisville's finest chefs mingled with local farmers and others over gourmet treats. The crowd that assembled under three big white tents next to Ric Archibald's Blue River Cafe numbered about 300." (see the Corydon Democrat for the complete article)
Chefs, growers strut their stuff at farm tour, gourmet buffet by Jackie Carpenter ". . . .
following the tour July 22 of Churchill's Countryside Farm in Depauw and outdoor buffet at Ric Archibald's Blue River Cafe in Milltown" (see the Clarion for complete article)
by Ronni Lundy
"Part of the pleasure to be gotten from the Blue River Cafe is simply in the idea of it. If you wind into Milltown, Ind., twisting over the bubbling Blue River, past the outdooesy canoe-rental stands and into the small-own Main Street, chances are you'd expect your only restaurant option to be a diner with somebody's first name in its title and a sign flashing "EATS." Instead, if you peer closely at the old, two-story white storefront . . . . you'll discover the Blue River Cafe, a kind of hip, kind of cosy, kind of incongruous little restaurant" (see the Courier Journal for the complete article)