An ideal summer's evening

A gorgeous sunset inspired a last-minute detour to Hayward’s Ice Cream Stand.
Photo by Courtney Hoppe

For my Milford evening, I decided to enlist an expert: one of my girlfriends who grew up in town and is now raising a family of her own there. Although she wasn't too keen on running into nearly everyone she went to high school with on a rare night off from Mom duty, she knew we had to go to one specific place for this piece: The Pasta Loft. To up the ante, we invited her best friend, making this a full girl outing.

We started at the new Mexican restaurant in town, Mi Jalisco, which is located in Lorden Plaza on 101A. The interior was surprising considering its strip-mall location, the beers were the size of a human head and the salsa, although not chunky, tasted exceptionally fresh. For your own Milford jaunt, you may also want to consider dining at Giorgio's Ristorante, a Greek/Italian hybrid that is located more towards the center of town and is one of my favorite spots. I love their bellini martinis, flatbread pizzas and chicken souvlaki.

After some eats and drinks, the plan was to head to the Milford Drive-In, a quintessential summertime destination, to catch the first flick in the double feature, but we were distracted by the beautiful sunset as we drove by Hayward's Ice Cream Stand and made a U-turn. Since my trunk was full of chairs and supplies for the drive-in, we set up shop next to the field in the back of the Hayward's lot, ordered some ice cream (my favorite, chocolate peanut butter cup with sprinkles!) and watched the sunset while catching up on girl talk. I hear "The Avengers" is great but that sunset proved to be quite the show on its own. On a date night, re-creating this setup would be a smooth move.

After packing up, we circled back towards the Oval, which is the epicenter of Milford, and found a spot in a bank lot behind the Pasta Loft. The Loft has two floors, a wine bar, an outside deck, which has a split view between said parking lot and the Souhegan River, and features live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Although I didn't catch the name of the band that was playing, they pumped out a playlist of danceable pop rock tunes. To help get the party started, we moved some of the tables to make room to dance and seconds later our makeshift dance floor was filled with locals working up a storm. My girlfriend even lost her earring in the fray and a mass search for it ensued with an army of patrons using their cellphones as flashlights.

Giving up on the search, we retreated to the deck and indulged in the local drink of choice: Jägerbombs, which is a shot of Jägermeister dropped into a glass of Red Bull. Although my compadres handled them like pros, I only took a sip of mine before wimping out. If you attempt to re-create my Milford evening, this is the part that you could opt to leave off.

The deck at The Pasta Loft has its own outside bar and the crowd there was very social, hopping from table to table and chatting each other up. Be warned, however: patrons are allowed to smoke on the deck after 9 p.m. Heat lamps were scattered about to keep us warm and my girls and I ended up capping off our evening much later than it felt, reveling in each other's company under the stars..

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