With its quaint Main Street district and Little Miami River views, Milford seems worlds away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Cincinnati. But the food sure doesn't taste that way. Chef Paul Barraco of 20 Brix brings the flair of downtown (or "” dare we say "” out-of-town) cuisine to the suburbs.

"I want to cook food that could be anywhere downtown or in Hyde Park, and not say we're doing "¢Milford food.' It tends to be somewhat of a destination place to eat, but I want to be able to feed the locals, too," says the Midwest Culinary Institute graduate.

So what's the difference at 20 Brix (named after the scale for sugar in wine)? Barraco gets products from the backyard.

"People come in all the time and say, "¢Hey, I grow this' or "¢I have chickens,' so we try to utilize as many of them as possible, because the quality is always better than a giant purveyor," he explains.

With an abundance of eggs in Blanchester and blooms of mushrooms popping up on nearby Mound Street, Barraco has a perfect canvas for his "slow food" philosophy. In June, diners can expect dishes brimming with fresh tomatoes and cold soups, best enjoyed on 20 Brix' romantic but unpretentious patio.

Barraco also sticks to the 20 Brix wine bar's reputation when creating his dishes. However, he tends to pair the wine with the food, instead of the food with the wine. Even with some connoisseur-worthy wines and avant-garde menu options, Barraco prefers unassuming cuisine.

"Something as simple as making the perfect meatball, I think that's the best stuff in the world because it's not gussied up. We've just perfected it for the masses."

Driving the point home, Barraco even admits, "I love ramen noodles."