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Meli's--Overlooked?

f
FoiGras Mar 8, 2011 03:58 PM

My husband and I shared a truly delightfuly meal at Meli's in Fells Point. We'd only dined there once previously during Restaurant Week, several years ago. We are not fans of dining out during Restaurant Week, so we didn't give much thought to our dinner at that time.

So, our dinner of recent time was an unexpected and favorable experience. The crusted goat cheese salad was huge and delicious. The accompanying light salad dressing was a perfect fit for the salad. The bread offerings were delicious, especially when enhanced with the honey infused whipped butter.

My hubby's duck/duck confit dinner was delectable. I also appreciate when a restaurant adds vegetables to the entree. My lamb shank was moist and fell off the bone. I loved the accompanying brussels sprouts (probably not a favorite vegetable with many), and the butternut squash. Very appropriate sides for a winter night.

Our waitress was very professional and friendly. But, most importantly, she was knowledgable in helping us to make our decisions when ordering.

The price points at this lovely dining establishment are conducive enough to enable us to return with some frequency and not just save it for our "Saturday Night Out Expensive Dining Time."

Hope that some of you Chowhounds will give this place a part of your next dining out night. FoiGras

  1. j
    jfish Mar 9, 2011 04:24 AM

    I concur with FoiGras especially about the price point. This is my teenage daughter's favorite restaurant. The duck is always good and try the beef carpaccio and also the beef cheeks when offered. I have had gliches in the service, a little attitude, but that must depend on who your server is. Not so bad as to be a deal killer.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jfish
      f
      FoiGras Mar 9, 2011 04:12 PM

      So glad that you enjoyed the cuisine. But am sad that you had a negative experience with regards to service. Next time ask for Makara. She will make your dining out a true experience. She is pleasant and exceptionally knowledgable with regards to any items on the menu. We lucked out with our dining experience.

      I will definitely take your recommendations with ordering beef carpaccio and beef cheeks (they weren't on the menu the night we dined--unforunately}.

      The first time we dined there was during Restaurant Week 2008 (or 2009). I ordered the appetizer portion of sweetbreads (but doubled the portion to make an entree). They were fantastic.

      Thank you for your response. Your daughter must have a refined palate. Good for her and you, her parents. FoiGras

    2. j
      jvanderh Mar 9, 2011 08:22 AM

      Thanks for posting. It sounds great!

      10 Replies
      1. re: jvanderh
        f
        FoiGras Mar 9, 2011 04:17 PM

        jvanderh--just give the place a try. It won't break your bank account for some really good food.

        I hope that I don't recommend a place that will disappoint. But, I feel confident that you can enjoy a very good meal at Meli's. (Before you go, please Google the restaurant's menu to see if it is in line with the atmosphere and cuisine that would entice you to to dine there). Happy Dining. Foi Gras

        1. re: FoiGras
          j
          jvanderh Mar 9, 2011 04:41 PM

          I sure will! We've had some fairly expensive, very average meals lately (Cinghiale, Della Notte, Kali's) which is really frustrating. It would be nice to have some decent food for the money! We eat everything, so I'm not worried.

          1. re: jvanderh
            JonParker Mar 9, 2011 08:24 PM

            Wow, I wouldn't have picked any of those for decent food, although I had some good dishes at Cingiahle.

            1. re: JonParker
              j
              jvanderh Mar 10, 2011 03:12 AM

              I was actually really excited about Cinghiale. I thought it was the old chef from the Bicycle. Did I remember that wrong? We had some decent dishes too. My big complaint was that nothing was salted. I wouldn't have picked della notte either, athough it wasn't bad, just across-the-board average. I may have picked Kali's because it's pretty, so I guess I got what I deserved there.

              1. re: jvanderh
                g
                gregb Mar 10, 2011 06:06 AM

                Cinghiale can't figure out the whole salt thing. They have been ALL over the planet from the day they opened!

                -----
                Cinghiale
                822 Lancaster Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

                1. re: gregb
                  j
                  jvanderh Mar 10, 2011 11:51 AM

                  Interesting! So people have had oversalted food there also?

                2. re: jvanderh
                  s
                  sas Mar 10, 2011 02:07 PM

                  the original owner/chef of the bicycle moved to Oregon. The new owner ran it into the ground. Sigh! miss that place

                  1. re: sas
                    j
                    jvanderh Mar 10, 2011 05:01 PM

                    Ahh. I miss it too!!

                  2. re: jvanderh
                    foster Mar 22, 2011 10:35 AM

                    The more recent chef from Bicycle opened Ullswater - which didnt last long...

                    As for Meli, I went late on a weekend night for dessert & a drink. The place was deserted except for those surrounding an atrocious lounge act downstairs. The desserts were OK & overpriced.

                3. re: jvanderh
                  JonParker Mar 24, 2011 03:54 AM

                  Note that Meli is owned by the same people who own Kali's, which I thought was really disappointing for the price.

                  Also, the name of the restaurant is Meli, not Meli's. There is no person named Meli. It's Greek for honey, which is a theme that runs through most of their dishes.

            2. WilliamKH Mar 9, 2011 09:19 AM

              I've had two very solid brunches there. The cocktail list is dangerous. The only think I don't care for is the upstairs dining room feels a bit like a hotel lobby.

              1. j
                jvanderh Mar 21, 2011 07:18 PM

                After eating there, I do not think Meli is overlooked. And, in the interest of gratitude for your taking the time to review it, I will leave it at that.

                1. JonParker Mar 23, 2011 01:37 AM

                  The Baltimore Sun food blog reports that Patrick Morrow is leaving Bluegrass to take over as executive chef at Meli and the tapas place owned by the same people. it might be time to give them a try.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: JonParker
                    j
                    jvanderh Mar 23, 2011 05:05 AM

                    Well, I wish him good luck. He's going to need it.

                    1. re: jvanderh
                      JonParker Mar 24, 2011 03:50 AM

                      I have a lot of faith in him. I don't know him except to say hi since I'm a regular at Bluegrass, but he does some great things there. Some things he does fail, but that's because he's not afraid to try new things. He will do just fine wherever he is.

                  2. m
                    mjhals Mar 24, 2011 06:54 AM

                    Just my 2 cents as a someone from DC who has been to Baltimore approx 3-4 times since living in DC (for 3 years now)- I stumbled across Meli on my first trip and have made it a point to go back each subsequent trip. I've found the food to be inventive (I do like the judicious use of honey in many of the dishes, makes for some interesting twists), well-prepared and fresh. The service has also been very accomodating and professional (like I said, first time there I just stumbled on it, and they worked us in on a busy Saturday night without a reservation). Combine that with extremely reasonable prices, and Meli strikes me as a gem.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mjhals
                      s
                      sas Mar 26, 2011 04:38 AM

                      We have much better "gems" in Baltimore than Meli

                    2. j
                      jeninfocus Apr 21, 2011 05:47 AM

                      Had a pretty bad experience at Meli last night. They were sold out of 90% of their very limited beer selection, and after 2 hrs of inattentive service, we left before our entrees were served. The night wasnt a complete wash though, as we walked to the always fabulous Peters Inn and had a fantastic meal.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: jeninfocus
                        b
                        bmore_flavor Sep 21, 2011 03:59 PM

                        Any recent reviews of Meli? The wife wants to check this place out for her birthday.

                        1. re: bmore_flavor
                          j
                          jvanderh Sep 21, 2011 06:08 PM

                          Curious too- love(d) Bluegrass

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