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Feb 16, 2012 11:09 AM

Artichoke's Heart Melrose

Anyone been?

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    1. I went last week based on several recommendations. We took friends from out of town based on these referrals and I left embarrassed. They're open for dinner Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are saved for private parties.
      We were seated and a wait person came with this huge blackboard she had to maneuver, on wheels, between tables. She showed us what was on that night's menu, with a number next to the item that shows how many of that item is available at all times. She spent more time updating the number, with an eraser and chalk, than she did with her guests.
      We ordered the artichoke for (4). It was what was highly recommended as their signature dish. They grill most of their food so the artichoke was grilled with 2 sauces....don't remember what they were but certainly not memorable. The artichoke was certainly grilled but not well. It tasted burnt and it was hard. Meh.
      I had seared scallops. Scallops should be seared quickly and removed to avoid overcooking. These (4) scallops were tough with little flavor. They were served with mashed potatoes and spinach. Once again...just okay.
      Our guests both had grilled salmon, very little flavor, served with mashed potatoes I think.
      My husband had braised short ribs...good but not great.
      We went through (2) bottles of very good Rutherford 2008 Provenance which made the meal, in my opinion. When asked about dessert we passed....we were done. It's a loud restaurant and those blackboards were annoying.
      I sooo wanted to love this place. It's a great neighborhood location and I was bummed it didn't live up to the hype.

      1. I also wanted to love this place....but didnt. The chalk board thing is a total gimmick and is pretty stupid. One, because the board is huge and two, because there are boards in each room so even if your board says there are 2 ribeyes left, they actually have more that are written on the other boards. Just a dumb idea.
        Anyway, beyond the chalk boards, these guys hold themselves out to be a steakhouse. I ordered a steak and it came out horribly overcooked. The manager did offer to make a new one but since we were with guests, I didnt want everyone waiting for my new steak and just ate it. For me, you cant be a steakhouse and not know how to cook a steak. Its a shame too because they have a great oak burning oven that could cook some great food in the right hands.

        2 Replies
        1. re: carln

          Went last night. Very nice room and vibe. The service tried but needs work. The white boards are ridiculous and make the tables clostrophobic. We begged them to be moved as did the table next to us. The octapus was overly chewy without a lot a flavor. We ordered the regular tuna tartar and when it came the server said it was the spicy tartar, we said it was supposed to be regular, he said "thats right, it is". It wasnt. It was spicy and ok. I asked to make sure the steak came hot and was assured it always did. It was warm. The mushrooms were very good and the fries were pretty good. The room is very nice. Really wanted to like it. We had a good time, but the place needs work and must get rid of the boards. By the way, our waiter said, tons of people have complained about the boards and he could not understand why they were still there.

          PS: Drinks were very good! Thank god!

          1. re: BSW6490

            Close friends dined there last night. $150.00 pp and food was "nothing special."