Merrill & Co.
Merrill & Co. opened officially last night at 5:30 - thought it would be interesting to leave a thread out here for initial feedback as people go. I am planning on either tonight or tomorrow, stopping in for a drink and a few apps.
Went to dinner last night:
Burger was very good
Crab Dip was very "crabby" which I liked, though my wife thought was a bit too "seafoody"
Deviled Eggs - Hard to screw up, but were a nice starter
Dessert - Nutella Pie - so-so, crust was a bit burnt
Overall - this place will be a fun spot come warmer weather, especially with the patio space.
My only fear is that next to it, there will be a strong Wink & Nod smoking contingent...as last night there was a group of staff outside creating quite a cloud - that will become unpleasant quick.
Went tonight. Had a reservation but the place was packed when we arrived and people were standing around at the bar as all the seats were taken.
Apparently our table was taking a bit longer than expected to clear (they had already paid but were lingering and it seemed the staff didn't want to push them out). So we (and another couple who also had reservations) had to wait until a table opened up. (We were offered a couple of other seating options but decided to wait as the tables were out in the aisle and as it was so crowded, it would be a lot of people brushing past us.) Luckily, the wait wasn't too long and we were seated about 10 minutes after our reservation time. (I did notice the table next to us also stayed well past paying their bill so they will need to figure out a better way to space out reservations so that people aren't frustrated waiting... or maybe they just want people to wait and drink cocktails at the bar.)
Onto the food. We shared:
Fried Smelts - tasty, but a bit overpriced @ $14 I think for 6-8 pieces of fish. It wasn't too greasy for being deep fried. I can confirm that the "black sauce" is indeed a squid ink aioli. Came with a slice of lemon.
Uni French Bread - I can't say no to uni or scallops so this was on my list to order. It came serve as two palm sized pieces of bread and the uni sat atop a layer of mustard seed and pimento sauce, and topped with a sprinkling of some sort of cheese. If you like uni and aren't a purist, it's definitely worth a try.
Baked Crab Spread - I think we chose too many heavy dishes. But as much as I like uni, I also love lump crab. There was definitely a LOT of crab in this dish, mixed with mornay sauce and served with toasted bread. It was served in something similar to a small cast iron pan. Super filling, a little on the salty side, but very indulgent and we finished it all even though we were full!
Brussel sprouts - our "healthy" side dish of veggies came advertised with charred ginger and lemon but I really couldn't taste the ginger or lemon much. The sprouts themselves were a bit burnt and I could taste the added salt, but it wasn't in an unpleasant way. Nothing special though.
We didn't have room for dessert. My dining partner ordered a cocktail but I'm not knowledgeable enough to comment.
Overall, a rather tasty and enjoyable evening (minus the seating issue). One more thing to point out - the place was loud. I mean, really loud. It was more like a pub environment than a quiet dinner out. And funny enough, the place almost completely emptied out by 9pm. Not sure if it's because it was a weeknight but it did seem a little odd.
I'd go back - to try the other items on the menu... the cod and fried chicken are calling my name.