Well, I finally made it to Melograno last night. We figured that a Wednesday night wouldn't be too bad (remember the no reservation policy), but it was still an hour wait. I must say, though, that they handled it quite well. We left a cell #, went home for wine and received a call about ten minutes before our table was ready. It was actually somewhat convenient.
Now, for the food. I had been hearing great comments about the food for some time now and, perhaps based on these lofty expectations, I was somewhat let down by our selections. We started out with the mussels and crespelle. The mussels really were excellent. Nice, clean and meaty in a great rich white wine broth. The crespelle, a spinach filled crepe covered in a tomato sauce and topped with cheese then thrown under the broiler, was good, but not great. Nice individual components but no flavors that really jumped out at you. For the main courses we had the pappardelle tartufate and the seafood stew. The pappardelle was again quite good, but not great. The pasta itself was excellent and it was sauced with mushrooms, walnuts, olive oil and white truffle oil. I had hoped for the musrhooms and walnuts to be the prominent tastes but, as it tends to do, the truffle oil kind of trumped everything else. Still, there was balance (nothing was overpowering) and it made for a pleasing dish. The seafood stew (I forget the exact name on the menu, but qutie similar to a cioppino) was delicious. Shrimp, squid, mussels and a firm white fish (monk fish?) served in a piquant tomato broth, it was a dish that screamed extra bread. Alas, they 'ran out of bread.' Never heard that one before and I thought it was bs (especially since I saw them serving bread to other customers who were seated after us). As much as it irked me, I'm not going to belabor the point. Dessert was a nice warm apple tart with vanilla ice cream.
In general, while I might sound somewhat disappointed I think it's mainly attributable to my very high expectations. There were several bright spots and based on the skill of the chef (the overall preparation of the individual dishes was excellent) I would certainly go back for another go round. Hopefully they'll have a second piece of bread for me next time.
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