We had dinner last night at The Blues Diner on Main Street in Melrose.
First of all, it has very little to do with the blues. Prints and posters displayed around the room showed folks as diverse as Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe and Humphrey Bogart, with some jazz greats, like Louis Armstrong, thrown in. The live music (a piano player and a singer) explored a repertoire of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennet and Nat King Cole. Nary a blue note in sight.
I had a bottled beer ($4.00 for Ipswich IPA) and Doug had a glass of white wine ($6.00). They have a very extensive list of flavored martinis at $7.50.
I had the marinated lamb tips ($10.95), which were very good. I had ordered them rare, and they came out medium, but they were very flavorful and tender. I chose garlic mashed potatoes, having heard about their take on fries here on Chowhound. They were definitely homemade, not a lot of garlic flavor. Worse, they were not hot. I also had a side salad: iceberg, with red onions and cukes and a good house balsamic vinaigrette.
Doug had the pastrami sandwich ($7.25). There was a generous helping of very lean pastrami. The waitress had offered to add cheese and asked it he wanted mustard on it. She did not offer a choice of breads and Doug didnt specify. It came on a bulky roll; too bad the default for pastrami isnt rye bread. It also would have been nice to have brought mustard to the table and let Doug apply his own. Doug had the awesome fries and they were, as we expected, huge wedges of potatoes that looked and tasted as if they were a frozen product run under the broiler. But they were served hot and definitely held their heat well.
As others here have said, The Blues Diner could be a great addition to Melrose very limited restaurant scene. We went in really wanting to love this place, but were, by and large, disappointed.
There is a sentence on the back of their menu that reads, We use dry sea scallops, gulf shrimp and fresh haddock. I asked our waitress what dry sea scallops were and she said she didnt know. I think not knowing embarrassed her; she seemed to avoid us after that. She did not find out and come back to enlighten us. Oh, well.