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Meze in Charlestown-- Long report

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Meze in Charlestown-- Long report

EMDB | Dec 28, 2003 06:17 PM

Went to Meze last night-- it was quite nice, and definitely some place to go again. I called that morning and was able to get a reservation, and then they were gracious and accomodating when we ended up running late, and showed us to our table right away.

Service was very good, friendly and helpful without being too informal, and the suggestions from our waitress were right on. There were a lot of staff running around, and indeed, by 7pm, the place was packed. There were about 30 people at the bar who all seemed to know each other. We never felt rushed to get out of there, though, and there were plenty of staff to pay attention to water and wine levels, clear empty plates, and help bring full ones to the table. Everyone working there seemed very nice.

It's a nice room, if you don't mind loud, which I don't, and it's lit nicely, although it could be a little brighter, or the menus printed a little darker. The funky, asymetrical, and huge dishes take a little getting used to, but they're nice. Stemware and glasses were also nice, and wine pours were generous.

Three of us had two entrees, a salad, and three meze, one hot and two cold. The menu situation is a little confusing-- separate menus for meze compared with entrees/soups/salads, and it might be better to combine them, but there were LOTS of choices. The wine menu was overwhelming, but the waitress' suggestion was right on.

The sliced veggie salad of peppers, onions, cukes, red onion, feat and olives was served in a gorgeous tower that never fell apart as we ate layer by layer. The taramosalata, drizzled with olive oil and served with grilled pita wedges, was the right combo of creamy/lemony/fishy. The feta and olives dressed with herbs, greens, and fresh olive oil were tasty and the feta was firm and not too salty, but not wimpy, either. The zucchini fritters with tzatziki were very good, and came to the table with fritted piping hot and sauce nicely chilled, though the dish was seasoned with more dill than I personally like. The mussels in a lobster/ouzo broth with feta, scallions, and cherry tomatoes must have been two and a half pounds of mussels-- but ultra fresh tasting, and the anisey ouzo was an interesting and nice new flavor. My dad had the lamb shank-- as the Globe said, it was of Flintstones proportion. The meat was tasty and falling off the bone, with a nice red wine sauce, but it could have been skimmed a bit better. (Lamb shank is _hard_ to skim fully, even in a restaurant). My DH had the grilled two rib pork chop with a fig caramelized onion and corn sauce thing, and something potatoey on the side. This chop was easily three inches thick, and perfectly cooked the lightest pink all the way through. Amazing.

We three split an order of (nontraditional) baklava, which is made and served like an eggroll, cut diagnoally and stood on end, with the nutty filling mostly on the inside and not a ton of layers of filo/nuts/filo. It's drizzled with a lovely herbaceous warmed honey, and served with an omigoditssogood honey ice cream. This ice cream was a revelation-- like honey, butter, and cream all rolled into one. Capuccino and coffee were reported to be good, and the chamomile tea was high quality, and not grassy.

No one finished their food, and if I went again, I think I'd just do meze all around and skip the entrees. The wine list is worth exploring too-- the red wine the DH had with his pork was light and pinot-noir-y, yet completely different than anything either of us had tasted before. Greek bottled mineral water was not cheap at $5 a bottle, and the total check came to $130 with tip. Not a cheap evening, but the quality and quantity couldn't be complained about, although in my mind I would shave the serving sizes by a quarter and the prices as well.

One quibble-- we were in the "taberno" on the stage right side of the door, and it was a little chilly, though never so much that I was uncomfortable-- they might think about installing some draft beating devices inside the door so that the front part of the room doesn't get so cooled down.

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