Sunday, November 27, 2011

Merlo La Salumeria

Our family has a mini-tradition of going to a "performance" on the day after Thanksgiving. What better way to spend a few hours after eating too much the day before than to sit and watch entertainment? The show this year was Million Dollar Quartet playing at the Apollo Theater on Lincoln Ave in Lincoln Park. MY vote for a dinner spot nearby was Lou Malnati's Pizza, but that was overturned in favor of Merlo (a two location, small and romantic Italian restaurant). The food top to bottom was quite good, particularly the pasta dishes (though very small portion sizes), but our service was some of the worst I've had in a while. We gave ourselves plenty of time to make the show, and let our server know, but for some reason we still waiting forever to get any food, the right food, something to drink, etc. I'm inclined to return somewhere with good food and poor service because everyone has a bad night, but it's hard to have a good experience no matter how good the food if you never receive it. 

Most of us ordered pasta, and my pappardelle with duck ragu bolognese was very tasty. The pasta was fresh cut and fresh made. The sauce was great and flavorful and everything was topped with just enough cheese. Maybe I'm just an overeating America, but the portions were noticeably small. This reduced the overall value since an $17 pasta is not cheap but even less so when the size is small. Erica ordered ravioli, Hal went with Canelloni and both Alyssa and mom had the fish special of sea bass. To start I ordered an extremely healthy and basic zucchini soup, but also shared bites of the burrata starter and some of Dan's Prosciutto. 

Everyone agreed the food served was quite good, particularly the pastas with meat sauces. It's a shame when a meal that would normally be above average (probably 2.5 stars or more) ends up losing a star because our service was so poor. AND to add insult to injury all tables of at least 5 have gratuity included so there was no way to show displeasure than to write a blog post and leave unhappy. At least the wine the was good and the show was great so the evening was a success. 

Merlo La Salumeria on Urbanspoon


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