Thursday, July 24, 2008

Meridian

This week I decided to go back to Meridian after I had been shortly after its opening and being fairly unimpressed. In case you don't know, Meridian is located at Westfield and Meridian, where the old Dodd's Townhouse used to be. Anyway, I knew the menu had changed and thought this would be a good time to re-try it and review it. The decor, as has been mentioned before, is really nice and warm. Reminds you of being in a really nice ski lodge with lots of faux candles. They also have outside dining.

I want to start out by saying, it has greatly improved. I was honest with our waiter about my first visit (he asked) and he told me that they were feeling as though the kinks were getting worked out and many had commented on the improved dining experience. The starters were really good. I had the mussels in sweet chili oil and hubby ordered the chef's version of oysters Rockefeller. The mussels were fresh and well prepared. Seemed a bit too sweet at first, but as the heat caught up, they seemed a bit more balanced. The oysters were outstanding. They were actually deep fried laid across a bed of cheesy spinach with a piece of bacon on top and some Hollandaise on the side. They were really good. I don't usually order oysters and I think I would order these if I go back.

Because I decided to order a starter for my main (I tried to get them to serve me a half order of their lobster carbonara but they said no.), I decided to get a salad as well. It was a properly sized (read, not enormous) spinach salad with the usual suspects, egg, mushrooms and onions and a nice warm bacon dressing. The only fault on this was it was maybe just a little too much dressing.

For my main, I ordered the appetizer of potato gnocchi with mushrooms, greens and bacon (seemed to be bacon everywhere) with balsamic. It was good. Maybe even just ok. But not bad. Hubby ordered duck. He liked it, but didn't love it as much as those oysters. We didn't try dessert for 2 reasons. Trying to watch the figure after a somewhat decadent vacation and also because the courses seemed to go a bit downhill each time, so we figured why risk it?

I will say this, I have been having a lot of bad luck with wine service lately (I have been to two restaurants that have served us very warm white wine), and I was really happy to be served a nice cold bottle of exactly what I ordered.

The server was very friendly and helpful, if not a little over-eager. He was knowledgeable and quite proud to be working there, which was nice to see. He sort of assumed we didn't know anything about food, which was maybe a little annoying, but maybe most of his customers are in that category, I don't know.

I hope the food continues to improve as much as it did between my first two visits. If so, Meridian could turn into an outstanding overall restaurant.

Meridian
5694 North Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46208
317-466-1111
http://meridianonmeridian.com/menu.htm

1 comment:

  1. I just ate at Meridian recently, met up with a group of people right after work. Had only been there once before, during the summer, and wasn't overly impressed that first visit. But really enjoyed it this time.

    We started out with some stiff cocktails, which tends to numb out the palate. But, we ordered a bunch of appetizers for the table and they were all outstanding - they were all intensely flavored and definitely woke up your mouth even after a couple cocktails.

    Loved the oysters rockefeller. I don't like messing with classic dishes, but this variant was outstanding. Crispy, crunchy and bacony with the silky spinach and sauce finish for contrast - great little dish, even my wife liked it and oysters are one of her least favorite foods.

    We also had the mussels, which were good. The gnocchi dish was excellent. I loved the shrimp and grits. There was an asparagus and grilled polenta app that was tasty. The homemade pate' was delicious. And the roast beets were excellent. Actually, every dish we had was a winner, they were all perfectly prepared and really highlighted the main ingredient but with a little twist to make it interesting without overwhelming it.

    I'm a big fan of making a meal out of a appetizers. As you mentioned above, seems like most meals go downhill as you progress through the menu. Why not order a bunch of appetizers and call it a day? A place like Meridian certainly encourages that kind of dining, with a fun bar area and a great selection of appetizers.

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Thanks, Erin