Sunday, March 8, 2009

Meli Patisserie & Bistro - desserts as delicious as honey...

It have been nearly five years now since I've lived in Baltimore (how time has flown...) and the food landscape there has changed considerably. Oh, I had my favorite places that I frequented and Baltimore definitely had its food highlights. But the options are more plentiful now, or at least that's what it seems like. Luckily, now that one of my best friends has moved back to Baltimore, I've been picking up some new favorite haunts.

Our friend M was visiting us during one of our cold spells (somehow, she always seems to come up when it is especially cold! I'm convinced it is because she wants an excuse to wear her boots and sweaters since she has no use for them while she lives in Florida). We decided to meet up with M's friend B for dinner ... and happily, it turned out to be Restaurant Week in Baltimore. B picked out our dining spot: MELI. And what a good choice it turned out to be for our one night there.

I've been to Meli's sister restaurant, Kali's Court, but Meli was new to me. Located in the heart of Fells Point, attached to the Admiral Fells Inn, and nearly across the street from the Natty Boh shop (which reminds me I still want to get that Natty Boh shirt, but I digress...), Meli was a perfect escape from the cold. We were tucked into our own alcove, surrounded by curtains, almost our own little dining room. I loved the "honeycomb" theme throughout the restaurant ("meli" being Greek for "honey" after all!).

Our waiter was cheerful, attentive, and unpretentious. He rattled off the specials and was quick to point out that all the items on the menu were fair game for restaurant week (how happy were we to hear that?). The options all sounded equally tantalizing, so we decided to get a variety of dishes to taste test each other's meals.

Some of our selections:
  • Grilled tomato salad with mache, fleur de sel, balsamic honey, halloumi cheese (fresh tomatoes, even sweeter after being grilled, and massive portions)
  • Lobster macaroni and cheese (how could one resist?)
  • Duck confit
  • Amaretto cheesecake with berry coulis, fresh berries, and homemade whipped cream (our absolute favorite of the desserts! Simply creamy and indulgent.)

  • Chocolate Framboise: layers of chocolate mousse, raspberry puree, and chocolate case encased in ganache

  • Chocolate almond tart: chocolate almond mousse inside a tart shell covered in dark chocolate
On a sidenote, I just noticed that Meli offers mimolette as one of their cheeses in the "cheese tasting." I LOVE mimolette and have rarely found it at restaurants in the area.

I enjoyed my night at Meli -- I don't think that I would really need three courses all to myself next time (quite impressed by the sizeable portions!), but was happy to have sampled such a wide variety of their menu. Although, I must say, looking back, I couldn't recall what any of us had for our entrees. I must have had a food blackout at that point and had to have my memory jogged by M. Appetizers were much clearer in my head...desserts were VERY clear. Indicative of what parts of the meal I enjoyed the most?

Meli Patisserie & Bistro
1636 Thames Street
Baltimore, MD 21231
(410) 534-MELI


5 Star Foodie said...

We haven't eaten in Baltimore in a while. Every time we go to the Aquarium or the science museum we just end up grabbing a Phillips crabcake sandwich for lunch. Meli Patisserie sounds really good, we'll put it on our list.

The Duo Dishes said...

This is a good meal. So many fab sounding desserts. Also: Yay mimolette! Good cheese.