Thursday, July 21, 2011

Memorable Meal at Melange

I've stated on here several times that two of my favorite chefs in Cleveland are Adam Bostwick and Matt Creighton from Melange...but the truth is that I've only dined at the restaurant twice. They are simply two of my favorites because I've worked with them professionally on many charity events, and they are so super sweet and humble about how talented they really are. Also, the food samples at events such as Chef Jam, Market Under Glass, Taste of the Browns, Emerging Chefs, and Dinner in the Dark have always been impressive and among my favorites.

But, a few weeks ago "R" and I headed out to Beachwood to dine at Melange, and theses chefs quickly reminded me that I need to get out there more often. We had one of the most enjoyable meals that we've had in a long time, and some of this was due to the great conversation and company of the chefs coming out and spending some time with us...but it was mostly about the food.

We started with the Beet Salad ($8.5) with golden, red, and candy striped beets, goat cheese, pickled onion, grapefruit segments, and a grapefruit vinaigrette.And an order of the "Buffalo" Frog Legs ($12) with bleu cheese cream, house buffalo sauce, and micro celery salad.I love a good beet salad, but this was hands-down my favorite ever. "R" even gave this dish the title of "best of the meal." The combination of beet types and the other ingredients worked harmoniously, and I loved the presentation of the salad. This was my first time trying frog legs, and if I had known that they could be like this then I would have tried them a long time ago! Or maybe they aren't always this good. The tender meat fell right off the bone, and the crispy coating was just the right texture and amount of crunch.

After "R" declared his love for the beet salad (and this boy HATED beets when I met him), the chefs surprised us with another starter...a complimentary order of their famous Dirty Chips with house cut potato, sweet potato, and beet chips with smoked bleu cheese fondue, bacon, tomato, and scallions. I, admittedly, am not a chip fan (unless they are salt & vinegar chips, mmm) but these chips were inventive and tasty. We both devoured them.Then we were on to the main course. I decided on their Braised Short Ribs ($19.5) because from everything that I've experienced at tasting events...these two chefs know how to slow cook meat! I wasn't disappointed.The flavor of the Asian sticky glaze on the meat was wonderful, and the tender meat just fell apart at the touch (except for the ends, which were just slightly dried out by the time the dish arrived). I enjoyed the Vegetable Fried Rice that accompanied the dish, but the serving was hefty and I ended up taking home half of my dish. Which I didn't complain about the next day when it made a great lunch!

"R" had the fish special, which honestly was so beautifully presented that I just had to snap a shot of it. I enjoyed the couple of bites that I stole.We finished up with dessert and another cocktail on the patio, completely full and loosening our waistbands. As I said, it was one of the more enjoyable experiences that we've had in a long time. My only real complaint was our server. She was awful. Thankfully, Chef Adam had told us about the specials that evening during one of his visits...because she never told us about them and had been pushing us to order our entrees several times at that point. Also, "R" ordered three different beers during our meal and every time the drink wasn't what he ordered. Not even close, at times. Then she gave us the bill for a table that had already paid and left. She was a hot mess, and it probably would have ruined our experience. Luckily, the food and company of Adam and Matt more than made up for her fumbles and we walked away very happy and vowing to be back soon.

2101 Richmond Road
Beachwood, OH 44122
(216) 378-9755


bonnjill said...

I was there with my Happy Hour group for their happy hour on Wednesday and have to agree with your assessment. The food is outstanding, but the service is awful. The bartender who was there at 4 (who made a delicious blueberry fruit drop) ended up being the server for the restaurant for the rest of the night, and the bartender who replaced her was a total flake (and made a terrible blueberry fruit drop but a good cosmo). She just seemed out of it the whole night.

You have to try the goat cheese fondue. It is AWESOME. Probably my favorite menu item in Cleveland. The goat cheese is mild and it is served with a baguette and lots of fresh fruit for dipping. Divine!

bonnjill said...

Oops, scratch that - I was there on Tuesday... There were 30 of us. They knew we were coming and seemed ill-prepared to handle us.

Bite Buff said...

bonnjill- That fondue is one of my FAVORITE things. I had a hard time not ordering it during this meal. That dish is wonderful, in my opinion.

Alana said...

I've had frog legs before - they literally taste like super tender chicken wings! The meat fell right off the bone for me, too.

Ben said...

Nice post and really good pictures. The beet salad sounds especially good.

Bite Buff said...

Thanks, Ben!

Bite Buff said...

Just a note--- Melange has closed.