Sunday, August 9, 2009


I am really starting to like Mez. I've eaten there twice now, and visited the bar quite a few times with the girls. I think a place like Mez is good for Charlotte - posh, trendy, multi-purposed....the interior is pretty fabulous, and the bar provides a good people-watching view of the Epicenter. The Mez bar itself is pretty awesome for people-ogling as well (yes I've upgraded from watching to ogling. The crowd at the bar is usually hot!).

The food is overall very good. I had one bad experience a while back, with the jumbo stuffed prawns - they were just huge and very flavor-less, and served with gnocchi that was a little dried out. The second time we went, I took my amazing best friend from college, Lauren, and her boyfriend Pete. I wanted to show off Charlotte, and that is where I chose, so that's a compliment from me to Mez. Mez, you're welcome. We got a bottle of Cono Sur pinot noir that time, which is only 26 bucks, and is actually decent. Very light, a little fruity, almost tart. Not bad! I had the Seafood Risotto, which I highly appreciated. It is like a freaking seafood cornucopia. Seriously - it has shrimp, calamari, scallops, mussels, clams and a fish filet. Each one was very good, not necessarily killer, but the variety keeps it so interesting. Very enjoyable.

On Saturday, my hubby and I had a baby shower to attend before dinner, where we naturally got a little bit toasted. When we arrived at Mez (and yes, I stopped at a Chick-Fil-a to slip on my cocktail dress en route) I was still a little full and coming down from a slight buzz. I ordered a glass of the go-to Cono Sur and we chilled at the bar as our friends arrived.

Our waitress was excellent, if not a little verbose, and one bit of info that stuck out was that the shrimp cakes were voted the best appetizer in Charlotte. Well, if you insist! I ordered them and a buffalo mozzarella tomato tower for a light dinner. I noticed the Seghesio Zin on the menu, which I tried the other night at Jim 'N Nicks. Somehow this glass was 14 bones. It was the 07...does one year make a $5 difference in a glass? I also saw a Seghesio pinot grigio, and decided to give it a whirl with the shrimp cakes. I thought it was great, fine for the purpose. It tasted like sweet fruit - melon maybe. It was a little sweet for me, actually, but still had a small amount of bite to it, which I appreciated.

Anyways, the waitress was not kidding about the shrimp cakes. They were SO good. So good! They were super crispy, made with panko crumbs, served on a large swirl of a green sauce (basil aioli) and an orange sauce (tomato coulis). My husband, after his third crown and ginger, was swiping up the last drops of sauce with his finger. I asked him if it was the best appetizer he's had in Charlotte. He paused pensively and said, "yes". I asked him if it was the best appetizer he's ever had. He paused pensively and said, "yeah". I had to agree. It was just undeniably good.

One tweak I might suggest for Mez - the stemless wine glasses. I've never liked them. To me, drinking wine is more special than other beverages. Why dull down the experience with a regular old glass? I probably sound like a dork, but I just like drinking out of a nice glass - especially the really huge ones (are those pinot noir glasses?). Plus I understand you are not supposed to hold wine glasses by the bowl part anyways, as it messes with the temperature of the wine. It probably sounds ridiculous, but this one I feel somewhat strongly about.

So, for my Saturday night experience at Mez, I have no complaints whatsoever. Well, I did have a little Seafood Risotto envy toward my friend across the table who ordered it, but that's nobody's fault but my own. Fun place, good (affordable) wine, great service, good looking crowd, etc etc. Get the recipe for the shrimp cakes here. YUM.

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