I went out for dinner with my grandma (cute, right?) and one of my moms friends last night to Melodia in Burlington. It’s a fairly new restaurant located across the street from the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. Their menu is quite large, with a variety of options to serve all dietary needs. I chose this placed based on this perk and the fact that they had a nice selection of seafood too. I had spoken to a few of my friends and family members who live in Burlington about Melodia and a common theme was that it didn’t seem to be very busy – even though its located in a prime spot in downtown Burlington. This worried me but based on some positive reviews I read online, I decided to try it out anyways.
When I arrived, there was no one in the restaurant. Granted I got there at around 5:45PM, over the course of our dinner only two other parties showed up by the time 8:30PM rolled around. Yes, its a Tuesday night but the downtown was bustling and there were people walking around everywhere.
If you care at all about the interior, it was very open and bright with lots of windows. The decor was nice and the restaurant itself was clean and inviting.
When I came into the restaurant our table was set and ready with chilled water. I’m mentioning this only because I think it was a nice touch having the water ready to go as I arrived. As the first person there I had something to sip on without having to wait for the server.
I really wanted to try the mussels and had been planning on ordering them in a lemon dill cream sauce. I had been dreaming about them all week and was pretty disappointed when I was told they didn’t have any. The owner confirmed with me that the batch they had wasn’t fresh enough to serve and in the end I’m thankful he made the decision not to serve them.
Instead of the mussels, I tried the Greek bruschetta which was really delicious – the toasted baguette was crispy on the edges and fluffy on the inside with lots of fresh toppings. I really enjoyed the feta cheese, it was perfectly moist and not overly salty. I finished all four of these (I was hungry!). My grandma ordered a creamy lemon chicken soup which was the soup of the day. She enjoyed thoroughly. Luckily I managed to sneak a spoonful before it was all gone. It was a hearty soup, lots of ingredients and shaved pieces of chicken – the seasoning was nice and had the perfect amount of lemon. This bowl was also cleared out (she was hungry too!)
Before our meals arrived, we were brought a basket of warm pita wedges with oil and vinegar mixed with spices and herbs to dip. This was SO good. I couldn’t stop eating it. I love balsamic, but whatever combination of herbs they got goin’ on in there – its perfectly yummy!
For our main courses we ordered the lamb chops, shrimp a la scampi and Melodia’s rolled chicken breast. I have to be honest and say I was a little underwhelmed with my shrimp dish. The vegetables were great but the rice was somewhat bland and the shrimp didn’t ‘wow’ me. I admit I’ve never had shrimp a la scampi before, so correct me if I’m wrong, but when the menu says the shrimp comes “with garlic butter sauce” I expected to see some sauce on my shrimp. What I got was basically shrimp topped with a seasoned bread crumb mixture, with butter and garlic – then toasted in an oven. I will say that the shrimp was cooked well and flavourful, however it just didn’t meet my expectations.
The rolled chicken dish came with roasted lemon potatoes. The lemon flavour was very strong and if I had ordered that dish, I would barely be able to finish them. The chicken however was delicious, tender and stuffed full of spinach, roasted red peppers and cheese then topped with a lemon raspberry sauce. The sauce was very interesting – it complimented the flavours in the chicken well and added to the overall dish.
I didn’t manage to try a bite of the lamb chops as I’m not a huge fan of them to begin with, but the woman eating them could be considered one of the worlds greatest critics of lamb, so I trusted her opinion when she told me the lamb was “very good”. Both the chicken and the lamb dishes also came with Greek salads, which were enormous. I obviously had to offer my assistance and take some salad off of their plates for them. The dressing was light, flavourful and was coated evenly on the lettuce (the salad wasn’t drowning in dressing).
As you can see from the pictures, the portion sizes are quite substantial. You’re getting your moneys worth when you come here. On that note, the menu is reasonably priced as well. I didn’t damage my wallet coming here. The service was prompt (keep in mind we were one of the only tables in the restaurant), friendly and patient. One issue I had was the lack of parking, you’re basically limited to parking on the street as they only have a couple tight parking spots behind the building and one handicap spot on the side. I believe it would be hard to find a spot on the weekend or in the week during the day. However, as I mentioned before Melodia is located in a great area. One street over from Brant and Lakeshore, there are lots of businesses and residential areas near by that people could easily walk over.
In conclusion, Melodia is a nice restaurant with decent food. I wasn’t completely won over with their dishes, but it’s a place I would recommend if you’re looking for a simple, casual dining experience. They also have a beautiful patio to enjoy a few appetizers and drinks 😉
Melodia Mediterranean Cuisine and Bar is located at 1445 Elgin Street in downtown Burlington.