411 South Marshall Street
Winston Salem, NC 27101
Pan Seared NC Mountain Trout - $21
Grilled 14 oz. Ribeye - $33
This is a review of a restaurant located in downtown Winston Salem, North Carolina called Meridian. Hubby received a gift card from a business associate for Christmas and we finally used it last Saturday. After seeing the reviews on Yelp.com, we weren't anxious to visit. Hubby made a 4:30 pm reservation. They are only open Tuesday through Sunday from 4:30 pm to 10 pm. We had a bit of difficulty figuring out where we were suppose to park. Hubby called them and they said we could park in the Brookstown Inn's parking lot next door even though the signs said otherwise. Upon arrival we were greeted by their General Manager, according to their website photos, who offered us any table we wanted since we were the only customers. The atmosphere is ok, but certainly not what one expects for this price point. There is no privacy, no candles on the tables and the concrete floor is unattractive. There are windows on one side which feature a nice view of a couple of the downtown high rise buildings.
The menu is quite limited, but it was an easy choice for me since I love trout and it's not served at many restaurants. It's described as "Pan Seared NC Mountain Trout with sautéed farro verde, braise escarole & balsamic grilled onion artichoke relish". Hubby was in the mood for a steak, so he ordered the Grilled 14 oz. Ribeye which is suppose to be served with pomme dauphinoise, asparagus, escarole and wild Hedgehog mushroom Bordelaise. Shortly after he ordered, the waitress came back to inform him they didn't have the pomme dauphinoise ready and that he would need to pick something else. So from the short list he was given, he ordered the mashed beans. We were shocked that they didn't have what was on the menu since there aren't a lot of dishes to chose from and we were the first and only customers. I feel that there is simply no excuse not to be prepared to serve every single item on the menu especially at these prices and it's not like they ran out due to an overwhelming number of customers. We were the only customers from 4:30 to 5:30! There wasn't even an apology which was also shocking. That was strike one. Strike two was the bread which was brought out at room temperature. It wasn't warm nor was it hot. I later noticed it was just sitting out on a table in the dining room which to me isn't sanitary. Their sanitation grade at the time we visited was 96.5%.
Our food was brought out twenty minutes later. The presentation of the food was lovely, but my portion of food was smaller than expected. It looked like a lunch portion to me while Hubby's was a much larger portion of food. If it hadn't been for the bread and a few bites of Hubby's steak, I would have left the table hungry. The bread was thinly cut white bread with perhaps some honey, I couldn't be sure. It wasn't the quality of bread I expect from a restaurant this expensive. It should have been freshly baked warm pumpernickel, rosemary, multigrain or dinner rolls. It came with olive oil with what appeared to be only pepper. I expect some Italian or Mediterranean herbs with my olive oil when it's served to use as a dip for bread. The trout and relish were tasty, but the farro and escarole weren't that great and left a nasty aftertaste. Hubby's ribeye steak looked like strip steak and it was cooked to medium when he asked for it to be rare. When he asked the chef about it, the explanation given was that it was the end piece, but neither of us have ever seen a ribeye that looked like this! It certainly did not taste like a $33 steak to us at all. Hubby eats at expensive restaurants quite often for business and this meal was not even close to the standards at those restaurants. Frankly, Hubby makes a much more delicious steak and we choose better cuts of meat. There were gristly parts that wouldn't even cut with their special steak knife. The mashed beans and asparagus were good, but not great. The meal was strike three, certainly not what we expected for this price range. In addition, one expects soup or salad at this price range, so it was quite shocking it didn't come with either.
All employees except for the General Manager had frowns on their faces and two of them starred at us which was strike four. Employees shouldn't be preparing the napkins and cutlery in the dining room, that should be done in the back. Our waitress stood next to the gal preparing the cutlery sets and starred at our table while chatting her up and previously she was sipping coffee in the dining room. All of this shouldn't be done in front of customers. It was very uncomfortable as a guest and the starring was quite rude. The Bar Manager, my guess based on photos on their website, looked at us with a nasty look as she passed our table. The chef was quite short with us and not friendly nor inviting. Where are those smiles they have on their website! Hubby had to wave at the waitress to get our check which was easy since she kept looking at our table the entire time we ate. When we left, no one said goodbye nor said they hoped we return which is common practice at most restaurants. They really gave us the impression that they didn't like their customers and didn't care if they returned or not which is so strange. According to the reviews, our poor experience is quite common. After strike after strike, needless to say we will not be returning. I do not recommend this restaurant, take your hard earned dollars to a restaurant that appreciates your business which is certainly not this one.
Do you have any restaurant recommendations for the Triad? I would love some suggestions since we are new to the area, so please comment below. I have several more restaurant reviews in the works, so be sure to stop by again soon. Check out my Restaurant Reviews Pinterest Board which also has restaurants in Raleigh, the Triangle area and Charlotte.
I invite you to follow my blog via Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google +, Bloglovin' or Networked Blogs. Also, be sure to browse around my blog since I'm sure you'll find something else that interests you.
Share this blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook: Tweet