Overall GrubGrade B+
Atmosphere: Grade A+: Swanky. That’s the one word we’d use to describe the atmosphere at Eddie Merlot’s. Of all the places we’ve eaten, Eddie Merlot’s is still the winner for the best atmosphere – hands down. From the soft music pumping through the speakers to the soft lighting, Eddie Merlot’s is able to create a romantic yet fun atmosphere. The table linens are spotless, as is the silverware and dishes. You might suspect that new glasses are unpacked for each patron, since there are no water spots or fingerprints on the glasses. Eddie Merlot’s should put on a clinic on how to pull off the perfect dining atmosphere. I just want to curl up in the super plush leather seats and take a nap they are so comfy. The only negative is that the view out of one of the windows is of a gas station on the other side of Polaris Parkway. The only thing Eddie Merlot’s can do about that is keep the blinds shut.
High marks: Lighting, music, cleanliness, seats
Service: Grade B: We have dined at Eddie Merlot’s perhaps a dozen times. The service is always top notch, and it should be. We have in the past received some A+ service at Eddie Merlot’s. But, if we are being truthful, the service on this occasion was just a little off. Our server, Aaron, did a really nice job taking care of us. However, service was just a little slow, and our server really didn’t go out of his way to engage us. Don’t get us wrong – Aaron skillfully attended to all of his duties, but there was no “Oomph” to it. The service would have probably earned an A or A- if at another restaurant, but we have really high expectations from Eddie Merlot’s. Eddie’s is our favorite Columbus restaurant, and used to be our favorite restaurant overall (it has since been usurped by Jeff Ruby’s, but Eddie Merlot’s remains a close second). As such, nothing short of spectacular is good enough for us when it comes to Eddie Merlot’s.
High marks: Really, really good service
Food/Spirits: Grade B+: If you’re trying to eat on a budget, you entered the wrong door when you walked into Eddie Merlot’s. Since you know you’re going to be dropping some coin, you might as well go all out. We both ordered Strawberry Mojito’s to drink (in fact, I ordered two of ‘em). They were about as good as a mojito is going to get. We skipped appetizers on this trip because we were NOT going to skip dessert. Katina ordered the Cedar Plank Salmon for her entrée. She felt the salmon was a little undercooked. The center of the salmon was not firm, but the overall flavor was excellent. I ordered the New York Strip with the gorgonzola bacon crust. The steak was perfectly cooked and very delicious. The gorgonzola bacon crust, however, overwhelmed the steak. To achieve the proper balance, I found I needed to scrape off about half of the crust in order to actually taste the meat. For our side, we ordered the Lobster Mac and Cheese. If the Lobster Mac and Cheese was the only thing we ordered, Eddie’s would have scored an A++. If you go to Eddie Merlot’s and do not try it, you need put away as you are a danger to society. The Tempura green beans are also fantastic if for some reason you aren’t into lobster. The mac and cheese was rich and super creamy. Katina described it as “divine.” For our dessert, Katina ordered the Banana Cream Pie, which she felt was a little too runny but tasted okay. I had the cheese cake, which was really good but just cheese cake. From experience, we can tell you that when you order dessert, go with one of the desserts for two made at tableside. Katina is particularly fond of the Banana’s Foster, but all of them are fantastic.
High marks: Lobster Mac and Cheese is amazing
Value: Grade B-: We are usually blown away at Eddie Merlot’s, but this must have been an off night. We give Eddie’s a B- in this category because for the price of the dining experience at Eddie Merlot’s, we should be amazed. We usually are, but they fell just a tad short on this occasion. However, you must go to Eddie Merlot’s if you haven’t yet. You will be amazed. Guys, you might want to take the wife there on your anniversary to score some brownie points, if you know what I mean. Don’t forget your friends MasterCard and Visa, though. You’re going to need them.
High marks: Amazing experience