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Merritt's Table: Restaurant Review
Merritt's Table on Merritt Island merits a visit
By Suzy Fleming Leonard
Special to Metromix
December 3, 2010
4 1/2 palms (out of 5)
Where: 170 N. Grove St., Merritt Island
Hours: Lunch is from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Monday.
Call: 321-208-7957 or visit www.merrittstable.com.
Other: It was raining the night we went, but Merritt’s Table also has a cozy courtyard for al fresco dining. And the courtyard landscaping includes vegetable and herb plants where the chef grows some of the ingredients that make it on to the menu.
Merritt’s Table, a fine-dining place on Merritt Island’s historic Grove Street neighborhood, pretty much has it all: delicious food, attentive service and attractive surroundings. The only thing missing the night we dined was patrons. Only three tables were occupied, a situation which can only be attributed to the restaurant’s newness.
Merritt’s Table boasts all-fresh ingredients with Southern flair. According to the restaurant’s website, the menu changes depending on what ingredients are available at the time. We were certainly welcomed with Southern hospitality.
The wine list includes boutique bottlings, a member of our service team said as she offered to answer any questions for us. We chose a delicious Velvet Devil Merlot from Washington’s Columbia Valley and weren’t disappointed.
Grits have a starring role on the Merritt’s Table menu, so we jumped right in with an appetizer of shitake mushrooms sautéed over parmesan cheese grits ($10). The hearty mushrooms melded perfectly with the cheesy goodness of the grits.
We also ordered the avocado soup served chilled with green tomato salsa ($7). It, too, was a satisfying way to start the meal, thick as pudding, rich and flavorful, and beautifully presented.
Our dinner companions shared the Carolina Style Crab Cake with sautéed arugula and carmelized shallot Dijon cream sauce ($14). The cakes were long on crabmeat, short on filler. And because they were being shared, our server brought them out already divided on two plates, a nice touch that meant no messy scooping from one dish to another.
The appetizers were so good, we were concerned the entrees might be disappointing. We need not have worried. My meal of Sauteed Florida Shrimp over Anson Mills lemon grits with pimentos and coconut butter sauce ($24) was wonderful. The shrimp were tender but not chewy. The sweet-savory sauce was mild and flavorful, blending delicately with the grits and shrimp.
My husband can’t pass up a steak, and he wasn’t sorry he’d opted for the Seared 8-ounce Filet Mignon over corn soufflé with bacon and sweet onions ($29). It was cooked a perfect medium rare, bursting with flavor.
Our friends both ordered the Seared Sea Scallops served over lemon cheese grits with field peas and tomato relish ($25), big tender scallops and more of those fabulous grits.
We were, of course, stuffed by the end of the meal. But the dessert menu was calling. All desserts, including the ice creams, are made in-house. How could we resist?
My husband and I shared the White Chocolate Key Lime Ice Cream served on a honey graham cookie with strawberry sauce ($8). Our friends shared the Warm Apple Crisp with ginger ice cream ($7).
Both were exceptional, and ideal endings for our meals.
Yes, there were several empty seats the night we dined at Merritt’s Table, but make your reservations soon.
I’ll be surprised if this gem of a restaurant doesn’t fill up soon.
Contact Leonard at 321-242-3614 or email@example.com.
- Floriday Today
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