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Mezze

Update: Mezze is closed (Paul's Pel'meni is there as of August 2017.)

In a word: A Mezze blues.

The specs: #00970  
414 W Gilman St., 53703
Details at Yelp, Mezze Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Latest Mezze news and reviews

JM ate the chicken kebab.
Nichole ate the beans and beets.
The bill was $30, or $15/person, plus tip.
JM gave a Mezze a C+; Nichole gave Mezze a B (see our grading rubric).

There are many things to love about Mezze, the new State St. Mediterranean place that has subbed in permanently for Amy's Café. The place looks much nicer than Amy's, the service is great, and there seems to have been a lot of thought and care taken in developing a menu with a wide variety of both food and beverages.  Certainly, their menu looks like it might have something for foodies somewhere. Sadly, JM wasn't one of them. Though Nichole would put Mezze on her sumac cum laude list, even she agreed that Mezze wasn't a great fit for us eating together.

Beets

The combo of beets-n-beans small plates made Nichole's day. The beet salad - field greens, red onions, roasted beets and a light dressing - blanketed a hidden vein of soft cheese and toothsome nuts, all dusted with sumac.

Fava beans

In the second dish, cleverly rolled flatbread towered over a cup of fava beans in a yogurt and mint sauce. It was all going along swimmingly until Nichole, during an attempt to educate JM on how special fava beans are and what a hassle they are to prepare, what with the double-shelling and all, finally noticed (after chowing through half of them) that they still had their inner shells. Though they did taste more lively and had a smoother texture without the shells, the process of sucking the yogurt off, peeling the medium-small beans with her teeth, and spitting the beans back into the dish - then trying to hide the half-chewed shells - was really not very charming at all, so she went back to eating the dish as served.

A Google search back at home seemed to indicate that the double-shelling is a fussy French preparation and shells-on is the rule in the Levant, and that the size, age and tenderness of the beans, as well as the preparation method, all factor in to the decision to peel or not. So. No law here, but no graceful way to eat Mezze's version either.

Chicken kabob

JM's kebab was served too close to air temperature for his liking.  The sides were also not really to his taste, consisting of gloppy and not-quite-buttery-enough corn and almost painfully spicy, yet cold in temperature, potato salad. He chose the kebab because everything else on the menu was a casualty of his One Fatal Ingredient Syndrome (see also #1, #2, #3, and the experience of another sufferer), where one thing included in each dish pushed it into his "pass" column.

The best part of our meal was when some Texans stopped by our table on the patio to ask for a recommendation for fish tacos.

Any which way, Mezze was just okay. Maybe they were too new or too focused on drinks and not providing the most accessible food yet. And who says, that in a town with such a surfeit of restaurants, every place should serve every taste? But in the highly-competitive State Street area, that's a fine line to toe.

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