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  • Merlo's

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Merlo's Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://merlosrestaurant.com
  • Email: info@merlosrestaurant.com
  • Phone: (847) 266-0600
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Joe Farina
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine Bar

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Greenbay
  • Public Transit: Metra UP-N Ravinia stop
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Private lot-ample street parking
A word from Merlo's
Merlo's is a traditional Italian restaurant, located in the just blocks from Ravinia, in Highland Park.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "Although the food was above average, the noise level was so loud that it was difficult to hold a conversation. The only way I will return is when it's warm enough to enjoy their outside seating area."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "We had a great time! Maitre d, service, food and wine made it a memorable evening!!!"
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "A yeomanlike neighborhood spot, with friendly service and good, if not exciting, or excellent food. The pasta dishes are your best bet. Next time I will try the chicken milanese. The Merlo salad is a bit too plain, mostly lettuce, with a dressing that lacks any brightness or zing. The broccoli salad was delicious. The chicken sausage with rapini needed a bit more time on the grill, a bit tastier sausage, and some red pepper or garlic, or both to give the dish some interest. The chocolate mousse cake was good, but not worth the calories."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "the food was good. the noise level is beyond loud. I ordered a side dish of spaghetti with meat sauce. The portion was extremely small. They told me it was a half order which it was not. It was more like at the most a 1/4 of an order. The charge was $5.00 for the pasta and an additional charge of $3.00 for the meat sauce. I told the manager that the charge was outrageous and his attitute was that he could of cared less. I did not enjoy being ripped off and a establishment that does not appreciate a customers business. At a prior visit I had the same side dish and It was a larger portion and less money. They should charge for side dishes but they do not have to overcharge and then have an attitude that they do not care."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "very very noisy…not so good. the food was delicious"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Merlo's has not disappointed after several visits. The food is great, service is great and the drinks are generous."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "The food was excellent. The Chicken Marsala was the best we've ever eaten! The salmon special was fantastic and we were all very satisfied with our meal, the service and the prices! We'll go back soon!"
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "The food was delicious. We loved the grilled calamari appetizer. Two of us had the salmon and it was a generous portion and was prepared perfectly. One person in our party had the clam and pasta in a spicy red sauce and said it was very good too.The Brussels sprouts are great and so was the Merlo's salad. Nice wine list. Our waiter was great. Only drawback - it's loud, but the 4 of us could converse. It would be harder in a larger group."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "I'm not sure if I will be returning anytime soon . The noise level was unbearable ..."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "We love this place and are there almost weekly. My wife will vary her orders and is never disappointed but I stick with the tried and true. They have the greatest brussel sprout appetizer -- roasted and caramelized in cast iron skillets with bacon, capers, red onions and lemon -- and their orecchiette with rapini and sausage is out of this world. Pizza's are good and arugula salad also really nice. Very friendly people. Very noisy. Great spot."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Merlo is a great addition to Highland Park and the north shore. It is very lively; has very good food at a great price and large portions t0-boot. Some of the specialties really are just that: Nonna's Gravy and the house salad are good examples. Traditional Italian fare (chicken and eggplan parmesan for example) is well-prepared and quite good. It was lively even on a wintery Tuesday evening."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "Wonderful experience. The menu is filled with great choices of extremely well prepared Italian dishes. I found the staff to be helpful and pleasantly attentive. Bring your appetite and still plan to take home plenty of food."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "I meet with a couple of friends for dinner every month. It was my turn to pick a restaurant, so I picked Merlos. We were not disappointed. The food was delicious, and the waitress was very attentive. We arrived early, so it wasn't too busy. As the evening went on, it because busier and more energetic, as would be expected. It definitely is a favorite with many diners."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "I've never had worse service anywhere. Absolutely awful."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Enjoyed our first visit snd will be back guaranteed Our waitress was outstanding Very friendly and offered some great suggestions Food was very good"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I love everything about this restaurant except the noise level. Way too noisy when it is full."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "The night we went, they had a large carryout order and the people in the restaurant were ignored. We waited 30+ minutes for a salad and we finally finished after 1½ hours. Their excuse was that 1½ hours for dining for 2 was reasonable. The waitress apologized and said it was because of the carryout order. The couple behind us came in 15 minutes after us, was served first and was gone while we were still eating our main course. We have been there on many occasions and never had such poor service. It will be a long time before we return, if ever!"
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "The food was terrific. You must try the Brussels sprouts. Even the people who hate them loved them here! Chicken Marsala was terrific. Salmon portion was very generous and delicious too. It was a saturday night and was very crowded. It was also loud; at times I couldn't hear the people sitting across from me."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "On the smaller side and can be a bit loud - but the food is terrific! The pasta, veal parm, skirt steak -- all great. Never a bad meal!"
    Dined on 1/16/2014
  • "Good neighborhood restaurant. The food is always great! The kitchen is very flexible with my requests for eliminating gluten from certain dishes. They also have GF pizza and pasta available-a huge bonus!!"
    Dined on 1/13/2014
  • "Merlo has very good food with extremely generous portions. The Brussels Sprout appetizer is a must and I highly recommend the Meatball salad. Service is great ."
    Dined on 1/13/2014
  • "This was our first time there and we throughly enjoyed it. The food was great , the service was great and we will definitely go back."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "Excellent service from a very dedicated staff, very good food - salad, pasta, and veal dishes are all fresh and generous. An excellent spot in the North Shore."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "Great pasta with clams in white wine sauce! Attentive service, so nice that it is open late. Nice addition to the Ravinia neighborhood."
    Dined on 12/30/2013
  • "We had a very nice dinner for my birthday. Food was good, but it was a little bit too noisy."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "It is a small but very nice restaurant. Good food, reasonable prices, good service. The restaurant was VERY loud ! I would definitely go there again. A good place."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "Highly recommend. Food is fresh and made daily. Best Italian around!"
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "The entrée was very good. However, there was no vegetable or starch served with it. We were not informed about this by the waiter and the meal felt inadequate."
    Dined on 12/26/2013
  • "Food was great. Service not great. Crowded and very loud!! To the point that we were yelling to talk. Kitchen was slow. Delicious brick chicken!"
    Dined on 12/21/2013
  • "Clearly a hot spot in HP, everything was fine but pretty expensive for what it was. Incredibly loud, but I'd consider returning maybe for lunch."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "The tables are too close to each other. It is very difficult to walk between the tables. Noise was unbearable and conversation almost impossible. It was very hot. Given it was cold outside and people wore warm clothes, the weather inside was hard to tolarate. Food, as always, was very good."
    Dined on 12/18/2013
  • "We enjoyed our meals, but had a horrible time trying to talk. The noise level is intolerable. It seems like everyone in the place is talking loudly or screaming to be heard so that only adds to the excess noise level. Although our food was very good, we will not return. There are other places on the North Shore with good food where you can have a conversation with your dinner partners!"
    Dined on 12/18/2013
  • "Food is always too notch, but our service not so much this time.It took our waitress a very long time to take our drink order, and then she finally came around later after dinner was served to ask only one of the four of us if he wanted another drink.I would have had a second martini if she had asked, but she didn't and we were well into our meal - why ask only one person at the table if all of our drinks were finished? She also did not offer Parmesan cheese for our pastas, but the waiter at the next table was grating it fresh for his customers. Then she couldn't remember what the desserts were or the favors of gelato- we had to ask her to find out. Loved my pasta as usual but maybe we need to carry out from now on."
    Dined on 12/14/2013
  • "Food was very good. I shared chicken Parmesan and a side of great spinach with garlic with a girlfriend - chicken was huge. Not sure how one person could ever finish this. Our husbands had pasta and they both liked their dishes a lot. We shared a couple of appetizers and one huge slice of carrot cake. I had been warned that the restaurant was very noisy so we made a 6pm reservation on a Friday night. It was early enough that the place was a bit empty and it was much quieter than I expected. By the time we left two hours later the place was packed and it was noisy but to be honest I have been to places that have been worse. So, go early and enjoy - food is very good."
    Dined on 12/6/2013
  • "A very small but energetic space in the middle of a neighborhood was a great surprise. The Brussels Sprout appetizer that we all shared was amazing. I had the Meatball Salad that was a house specialty was fantastic and very generous portion. Two had the salmon special which both said was very dry and bland. One more had the grilled calamari and loved it. Small but decent wine list with a generous pour. Definitely will return to explore he menu."
    Dined on 11/25/2013
  • "Service was terrific. Food was very good but noise level was atrocious. Need to address. Also though wine menu was expensive and limited in scope."
    Dined on 11/14/2013
  • "The service here is good but the food was extremely average or even below average. The caprese salad was made with huge chunks of cheese and tomatoes--not a very delicate presentation and our entrees were bland. The only dish we enjoyed was the artichoke fritters, but we will not be making a trip just for that. So all in all a very disappointing experience."
    Dined on 11/10/2013
  • "My husband and I always look forward to eating here. We love the pizza and usually split it as an appetizer with other couples if dining with others or we split it with another entree if we are alone."
    Dined on 11/9/2013
  • "The butternut squash soup was outstanding. The brick chicken was perfect"
    Dined on 11/5/2013
  • "We had a terrific meal at Merlo on Saturday night. Every dish was excellent and our server Michael was top notch. Only issue is that it was really, really noisy, but not much you can do about it on a busy Saturday night."
    Dined on 11/2/2013