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581 Roger Williams Ave
Highland Park, IL 60035
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$30 and under
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Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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
Metra UP-N Ravinia stop
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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
Diners' Choice Winner
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 11/3/2013
Merlo's is truly a neighborhood
gem. A vibrant scene on a quite street. It is a great spot to drop in for a quick meal and stay for a drink or two with the locals. The food is consistently good. My only issue is the noise level is very high and for me it takes a while (read first glass of wine) to get used to it."
Dined on 10/31/2013
The food is consistently good.
Most importantly it takes fresh and properly prepared. I think they do an excellent job overall. Friendly service and comfortable surroundings. A tad loud at times."
Dined on 10/28/2013
5 stars across the board. Must get
back for a second visit."
Dined on 10/27/2013
Can be too loud to hear the people
across the table."
Dined on 10/24/2013
Took my twins here last Sunday for
the first time, they are age 10. Friendly staff who moved us after my son asked if he could be closer to the tv to watch the football!! Server was great, very happy and friendly. Looked after my kids very well. My lasagna was fine, little bit to much cheese for my taste but great size, big enough for 2 with a salad. My kids had the pizza, good, and pasta with sausage, very good. Over all, nice night out in a good friendly neighborhood restaurant. We will be back."
Dined on 10/21/2013
This was my 4th time at Merlo's
and it just keeps getting better. The food, service, and overall experience is excellent, and with the very reasonable pricing, it makes this a routine return stop. Get the Nanna's Gray, a pot roast over rigatoni, and meat sauce. This entree is by far one of the best I've ever had. No need to go downtown Chicago, this place is top notch."
Dined on 10/20/2013
I was told that this was one of
the best in the area. Although that was not our evaluation, the restaurant was good enough for us to stay afterwards for wine in the bar and book another reservation for next Friday. I am looking forward to ordering more food options to really know how we feel about this restaurant. It is small/loud but after around 830-9:00, once the bulk of the diners have completed dinner it was much more enjoyable."
Dined on 10/19/2013
The food that we were served
tasted really well and this restaurant is also a great place to bring children. That said, one of our group ordered a shrimp and scallop dinner special which was one of the more expensive items on the menu. All he received were 3 shrimp and 2 scallops. No side dish such as grilled vegetables. It certainly was not enough food for even the lightest of diners. I think to charge what they did and to give you 5 pieces of shellfish without anything additional was way out of line which is a shame since the food is good and otherwise ample."
Dined on 10/13/2013
First time at Merlo's and the food
was very good. The chicken Marsala was excellent and big portions. Big tasty desserts. Everyone in our party was happy. It's extremely loud at 7 PM on a Friday night. If you want quiet this is not the place. We would absolutely go back again."
Dined on 10/19/2013
You can not go wrong here...it is
wonderful..just be aware that it is bustling so the noise is, well, noisy... I have been here dozens of times with fantastic food, especially the grilled calamari for me and Nana's Gravy for my husband. The veal milanese is also a super standout as is the salmon and spaghetti with meatballs. They have no attitude towards special requests and I often ask for steamed spinach without oil which always tastes better than at home. The staff are super warm and the hosts are accomodating and very hands on."
Dined on 10/15/2013
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