With the exception of the very nice older gentleman who was hosting, the service was very slow and the other staff seemed disinterested. It was a busy evening, and it looked like they could have used more staff. A good portion of the mussels from our appetizer were out of their shells and there weren’t a lot to be found in the soup which was still delicious with bread. The lamb ravioli was very overpriced and chewy unfortunately. Wasn’t impressed with the flavor. The burger looked good though. The ambiance is charming, but the huge crowd waiting at the door to be seated made us feel a little claustrophobic because the restaurant is small.
Very busy but food terrific
Mele Bistro is just a charming place to gather with family as we did or just as a couple. Attentive server with the owner dropping by to make sure all's well. A very grateful thank you from the owner on our departure. Feels like home at Mele.
Excellent, good, very good, hate writing reviews, good
Food is always great! You can tell they use quality ingredients! It's a neighborhood gem!
Very pleasant evening with great food
The food is to die for and the service is great. Always good for a special occasion.
Great food! Visited multiple times by owner who was perfect casting for the Italian Bistro. Waitstaff was overtaxed, maybe short-handed. Waiter for half the floor was also the bartender. It really affected timely attention to the tables. Perhaps this was an anomoly?
Food is outstanding, owner is hands on. All fresh farm to table food.
Arriving in the Arlington area, we had no idea where to eat. We checked reviews and decided on Mele Bistro. An excellent decision! Everyone was more than happy with their meal. The fresh pasta is wonderful. My dish was shrimp over capellini but I asked for it over fusilli. No problem. It was delicious. They did not have the wine that I ordered, but substituted with one that was fabulous. The service was perfect. I highly recommend Mele for an excellent Italian meal!
Seated right away and offered water and fresh bread. Ordered 4 Cheese Ravioli and lamb burger. Initially I wanted the small plate order of ravioli but the waiter insisted it wasn't going to be enough food. Out of the 5 ravioli, I ate 2 that night. I should have insisted on the small plate to avoid the waste. The lamb burger was dry and not cooked to order, asked for medium rare. The lamb had an unfavorable taste that became inedible after 2 bites and ketchup/mustard was no help. We could tell that sending back rather full plates offended the waiter and we no longer were waited on with a smile. He did not ask how we liked the meal or if there was anything else we wanted, not even dessert! I won't return.
Outstanding food, great atmosphere and excellent service.
We had reservations 7:30pm and were not seated until 8:00pm. Extremely poor service. The very long wait time to be served our food and also to receive our check and the to pay our check. Would not recommend this restaurant. Chicken was very chewy. Much better food and service in the same area as this restaurant.
My new favorite restaurant. Small quaint neighborhood restaurant. Food was delicious. Make a reservation it was very busy. Highly recommend.
Wonderful dining experience. Excellent food and service.
We were in DC for the weekend and stayed in Arlington. The Mele Bistro was an excellent find for a casual dinner after a day of walking DC. The menu is varied and the service excellent. We had shrimp scampi and lobster ravioli,. The shrimp are from the Gulf of Mexico, which is exactly where they should be from. Farm raised is a no-no. The owner visits the tables to assure all is well and discuss their food sourcing. We will definitely try the fresh fish the next time. You won’t go wrong.
Great food and a good value. Seafood was very good. They were out of fried calamari, so we had the braised—the sauce was amazing and the calamari were done right.
The owner is a great host that is attentive to his customers and takes great pride in serving 24 hour fresh fish never frozen and keeping preservatives out of his menu. The restaurant is not too loud and is very cozy. Menu has something for all tastes and appetites and budgets.
Two delicious lunches! Fresh fish, outstanding sautéed calamari, perfect pastas, attentive service. Can’t wait to return to this winning neighborhood restaurant!
Kind of a piano bar meets small Italian restaurant vibe. Lots of guests seemed to know the owner. Patient, informative staff. Will definitely revisit.
My friend and I had a great meal and were able to relax and enjoy catching up at this lovely neighborhood gem. Wonderful, healthy ingredients and excellent service! In addition, my friend has difficulty walking and it was easy to access the restaurant and our table. The decor is interesting, warm, and attractive. I will return to Mele!
I had the seafood fusili diavolo, she that snapper with pesto potatoes. Both were perfectly done. The diavolo was spicy but not overpoweringly so, just the right amount of sauce which so wasn't overly seasoned. The shellfish was cooked to perfection. And all reasonably priced.
Excellent meal. Service was impeccable and the food was outstanding. We’ll definitely be back.
Huge menu and many seafood options. I don’t think there were any lunch specials. It seemed to be the regular dinner menu. Host was knowledgeable and friendly. Quiet atmosphere for an enjoyable Saturday lunch.
Great food. Good service and free parking. Delicious homemade pasta. The eggplant appetizer is my favorite.
What a wonderful surprise! We made last minute reservations, and didn't know anything about Mele before walking in the door. We were immediately struck by the whimsical decorations hanging from the ceiling and the authentic northern Italian atmosphere. The owner greeted us warmly and in true Italian fashion. His menu is amazing: everything is made in-house, the fish is flown in from Hawaii daily, and all of the sauces are made with fresh tomatoes - no canned sauce at all!!
My wife and I made a tapas of sorts out of dinner, starting with a couple of glasses of excellent Lowry Hill wine and fresh baked bread with olive oil. Mele offers a range of seasonings for your dipping oil and you must try them all. A first course of fresh bistro salad and soup of the day woke up our appetites. Following that, we were next treated to their fried calamari. The breading is light and delicate, and the calamari is hands down the most tender and succulent that I have ever tasted. The fresh marinara put it completely over the top. And then the coup-de-grace... smoked scallops in homemade ravioli with a light cream sauce. Wow. The pasta was a perfect al dente and the scallop filling a swirl of delicate flavors with the right touch of smoke (no liquid smoke here either, anything smoked is done over real wood. In fact, if you call ahead you can select the species of wood for your own meal).
Bottom line - Mele Bistro is a gem.
This place is always good. Really good, fresh food and a good drink selection.
I have been here for both lunch and dinner many times. The food is always excellent. The dinner time can get noisy, but other than that, I have nothing but good things to say.
Wonderful dinner, everyone really enjoyed the food and ambiance. We will all be back
Love how the owner visits the tables....very personal.
The food was delicious and with such a large selection of seafood both on the menu and the daily specials
Great dining experience in Arlington! A wonderful staff with exceptional service and a personal touch. Large entre portions that left us more than satisfied.
Good parking out front though we arrived before 1800
We definitely go again soon!!
We were warmly greeted when we came in. Beautiful dining room. A plus--the manager explained the menu in great detail.
Servings were generous in size and most important, the food was delicious. Service was very good as well.
Plenty of parking in the lot in front of the restaurant, even on a Saturday night.
Our new favorite neighborhood (good) restaurant! Great service, excellent fresh tasty food, and an incredibly warming and welcoming host/environment... i.e., this place has it ALL going on.
Only complaint is that, when you come in, there's often no one to greet you or check your reservation. You have to stand in a very small, very busy entrance area and either flag down wait staff or stand there until someone notices you. If they are busy, it can be a while. It's awkward. If they are busy, too, it's hard to tell who is "your" waiter, because different people will take your order, serve you, etc., whether it's their table or not. That's nice, but it's hard to tell who to ask for the bill or who to tip.
This is our second visit here, and it was much different than the first. Last month, we had an exceptional dinner before a Thursday evening show at the Kennedy Center. The owner came over to explain the menu, specials, things unique to this restaurant, etc. From the cocktails and wine selections, to the appetizer and dinner we had, everything was delicious and the service was spot-on.
This time, however, despite coming early and avoiding the rush, service was not very good. I asked about the cocktail menu I had seen last month, and they looked at me like I was crazy. The server said he would make something up for me, and then he disappeared. After we asked about my cocktail, it was finally brought to the table 30 minutes after I ordered it.
We had to ask for more bread, we had to ask for water refill, and even the whereabouts of that cocktail.
Here's the worst part. I ordered the spinach ravioli, and when it was brought to the table, the food runner announced "cheese ravioli?" I said, no I ordered the spinach. Our server came over and said, "Oh, I'm sorry, we ran out of the spinach." Um, couldn't you have told me that 40 minutes ago when I placed the order? He offered to have the kitchen make something else, but we were heading to another show that evening, and my friend had her meal delivered to the table already, so I wasn't about to start a new order.
Of course, we were charged for the entree sent in error.
This was night-and-day, a much different experience on a Friday in February, vice a Thursday in January just the month prior. It's too bad, because we were so impressed the first time we opted to come right back at our next opportunity. We won't make that mistake again.
Overbooked, no full time bartenders.
Mele Bistro is a hidden gem in Arlington. We have become regulars, but just discovered it recently. The food ingredients are excellent, as well as the preparation. Excellent food at a reasonable price. Very friendly owner and staff.
My wife and I went here for Valentine's day. We were extremely pleased with our experience and will be back! I had the steak au poivre and my wife has the grilled salmon. Great flavors in both dishes. The service was excellent. Although pricey, it was absolutely worth it.
Mele Bistro is an outstanding restaurant. I just discovered it last week thru a friend as the area is new to me. I have already returned and will do so again when back in the area. The food is fresh, delicious and great variety (seafood, pasta, steak and more). Most importantly, the owner and management really care about diners and are passionate about the food they serve. This is a must go to restaurant for anyone. I will be back soon and bring co-workers as I did this week.