Mello Bistro, a Staten Island eatery, opened in November of of 2022. The bistro is a family affair with father and son chefs and a wife who tends to the front of the restaurant. The cuisine is innovative Italian with a French touch. The soft Brazilian music alludes to the family’s background. Lately, it has become one of my favorite places to eat on the Island. I have been there 5 times for dinner, so far.
Here are some dishes that stood out for me or for people I dined with:
The first time I ate at Mello, the waiter placed a warm focaccia bread on our table. He explained that it is made by the father each day. It was crunchy, fragrant, and tasty, a perfect foil for the fruity olive oil that came with it. We had high expectations after that, and the meal that followed did not disappoint.
Although there are many items that I like on the menu, the shrimp risotto is my favorite entree. It’s made with mushrooms, spinach and goat cheese. It’s my kind of comfort food. All the flavors go really well together.
I thought this burger and fries were beautifully presented. It seems like a simple dish, but here’s what’s in the burger: Angus beef, bacon, caramelized pearl onions, and smoked mozzarella. It is served with arugula, tomato, remoulade sauce, and a toasted brioche.
The salmon is prepared au beurre blanc with tomatoes and leeks. The combination of the flaky fish with the rich, buttery sauce was wonderful.
The pepper-crusted tuna was perfectly cooked as per my request - medium rare. I thought the accompanying caramelized pearl onions were scrumptious. Along with them came braised endive, arugula, and a confit of grape tomatoes, all atop a beurre blanc sauce.
Spaghetti con gamberoni is succulent shrimp with spaghetti and watercress in a flavorful garlicky sauce.
The dessert menu is filled with tempting selections, as well.
I love the cannoli with guava coulis and coconut sorbet. I don’t often get to eat a guava-based dessert and I really like its pleasantly sweet flavor.
The creme brûlée is rich and creamy with a slight tang.
The apple tart consists of a flaky, buttery puff pastry crust topped with apple slices. It is accompanied by a caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.
At one dinner, the chef sent out this bonus dessert gratis for us to try. It was a panna cotta with a strawberry coulis and a coconut custard. So good!
One more thing. On my third visit to the bistro, I asked the waitress if they had tomato juice. She said she’ll find out. She came back a little later and said they didn’t have any but they’re making it for me from fresh tomatoes. It was terrific, like biting into a fresh tomato. So much better than the canned stuff. I couldn’t believe they went to the trouble of making me a fresh tomato juice!
So many reasons to like Mello Bistro. Can’t wait to return for another excellent meal.