Mezzanine 3433 gets its name from its address on Cary Street, a prime location for those looking to meander around the off-beat neighborhood before or after a good meal. Mezzanine had been on my list of places to eat before I graduate since I heard about their bloody mary bar at brunch. Conveniently located with an ever-changing menu of delicious dishes, Mezzanine proved to be a lovely dinner destination.
With a very narrow two-floored dining area, Mezzanine somehow manages to still have an airy feeling interior. Lighting is dim, almost too dim in the upstairs area, artwork is very eclectic and the staff seems a little eclectic as well. Eclecticism aside, our server was helpful, attentive and friendly.
The menu at Mezzanine is separated into appetizers ranging from eight to twelve dollars, small plates ranging from fourteen to eighteen dollars and large plates ranging from twenty to twenty five dollars. However, this menu changes daily so the prices may vary slightly when you visit Mezzanine and the selections may not be exactly the same. However, you are sure to enjoy some fresh, tasty and well-balanced food.
For appetizers, my party began with the grilled romaine hearts salad with anchovies and parmesan crisps which was a warm and salty take on the traditional Caesar salad. I will forever be an anchovy advocate, but if you think they are not your thing, you may prefer the tomato salad with feta, goat cheese and basil oil. A perfectly proportioned spin on Italian caprese salad and a delicious light appetizer.
For my main course, I opted to order the swordfish special, which was cooked perfectly and topped with a citrus pesto. It was accompanied by a hearty portion of brown rice and a crisp cucumber and tomato salad. The meal was healthy without sacrificing any delicious flavor. One of my roommates enjoyed a small plate of naan pizza. Naan is a type of Indian flat bread that provided the perfect canvas for the sweet anise sausage, spicy arugula greens and fresh lemon vinaigrette that topped it. My father ordered the pan friend bluefish with grilled red potatoes and a raw squash salad marinated in vinaigrette. Bluefish tends to be a little to fishy for some people but this version was cooked to perfection and well balanced by the starchy potatoes and fresh salad sides. We sipped a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from Long Island throughout the meal at the request of my L.I. born-and-raised father which complemented our entrees amazingly.
Other menu items that tempted me on the Mezzanine 3433 menu included the fried green tomatoes with crab salad, green curry quinoa with oyster mushrooms, or the ricotta gnocchi with Maine lobster and spring veggies. Mezzanine certainly has a seafood-heavy menu, but they do it well. This doesn't mean they will ignore your steak loving or vegetarian friends but their options may not be as varied.
For those of you who like to plan early, Mezzanine could be a great place to take your parents during family weekend toward the end of September. I'm sure your family would enjoy seeing the streets of Carytown and eating locally. I will definitely be going back soon to see what other great dishes I can enjoy.
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