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Merlo's Reviews List

Merlo's

Merlo's is a traditional Italian restaurant, located in the just blocks from Ravinia, in Highland Park.
See more Merlo's details
282 Current Reviews
Summary of Diner Ratings & Reviews
Overall 
4.2 / 5
(Outstanding) 4.2 / 5
(282 Reviews)
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Breakdown 282 reviews
5 stars
(132)
4 stars
(108)
3 stars
(29)
2 stars
(6)
1 star
(7)
Food 
4.3 / 5
(Outstanding) 4.3 / 5
Service 
4.3 / 5
(Outstanding) 4.3 / 5
Ambiance 
3.9 / 5
(Very Good) 3.9 / 5
Noise Level
2.4 / 3
Energetic
Value 
3.8 / 5
(Very Good) 3.8 / 5
Filter Reviews By:
Diners classify this restaurant as:
  • neighborhood gem(177)
  • great for outdoor dining(75)
  • fit for foodies(72)
  • good for groups(53)
  • kid-friendly(42)
  • special occasion(28)
Merlo's Reviews List
Review 1 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 2/05/2016
 2007
Dined on 2/05/2016
 2007
Food 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Service 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Dined on 2/05/2016
 2007
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Review 2 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 2/06/2016
 2011
Dined on 2/06/2016
 2011
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 2/06/2016
 2011
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Review 3 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 1/28/2016
 2013
Dined on 1/28/2016
 2013
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Dined on 1/28/2016
 2013
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, notable wine list, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
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Review 4 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 2/12/2015
 2014
Dined on 2/12/2015
 2014
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 2/12/2015
 2014
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Review 5 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 9/25/2015
 2007
Dined on 9/25/2015
 2007
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Dined on 9/25/2015
 2007
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Review 6 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 10/30/2015
 2007
Dined on 10/30/2015
 2007
Food 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 10/30/2015
 2007
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Review 7 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 1/15/2016
 2011
Dined on 1/15/2016
 2011
Food 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
Value 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Dined on 1/15/2016
 2011
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for outdoor dining
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Review 8 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 1/15/2016
 2011
Dined on 1/15/2016
 2011
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Value 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Dined on 1/15/2016
 2011
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups
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Review 9 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 1/15/2016
 2014
Dined on 1/15/2016
 2014
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Dined on 1/15/2016
 2014
Special Features: romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, great for outdoor dining
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Review 10 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Dined on 1/06/2016
 2007
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Review 11 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Dined on 1/09/2016
 2003
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Review 12 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Value 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Dined on 1/08/2016
 2009
Special Features: neighborhood gem
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Review 13 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5

Food 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Dined on 1/08/2016
 2000
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Review 14 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

Food 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Dined on 1/07/2016
 2014
Special Features: neighborhood gem
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Review 15 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Dined on 1/02/2016
 2006
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Review 16 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 1/02/2016
 2009
Dined on 1/02/2016
 2009
Dined on 1/02/2016
 2009
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Review 17 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Dined on 12/31/2015
 2010
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Review 18 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 12/31/2015
 2012
Dined on 12/31/2015
 2012
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 12/31/2015
 2012
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Review 19 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Good food and very friendly service

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 12/29/2015
 2015
Dined on 12/29/2015
 2015
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Value 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
"He had a wonderful dinner. The food was good, the service was excellent. If you want a good basic Italian food, consider Merlo's. We will cone back again for sure."
Dined on 12/29/2015
 2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups
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Review 20 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Merlo's in Highland Park-- our new go-to spot!

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
Value 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
"I'm afraid to let the cat out of the bag--Merlo's was that good. We went on a Sunday night in between Christmas and New Year's to celebrate 2 anniversaries. The restaurant wasn't crowded and sometimes that means the staff slacks off. That wasn't the case at all. The service was wonderful, knowledgeable and accomodating. We were greeted with fresh bread and flavorful marina. Our chopped salad had a delicious dressing as did the meatball salad. That could have been an entree but was perfect for sharing as an appetizer. The portions of veal marsala and chicken piccata were generous and perfectly prepared. We will be back very soon."
Dined on 12/27/2015
 2014
Special Features: romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
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Review 21 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5

Dined on 12/11/2015
 2011
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Review 22 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Dined on 12/12/2015
 2008
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Review 23 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Best restaurant for food, service and vibe

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
Value 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
"We had one of the best experiences recently here. The service was exceptional. The food was outstanding. The chef,Don, even came to our table after the meal. The six of us shared a wonderful bottle of red wine. We all enjoyed ourselves fully. What a lovely evening. We will come back again and again"
Dined on 12/22/2015
 2007
Special Features: romantic, neighborhood gem, good for groups, hot spot, special occasion, notable wine list, great for outdoor dining, fit for foodies
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Review 24 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 12/22/2015
 2012
Dined on 12/22/2015
 2012
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 12/22/2015
 2012
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Review 25 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Great dinner in a great neighborhood

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 12/18/2015
 2009
Dined on 12/18/2015
 2009
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
"It was my first time dining here, although we order takeout once or twice a month. We had reservations for six, including two kids. The staff was friendly, they took great care of the kids, and were there with more bread or water before we even knew we needed it. Nice wine list, delicious food... the perfect mix between cozy and stylish-- we will definitely be back, and when we do we'll definitely order the chocolate cake! Make reservations though, as they were on a 90 minute wait. (any chance you all could expand across the street?)"
Dined on 12/18/2015
 2009
Special Features: neighborhood gem, fit for foodies, kid-friendly
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Review 26 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Dining at the Roman Coliseum

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Value 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
"Merlo' has excellent Italian food. The menu is well balanced offering a nice assortment of starters, salads, and entrees. Having the Sunday meatball salad, the calamari and zucchini starter, and the bricked whole chicken entree made one think they were in Little Italy. The dining was delightful, but the noise level in this space was significant. It was like dining amongst the cheering crowd in an amphitheater. It was almost like the crowd was shouting above the pumped in music. Go to Merlo to enjoy the food and drink, not for conversation."
Dined on 12/17/2015
 2005
Special Features: neighborhood gem, notable wine list
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Review 27 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 12/15/2015
 2011
Dined on 12/15/2015
 2011
Food 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Dined on 12/15/2015
 2011
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Review 28 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Birthday Celebration

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"There were 4 adults, 2 children celebrating my daughter's 35th birthday. Everyone enjoyed their meal including the children who loved the pizza. We were surprised with the delicious birthday dessert- cannoli and tiramisu.
We will definitely be coming back
"
Dined on 12/13/2015
 2013
Special Features: neighborhood gem, special occasion, fit for foodies
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Review 29 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 12/03/2015
 2009
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Review 30 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 12/05/2015
 2012
Dined on 12/05/2015
 2012
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
Dined on 12/05/2015
 2012
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for outdoor dining, fit for foodies
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Review 31 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Dined on 12/05/2015
 2012
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Review 32 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Dined on 12/02/2015
 2007
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Review 33 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Dined on 11/28/2015
 2007
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Review 34 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 11/15/2014
 2010
Dined on 11/15/2014
 2010
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"Love the authentic food and good service that make you feel like you are part of the regulars. The owner comes around to talk to people and they don't ever lose sight of the fact that no matter how busy they are, you have chosen to eat with them. This is a favorite spot"
Dined on 11/15/2014
 2010
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Review 35 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

A surprisingly excellent restaurant

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
"Been here 1/2 dozen times and only seems to get better. Great food, nice service, managers seem friendly. Loud Is the only knock against it."
Dined on 11/25/2015
 2006
Special Features: neighborhood gem, fit for foodies, kid-friendly
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Review 36 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5

not going back

Food 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Service 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
"tried it a few times. some of the worst service I have ever had. I had to beg to get the water refilled and it still took another five minutes. brought wrong entrée so one of us ate while the other sat and watched.
food is ok at best - service was bad on all fronts."
Dined on 11/24/2015
 2014
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Review 37 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 8/22/2015
 2011
Dined on 8/22/2015
 2011
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
Dined on 8/22/2015
 2011
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Review 38 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Dined on 11/21/2015
 2008
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Review 39 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Dined on 11/14/2015
 2011
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Review 40 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5

Underwhelming

Food 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
"The service and ambience were great. However for the prices charged the food was poor. Most of the dishes I ordered lacked flavor and were underwhelming."
Dined on 11/14/2015
 2013
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Review 41 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Dined on 11/13/2015
 2002
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Review 42 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

GREAT CHICKEN MARSALA

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
"GREAT CHICKEN MARSALA, chicken was moist and done perfectly"
Dined on 11/13/2015
 2002
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Review 43 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 11/14/2015
 2015
Dined on 11/14/2015
 2015
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Dined on 11/14/2015
 2015
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Review 44 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 11/10/2015
 2012
Dined on 11/10/2015
 2012
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"The service was great and they catered to my requests that I provided on open table perfectly. The food was very good, we shared the chicken Marsala and seafood ravioli and both entrees were fabulous. We also had the calamari appetizer which was superb. The only thing I would have liked more was better bread, it was just ok. I always look forward to warm fresh bread with oil and Parmesan at Italian restaurants and there's was a little dry, not warm, and served instead with marinara. But overall it was great and I will return again."
Dined on 11/10/2015
 2012
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Review 45 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Dined on 11/06/2015
 2007
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Review 46 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Dined on 11/05/2015
 2008
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Review 47 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Excellent food and service! Highly reccomend.

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"This was our first time at Merlo's and it did not dissapoint. The pasta was delicious, the chicken moist and flavorful! Try the roasted brussel sprouts appetizer - Amazing! Service was good, nice atmosphere. We will go back."
Dined on 11/06/2015
 2011
Special Features: romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion, fit for foodies, kid-friendly
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Review 48 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 11/05/2015
 2015
Dined on 11/05/2015
 2015
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
4 / 3
Energetic
Dined on 11/05/2015
 2015
Special Features: fit for foodies, kid-friendly
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Review 49 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

Way to noisy! The noise made evening unpleasant.

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Dined on 10/31/2015
 2006
Special Features: vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining
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Review 50 for Merlo's
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 10/28/2015
 2006
Dined on 10/28/2015
 2006
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Dined on 10/28/2015
 2006
Special Features: neighborhood gem
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