Bill Humphries knew that more often than not women choose the place to eat when a couple dines out. So he wanted a lighter, airier atmosphere for his restaurant, an ambiance that would appeal to men and women alike. He felt that too many steakhouses are heavy with dark wood. The result is elegant richness in Eddie Merlot’s restaurant decor, much like the food they serve.
I visited Eddie Merlot’s recently with a group of travel writers on a trip sponsored by Visit Fort Wayne, the area convention and visitors bureau. We toured the elegant dining room and the more casual lounge, where they have live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights, and then enjoyed a meal in one of the private dining rooms.
We started with a spread of appetizers, beautifully presented, including Eddie’s Smokin’ Shrimp Cocktail brought to the table with a cloud of steam emanating from the clear goblet in which it was served.
Next came French Onion Soup, chock full of five types of onions, croutons, and topped with Gruyere and parmesan cheeses.
Resting for a bit before the entrée, we went to the bar for a little wine tasting.
Eddie Merlot’s prides themselves on serving guests “nothing but the best.” I particularly enjoyed the bison ribeye, as tasty as beef but much leaner. We shared several sides, including Brussels sprouts with onions and diced bacon, and Sweet Potato Casserole with a spiced pecan brown sugar topping, which was a huge hit with our group.
As delicious as the meal thus far had been, the best, in my opinion, was yet to come. I tasted the signature carrot cake, scrumptiously sweet.
However, being a chocoholic, my eyes lit up when Executive Chef Matt Nolot prepared Cognac Brownies table side. He lit the cognac for a dramatic flame and then poured it over the decadent brownie. He topped the brownie with pecans, fresh raspberries, chocolate ganache, and crème anglaise. The Cognac Brownie was as close to heaven on a plate as you could come. It was elegant richness at its finest, the perfect ending to the gourmet meal.
If you dine at Eddie Merlot’s
Eddie Merlot’s, located at 1502 Illinois Road South, in the Jefferson Pointe Shopping Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is open for dinner seven days a week. Check the web site for exact hours and to make reservations.
Disclosure: Visit Fort Wayne and Eddie Merlot’s hosted my visit to the restaurant. However, any opinions expressed in this article are strictly mine.
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