Last week I pulled the "wife" card and guilt tripped the husband into taking me out to dinner. One can only entertain at home for so long before washing dishes gets to be a PITH. Although we live within walking distance of one of Iowa City's favorite local restaurants, Taste on Melrose, we had never actually tried the place out for our ourselves.
Taste on Melrose is a small, incredibly affordable little restaurant with an unpretentious front, simple decor and cozy seating. There might have been 10-15 tables total in the tiny space. Fortunately it was a Wednesday night so the restaurant was only half full. I ordered the homemade fusilli with spicy grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, tomatoes and cilantro in a spicy cream sauce. The portion was enormous. (I later discovered that one can order half-portions of the main dishes - ah well, at least I had lunch for the next two days.) The homemade pasta was delicious and cooked to al-dente perfection. The sauce was fantastic - flavorful, spicy, and creamy with the cilantro adding a unique touch. The vegetarian ordered the sourdough pizza with roasted butternut squash, mushrooms, caramelized onions, peppers, and fontina. It was all I could do not to eat half of his meal too. That pizza was hands-down the best pizza either of us have had in a very very long time. Perhaps it was the sourdough crust, or maybe the deliciously roasted(?) squash. By the end of our meal we were too stuffed to brave the dessert menu.
We'll be back again.
Taste on Melrose
1006 Melrose Ave
Sad news, Taste on Melrose has since closed its doors.