In an open window to the kitchen at Melanthios, a pig and lamb turn on a spit, crackling, spitting sparks and infusing the air with smoke. The whole-animal roasts on Saturdays and Sundays are purportedly Melanthios’s hallmark, the feature that—aside from its Lakeview location—put the restaurant on a level above the blur of similar menus in Greektown.
So it was a bigger letdown than health-care “reform” when I saw the results of that spit-roasting: a messy plate of scraggly, tough tissue and miscellaneous dry cuts of pork and lamb. Not that I should have had such high hopes. The trio of dips all falls: Taramosalata—salmon roe spread—lacks real fish flavor; skordalia—garlic spread—carries barely a suggestion of garlic; tzatziki is average. Biftekakia is just underseasoned meatballs in red sauce, makaronada is overcooked spaghetti noodles sprinkled with the same tasteless meat, and moussaka takes that meat, still refuses to season it, and adds bland eggplant.
If you want anything, it’s the loukaniko: pork sausage flavored with bits of orange rind. Or the lamb chops, nicely crusted from the grill. Or—believe it or not— saganaki, flamed tableside. Opa!
|Venue name:||Melanthios (CLOSED)|
3114 N Broadway
|Cross street:||between Barry Ave and Briar Pl|
|Opening hours:||Lunch, dinner|
|Transport:||El stop: Brown, Purple (rush hrs), Red to Belmont. Bus: 22, 36, 77, 156.|
|Price:||Average main course: $17|
|Do you own this business?|