“We’ve found a culinary gem…”
The restaurant has been open for over a decade and has an extensive menu of both American and Mediterranean favorites. Mike Tibi, owner and Executive Chef, opened Mezza Grille after many years behind the scenes working on the business side of the industry. His love for scratch-made, flavorful dishes is evident as soon as you sit down.
“Food is a language and the more languages you know, the more you understand the world around you; so the more food you try, the more you understand the culture,” said Tibi. “In my culture, you show love with food. My passion is to see people enjoy my food, and I put my heart and soul into everything I make.”
Mezza Grille makes a good first impression with its house-made pita chips that are served when you are seated. The chips are seasoned, served with a dipping sauce and are very fresh, tasty and a crisp addition to anything on the menu. The menu is extensive with everything from salads and pastas, to hearty plates like New Zealand lamb shanks and ribeye. There is also a wide assortment of seafood which is what I started out with during my visit.
The Seafood Campechana appetizer is so big and bountiful that it could be an entire meal. The Campechana is a jumbo lump crabmeat and grilled shrimp cocktail served with lime pineapple and avocado salsa. It is big, beautiful and delicious; the crabmeat is large and tastes very fresh, and the shrimp is grilled to perfection. But what makes the dish is the pineapple and avocado salsa. It has a hint of spiciness along with some sweetness and a great consistency. Scoop it up with some of the homemade tortilla chips and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Next up was the Spicy Chipotle Seafood Risotto which comes with jumbo lump crabmeat, grilled shrimp, pan-seared scallops and grilled asparagus. Again, the dish is just as beautiful to look at as it is to taste. The scallops are big and the risotto was cooked to just the right consistency. We’ve all had risotto that was overcooked or undercooked, but you don’t have to worry about that here. Chef Tibi knows his risotto and it shows.
Every good meal comes to an end and this one did too, but not before trying one of the great desserts. The Coconut Tres Leches is definitely a top pick. The house made cake is served with toasted coconut on top of a fluffy mound of cream. Again, the consistency of this dish was spot-on with the perfect amount of cream in the cake.
If you take a look on Yelp you will find one dish mentioned over and over again—the mango stuffed chicken. I am a little sad that I didn’t try it, but now I have something to look forward to the next time I’m there.
Mezza Grille has a great atmosphere, two private rooms for meetings or parties and the location can’t be beat. Give it a try friends, you won’t be disappointed.
You’ll often find Houston-based Gabi De la Rosa at a great local restaurant or out exploring HTX with her husband and family.