Bend >Food & Dining > Merenda Restaurant and Wine Bar
900 NW Wall Street, Bend, OR | Directions 9770144.058867 -121.314272
Neighborhoods: River West
Not as good as it thinks it is – I grew up in Bend then moved to LA. Had I never moved I might have thought this was the greatest restaurant. Now that I know better, Jody Denton has an ego that does not match his food quality. One word: Inconsistent! If you have to go to check out the Bend "scene" then go during happy hour, sit at the bar, order wine, and try not to make fun of the people who think they are in a gourmet restaurant.
A disappointment – My girlfriend and I visited the Meranda on a Sunday evening in October - there was hardly anybody there at that time, so it was very quiet. I really liked the excellent wine list and the bread we got. However, the dinner was a real disappointment. I had the lemon chicken and I'm still pondering the question whether there was something wrong with the vegetables or whether it was really supposed to taste that bitter. My girlfriend had a vegetarian meal that was at best average. Thus, I feel that I cannot really recommend the Merenda (except for wine and bread). If you look for an alternative, I would recommend the Cork (note though that we've spent only two nights in Bend and thus have only been to two restaurants - there might be other really good places around).
Sophisticated tapas and wine bar brings big-city style to Bend. – In Short
The cavernous, loft-like space features exposed brick, rustic wooden beams and a grand staircase. Weekends usually mean boisterous crowds and a line out the door. The best way to dine is tapas-style. Try appetizers like roasted halibut cheeks in a lemon-garlic butter, chilled oysters or a selection of cheeses. Small plates range from skillet-roasted mussels to a garlic and goat cheese tart. Wood-fired pizzas are topped with shrimp, pancetta, asparagus or pepperoni.
We loved this place! – My fiance and I went for lunch (we sat outside) and tried the different wine samples, along with several appetizers and lunch. Everything was wonderful. The variety of wines, the service, the food was awesome! We love great food and wines and this was a wonderful experience and lots of fun. Totally recommend. We'll be Bach!!!!
A city restaurant in the mountains – Merenda is a great place to visit in Bend Oregon. Not known for it's service, the cusine of Chef Jody Denton is experimental and explosive with big bold flavors. The menu changes daily depending upon the availability of fresh ingredients, so always ask for the servers recommendations. Merenda has one of the most extensive wine lists I have seen in Oregon. Truely a great experience.
Merenda is a slice of the city out in the Oregon country. The service can only be good as the servers in the area. The majority of the wait staff are not proffesional servers, as you would find in most cities, but are there because they enjoy the outdoors (skiing and hiking), not because they want to be in the restaurant biss.
Merenda is not smokey, as they do not allow smoking. Trust me I smoke. (Before ranting about a restaurant please know your facts or it destroys the whole citysearch process.) I frequent Merenda on all my visits to Bend. Not for the service but because there is no other place like it. It can be a tad loud at times but that is not the restaurants fault, but the bosterous customers who dine there.
I suggest the Cobb Salad for lunch, the Steak for Two for dinner, and the lovely house made Sorbets for dessert. I always try a new wine flight as well as they change frequently. In the winter time, try to get a spot near the fireplace upstairs for a romantic experience.
so so same old big city thing – I guess it is fine for the locals that do not have the big city. But that is not what we came to Bend to experience. So if you do not get to the city much and you need loud, overpriced, and smoky this is your place.
What is the big deal! – Not high on my list. I've read about this place but is is a way over rated. Loud, poor service what else would you like. THe wine steward, not so great. If you go bring your own bottle and ear plugs.
Great people watching if you like to watch old rich quys picking up young Golddiggers.
Snobs – I can only think the reason for the aroganse is that they don't want you back.
Not too good – I read the other reviews, and agree with most -- I found it to be overpriced, unpleasantly loud, pretentious, and with food of only average quality. We moved from SF a year ago, and have been very pleasantly surprised by the restaurant scene in Bend. There are at least ten places in town I will go to again before returning to Marendas. I just don't understand the buzz about this place.
Bend Dining taken to the Next Level!! – I found Merenda has raised the bar for dining in Bend. It truly delivers on all accounts; food, service, ambience and an amazing wine list. Long gone are the days of just opening any old restaurant in Bend. With the energy of the space, I recommend sitting upstairs if possible. The upstairs has carpet, lower ceilings and a semi-private room making a fairly quite dining experience considering the amazing energy of the downstairs dining room. A wonderful addition to Bend.
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