Tucked away on 10th Ave between 15th + 16th Street is Mel’s — the newest wood-fired pizza restaurant in a new food complex in Chelsea. The large disco-ball-esque oven — coupled with warm tones + minimal decor makes Mel’s the perfect combination of refined yet casual Italian cuisine. Every dish is cooked with wood in the large wood-fired oven which is the focal point of the space. Chef Melissa J. Rodriguez and her partners are bringing not one, but three, new restaurants to the former Del Posto’s space and I can’t wait to taste test the each as they open in the coming months.
Mel’s ingredient-focused menu has all of the best Italian cuisine has to offer. From aperitif-laced cocktails to appetizers topped with the freshest herb salads — it is the perfect balance of an homage to Italian cuisine with a playful twist. Each menu item, from the appetizers to the large format entrees are meant for sharing. That is absolutely my favorite way to eat so you can’t go wrong.
WHAT WE ATE
We started with the charred shrimp appetizer. Offering an incredible flavor profile including just the right amount of garlic, fresh herbs, and citrus. The perfect starter before eating our hearts out on our pizza course.
I recommend going with a group larger than two. Solely for the reason of being able to order + taste even more of the menu. We decided on the Basil + Pesto pie topped with ricotta + lemon preserve along with the Sopprassata Piccante pie. Personally, I preferred the Piccante pie. But what stood out to me about Mel’s was that they offer sauces meant for dipping ((or dousing)) your pizza into. The sauces served are:: Salsa verda • Spicy bomba • Pomodoro • Pesto • Parmigiano fonduta • The oil.
We went for the Spicy bomba which wasn’t as hot as I anticipated but the chilies were so flavorful that I was dousing each slice. I do wish we tasted some of their other sauces. Just means I’ll have to make my way back to taste each.
Mel’s is the elevated pizzeria that NYC needed. It is the perfect spot for a casual bite + perfectly crafted cocktail. The third course was possibly my favorite ((always is..)). Dessert at Mel’s is unlike anywhere else. Their gelato sundaes are to-die-for. And just like the perfectly balanced atmosphere — they are inventive, but not over the top. We shared the Tricolore Stratcciatella. And while I want to try each and every one of the sundaes… Italian tricolore cookies have a special place in my heart. As in, I can eat a pound of them by myself.
Mel’s is worth the hype.
&& I have my ((very new)) friend Nicole to thank for the reservation she landed and invited me to. We ‘met’ on TikTok the week before after the algorithm served me this Tok of hers :: watch here.
We will be trying a bunch of new restaurants together and running around the city — so if you wan’t to join us, DM either of us on IG!
Mel’s :: 85 10th Avenue (16th Street), 212-970-2202, mels-nyc.com.
@nicoashleyyy I love meeting new friends !!! #nyclife #nycfriends #nycgirlies ♬ original sound – sped up songs ❤️🩹