The next course was an Eggplant Parmesan. It took sliced eggplant rolled with more Parmigiano Reggiano and Parsley, baked and covered in a fresh and housemade tomato basil sauce. I am generally not a fan of eggplant. I find it slimy and pretty unappetizing but this was something else. Admittedly, it wasn't exceptionally pretty and because I was eating a multi-course meal, the individual serving size was smaller than it normally would have been, but I definitely would have enjoyed a full size portion of this.
The next course was the soup. Personally, I would have served the soup before the eggplant but I suppose that since it is early in the progression it does make sense. The soup was a Passatelli. It is essentially an Italian Chicken Noodle Soup. The broth was chicken (obviously), but the noodles were unlike anything that I have ever had. They were made with eggs, Parmiagiano Reggiano, and bread crumbs. They were really good and while they held together fine, they were also very cheesy. It was kind of like soaking a grilled cheese sandwich in the soup that you would normally eat it with. I normally find chicken noodle soup pretty boring but I did make sure I finished this.
Finally we got to the meat of the meal, if you will excuse the pun. I was served Handmade Tagliatelle with a Bolognese Meat Ragout. The tagliatelle was uneven as one might expect from handmade pasta and it was cooked perfectly, having the right amount of toothsomeness. Of course it was covered in Parmigiano Reggiano. I have nothing to say about this other than that this too was very good.
The next course was another pasta course and it was much better than I would have expected. It was Tortelloni al Burro e Salvia. I like tortelloni but this dish was so simple that I wasn't expecting much. Like everything else, this pasta was housemade and stuffed with Ricotta di Pecora and tossed with fresh sage and butter. It was buttery, creamy, cheesy, and roll-my-eyes-back good.
Finally, we came to dessert and it was something else. It was an Angel Food cake soaked in Rum and Grenadine, filled with Pastry Cream, and Dark Chocolate Mousse, and drizzled with Dark Chocolate Sauce. It was served with a sliced strawberry and a biscotti. The cake was sweet and very moist and a very good finish to a very good dinner.
The food at Merlo on Maple is very good with everything being housemade and the space is classic and very nice. The music was nice when I could hear it and the wait staff was very friendly. The only negative that I have to say about my dinner was that the pacing was a little slow. While I did enjoy my dinner and would return, if the pacing was a little faster, it would have been much more enjoyable.