Introducing Le Mélange, Syracuse’s New Spot for ‘Dining with a Vibe’
August 16, 2022
If you’ve been searching for a new restaurant to check out in downtown Syracuse with a great atmosphere and incredible food, you’re in luck. Le Mélange checks all the boxes. A creative and innovative menu with dishes that are truly on a higher level. Inspired cocktails using unusual techniques to bring out the best flavors. Beautiful design that blends urban vibes with cozy character. Jamming music. And the best part? It’s woman-owned.
Rebecca Ewald and her business partner, Lindsay, have curated this beautiful new venue in Syracuse. It will easily become one of the new “it” spots to grab drinks during happy hour. The restaurant is currently open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights for dinner and cocktails and Sunday for brunch.
Le Mélange is located in Armory Square, in the heart of downtown Syracuse. The new restaurant and event venue has taken over the space formerly owned by The Stoop Kitchen. It won’t be long before Le Mélange joins the ranks of the best dinner and drinks spot in Syracuse. With neighbors like Kitty Hoynes and Pastabilities, they are in great company.
Using her years of realty experience and keen eye for design, Becca completely revamped the entire space. The long, narrow restaurant feels much larger than it is with its light and airy style. And every design choice feels completely intentional, with a goal to be innovative and urban yet cozy.
At the front of Le Mélange you’ll find the cocktail bar. A variety of tables line the right side of the space, the eclectic yet high-end selection adding to the overall atmosphere. On the left you’ll find the open kitchen, and a long concrete bar where you can watch the chefs work their magic. At the back is a lounge area with comfy couches and pants to set the vibe. Lastly, there is a postage stamp patio out the back door, featuring extra seating and its own bar for private events.
One of the more unique aspects of Le Mélange is that there are TWO executive chefs – Ed Wroblewski and Tim Odom. Both chefs have experience from other popular Syracuse restaurants, but together they truly complement each other.
Ed, who is also Rebecca’s brother, was classically trained and is a protein specialist. He knows how to slow cook meats with the best of them, and his sauces are on point.
On the other hand, Tim specializes in more modern cooking techniques and plant-based dishes. His training includes both the Culinary Institute of America and Escoffier.
Having two executive chefs was a last-minute decision for the restaurant, but one they quickly found they needed. Together the two chefs blend their styles and specialties to curate a truly unique and delicious menu. They take dishes to the next level with their expertise.
Le Mélange Menu Highlights
A quick glance at Le Mélange’s menu confirms that the chefs are stepping up Syracuse’s food scene. While the menu isn’t very large, it’s packed with flavor and unexpected dishes. Both the dishes and the descriptions are all very intentionally created. Local farms and markets provide the ingredients. This place was made for foodies.
The appetizers immediately make a great impression. First on the list is a warm burrata and polenta tart. I’m sold. It continues with a whipped feta baguette board, Spanish octopus, and little neck clams. But the best appetizer? The fried artichoke blossoms. Eaten leaf by leaf until you get to the heart of the artichoke, it’s the most fun, yet fanciest, experience I’ve ever had eating artichokes. Drizzled with lemon juice and grated parmesan, it’s pure perfection.
As for dinner options? They are equally as impressive. A mixture of flavorful salads, pastas, and entrees create a menu that will make anyone happy. I had to choose the pasta with zucchini, which has quickly become one of my favorite dishes. It’s also famously loved by Stanley Tucci, and was featured in his most recent TV show. Needless to say, it was phenomenal.
For dessert, I had the only option currently available: a caramelized butter cake topped with fresh strawberries. It’s like strawberry shortcake and crème brulée got together and had the most perfectly delicious dessert baby.
It’s not surprise that the brunch menu on Sundays is just as amazing. Featuring an upscale twist on all your brunch favorites, it’s a Sunday must. And when you go, get the banana foster French toast. Trust me, it’s perfection. Perfectly cooked French toast topped with a caramelly banana topping and pecans that are soft to bite into.
And yes, there are bottomless mimosas. Not only that, but each week there are specialty mimosas as well (note that the specials are not bottomless).
Le Mélange Cocktails
Speaking of mimosas, the cocktails at Le Mélange are some of the most unique cocktails in Syracuse. You’ll find Stephanie behind the bar working her magic, crafting cocktails with the most creative and innovative techniques. Becca puts it best, “Stephanie is a true mixologist. She views the bar as a laboratory.”
So when you order a cocktail at the bar, expect a unique experience. Smoked herbs, dried fruit, liquor washes, dry ice, and so much more go into these drinks. The salty air margarita is served in a metal container with dry ice to make it look like it’s smoking. Topped with a salt foam and a fresh lime, it’s one of the beset margaritas I’ve had in ages. And don’t get me started on the smoky pineapple mojito that was on special last week. It combined all of my favorites in one drink and it was truly incredible.
Then there are the French Press cocktails – the Presse En Violette was another rock star. Stephanie has a series of drinks that are made inside of a French Press and designed to be shareable. Served on a slate board with two glasses, you pour your own cocktails. If you order the Presse En Changeant, you can watch it change color as it enters the glass!
I can’t wait to see what drinks she concocts next. Happy Hour is Friday from 5-7pm.
The Future of Le Mélange
The team also has big plans for the future. As a beautifully curated event space, it’s perfect for your upcoming gatherings. Plus, they want to change up the menus – both food and drink – for various holidays and occasions. Think Tim Burton décor and themed cocktails for Halloween. Upside-down Christmas trees hanging from the ceiling in December.
In addition to being available for private events, Becca has plans for public events at the restaurant. Imagine private cooking classes, networking happy hours, and curated multiple-course dinners.