Turning to Merchant Street in Tremont

Jeannene and I are always looking for a good restaurant that’s open on Sundays in the never-ending quest to fend off the Sunday blahs.

For all you retirees out there, that’s the feeling you get when you realize the weekend is over and you start thinking about all the problems at work you pushed off until Monday.

And we think we found such a restaurant – Merchant Street, 2399 W. 11th St. in Tremont.

The long, kind of narrow space looks onto Lincoln Park, so on a quiet lazy evening there is a nice chill vibe among the dark woodwork.

The Chambord Margarita was the cocktail special on a recent Sunday night at The Merchant Street restaurant in Tremont. (Jeannene Mathis-Bertosa)

We started with the drink special that night, the Chambord Margarita ($12) and as expected, everything tastes better with Chambord. The sweet liqueur balanced out the bitter tequila, leaving some lemon juice to tart things up. We normally try several cocktails at dinner (I really hope my sponsor’s not reading this) but this was so good we would end up just doubling up on the house special while trying to figure out how we can recreate it at home.

We then moved on to the goat cheese-stuffed dates appetizer ($10). They were some of the biggest dates we’ve ever had and were quite sweet but the overall dish remained on the savory side.

At Merchant Street in Tremont, crispy halibut is perched atop carrots and pita bread while below jasmine rice soaks up a savory curry broth. (Jeannene Mathis-Bertosa)

Then came the main courses. I went with the special – halibut with rice in a curry broth ($25). The fish had a nice crispy skin with a very moist, meaty inside but the star was the red curry broth that just blew up my taste buds and the rice soaked it up perfectly. The dish also came with pita slices (Double the carbs on a dish? yes please) and carrots that had some bite to them to counter the curry-soaked rice.

The best way to get your greens for the day? At Merchant Street in Tremont its as pasta with the salmon entree. (Jeannene Mathis-Bertosa)

But, as strong as that dish was, I was wishing I had more of Jeannene’s salmon ($22). The skin was even more crispy than my halibut and it came with this unctuous herb pasta (yes, it was a stunning color green) and some citrus slices and tomatoes to add some acid to the heavy dish.

John Bertosa is likely out and about sampling the Northeast Ohio dining scene.

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