Tony Bassano is the new general manager at the lovely Eddie Merlot’s restaurant in Montgomery, Ohio, the only Cincinnati location. I had an opportunity to sit down and chat with Tony about this esteemed position. Though, it was challenging to have a conversation without several interruptions because Tony is gregarious and well-loved by his staff and patrons.
“I am happy to be home,” stated Tony. “I grew up on the east side of Cincinnati and went to school here, so I know many of the people who frequent Eddie Merlot’s and that has helped us build the business. It is a nice mix of friends and family and new relationships. For me, this is home away from home.”
Some things have changed at Eddie Merlot’s, but the menu is better than ever. There is an incredible new lounge menu. Monday through Friday there are some great discounts on all lounge menu food. The listings include “Half Price Monday,” “Tito’s Tuesday,” “Wine Down Wednesday,” “Bourbon Trail Thursday” and “Martini Friday.” It is a fun environment. You can walk through any night of the week and it is lively and everyone is enjoying the food and camaraderie. There is great energy and a light-hearted ambience. “We want people to feel this is their neighborhood place.”
“We have also introduced something called The Platinum Club. This is a rewards program which accumulates points for every dollar spent on food,” says Tony. “These points provide special membership benefits, offers, and merchandise. There are significant birthday and anniversary bonuses as well.”
Traditional steak houses are transitioning. You can stop in the lounge and have a reasonably-priced dinner – a great burger and a glass of wine before getting out the door and on with your evening plans. You don’t have to kill the bank.
Of course there are plenty of reasons to enjoy the main dining area and a big part of Eddie Merlot’s is private dining. There are three private rooms that can accommodate anywhere from 10-300 peo-ple. All of the dining rooms have windows, which is a nice added aesthetic. Eddie Merlot’s is still the go-to option for special occasions, memorable events and holiday parties. They have simply added more value components to the menu, without changing the quality of the product.
Eddie Merlot’s has 13 restaurants nationwide. Several locations have been updated with new chairs and carpet, lighting and fresh artwork. “We are looking to open two more in 2019, possibly an east coast location as well as maybe something in North Carolina or South Carolina,” Tony added.
“We also have a new chef, Chris Coorts. She was previously a sous chef at our Louisville location and started as a line cook. She is our first female executive chef. We are very proud of that.”
There is everything to love about Eddie Merlot’s. Along with complimentary parking, exceptional dining, a fun new lounge menu and impeccable ambience, one of the resounding comments you will hear is “It’s great to see Tony back.”
Everybody knows his name.
Eddie Merlot’s is located at 10808 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45242.
For more information, call 513.489.1212 or visit www.eddiemerlots.com/locations/Cincinnati