If you were ever told as a child to “not play with your food”, you’ll find yourself extremely grateful that Meridian’s Chef/Owner, Mark Grohman, bucked the system and does just that every day and with exquisite results. Opened in 2007 in downtown Winston-Salem, Grohman realized his dream of having his own restaurant where he could create North Mediterranean inspired dishes in an elegantly relaxed environment. Guests come to Meridian Restaurant for date nights, special occasions, business dinners, and just to break bread with friends and get away from everything.
It was while he was in school studying aviation that Mark began working as a self-taught chef. As he moved through the kitchens of some of the best restaurants in Virginia, he realized his passion for working with food and creating unique dishes was the career he wanted to live and began working toward his ultimate goal of owning and running a restaurant. Mark is committed to sustainability and everything that comes out of Meridian’s kitchen is made entirely from scratch. From hand-rolled pasta to artisan breads, sauces, mozzarella, and even the sausages are house-made – if it didn’t come from Meridian’s staff hands then it probably came from the ground of a local farmer.
Mark and his team regularly order from local farms such as Shore Farms Organics for their fruits and vegetables. A recent trip netted corn, heirloom tomatoes, cantaloupe, potatoes, and fresh herbs which were then transformed into culinary magic. The majority of the proteins including grass-fed beef and the duck on the menu come from Joyce Farms. Working with local farmers ensures the quality of the product as well as keeping our local farms operating and, at the same time, helping keep food costs down since Meridian is able to buy in smaller quantities.
While the menu changes daily (and is posted on their site by 4:00 pm each day), after 13 years of running his restaurant, Mark has almost perfected knowing which dishes are the most popular with his guests and will frequently be on the menu’s offerings. Items such as NY Strip Steak Au Poivre, Seared Sea Scallop Risotto with baby spinach, and Fried Oysters with creamed spinach are three such items that rank as ‘most popular’.
Not to be outdone by the food, Meridian’s custom cocktails are unique and hand-crafted with the same care and attention given to the food. From a wide selection of custom martinis to creative and traditional cocktails, guests will find the perfect libation to pair with their meals. Meridian also has a vast selection of wines both by the glass and the bottle as well as a choice selection of beers many of which are either local or from breweries around the state.
In addition to their dine-in services, Meridian also offers catering and take-out. A trend that Mark has seen since reopening is that their Tapas menu has been in high demand. Whether that’s due to folk’s smaller appetites due to the extreme heat of our typical summers or just the ability to have a wider variety of food options is unknown but they’ve enjoyed the fact that particular menu has been so popular – the Ensaladas and Empanadas particularly so!
Like all restaurants in our state, Meridian was forced to close their doors on March 29th and they remained closed until May 29th after a thorough and deep cleaning to ensure the safety of their guests and the staff attending to them. Business has been touch and go since the reopening – a common theme playing out all over town. Interestingly, off nights like a Tuesday can be busier than the usual nights like Fridays and Saturdays. Perhaps guests think that mid-week will have fewer other diners than the weekend – one thing that’s become clear in the past few months is to expect the unexpected! Mark and his staff are excited to see familiar faces back in the restaurant as well as to make new friends as people slowly begin to dine out again!
411 S Marshall S, Winston-Salem, NC
Tue – Sun: 4:30pm – 10pm
By Kristen Margo Daukas