The Mel behind the newly opened Mel’s in Chelsea is Melissa J. Rodriguez. The space the restaurant inhabits is formerly home to Del Posto. It is familiar to Rodriguez, who served as executive chef there and bought it from the Bastianich family last April.
As to the food Mel’s is featuring, a mainstay is wood-fired pizza. The menu offers seven flavor combinations including a margherita; a guanciale with tomato, pecorino, peperoncino, and shallot; and a frutti di mare with octopus, squid, and shrimp. In what is rapidly becoming a trend in high end New York pizza restaurants, the pizza oven will also be used to grill strip steak, whole fish, and more.
Mel’s 85 10th Avenue (bet 15th and 16th Sts.), New York, 212-970-2202