This is some serious subtlety. Eric Greenspan, the former Patina/Foundry on Melrose chef who of late has been operating up at The Roof on Wilshire and from his namesake Greenspan's Grilled Cheese, decided to open up a brand new restaurant last night, and he didn't tell a soul beforehand.
The new venture is called Maré, and lives up to its name with a wide array of coastal European dishes like whole branzino, mussels, and clams. It's a smart fit for the breezy back patio from the former Foundry on Melrose days, and comes with lots of leafiness and some flickering candlelight spread throughout.
For a long time now, that back space has sat dormant as the Foundry went down for a remodel and never came back up. The front bar area has since turned into Melrose Umbrella Company, serving top-notch cocktails to locals and late night Melrose walkers, while next door Greenspan's Grilled Cheese has been up and running for more than a year.
Greenspan himself has always had plans to do a more fine dining experience in the back with the unused patio space, and Maré seems close to achieving that dream, though with a much more understated feel. There's nothing more than a small square sign next to the Melrose Umbrella Company awning that would indicate there's even anything else on site. And to get to the restaurant, you need to actually enter through the back of Greenspan's Grilled Cheese.
In all, Maré's surprise opening is a sneakily subtle move for Greenspan and his partners Jim Hustead (Saint Martha) and James Moon (Stone Oven). After all, the TV chef personality isn't exactly known for keeping things quiet; this is a man with a laugh like an outboard motor. The restaurant is absolutely still in very soft open mode, so they'll be finalizing menu details and design elements in the coming days and weeks, with new details to come. But for now, they're taking some walk-in diners every night beginning at 5 p.m. during the week, and 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
7465 Melrose Ave.