A review of The Meeting House in Rochester

Pro tip: Save room for dessert


The Meeting House is a cute, trendy bistro of sorts located in downtown Rochester. The beautiful sparkling lights paired with the smartly dressed waitstaff made me wonder if I was not supposed to be dressed in leggings and a hoodie I found at the bottom of my wardrobe, but nice pants and a blouse. Thankfully, the staff could care less.

The staff was incredibly friendly and accommodating since both me and my family are first timers. So my mom, a natural ‘yelper’, tried almost everything that was recommended via Yelp or waitstaff. We had the tempura cauliflower, steamed dumplings, deviled eggs, smoked salmon cakes, spinach ricotta gnocchi, house smoked ribs, the homemade ice cream and last but not least, the peanut butter cookie skillet.

I am going to warn ahead of time that this place is a bit pricier. That being said, it was worth every penny. I am a vegetarian but have only been one since this past August, so I do in fact know what meat tastes like and if it is good or not. The Meeting House blew my expectations out of the water. I got the feeling it was going to be a stuffy, mediocre, hipster bistro with little skill and overpriced entrees. I was dead wrong.

First up: the appetizers. First of all, kudos to anyone who can create a vegetarian appetizer that actually contains flavor and the correct texture. It was a tad spicy but the asian flavor was there and it was definitely a great way to get me to eat my vegetables. The tempura sauce was thai chili honey glaze that included pineapple and cashews.

Next, I ordered the steamed dumplings. This appetizer comes with about three to four dumplings which contain caramelized onion, gruyere and consomme. The dumplings were alright, but not fabulous. The dumpling itself, at least to me, was not stuffed enough as I could barely taste the gruyere. I’m not sure if I would personally order it again.

My parents ordered the deviled eggs, which I don’t have much to say about because I could not eat them because of the roasted tomato and bacon jam and because I straight-up hate deviled eggs. However, my parents would tell you that they were very good. My dad ordered the smoked salmon cakes with remoulade, housemade bread and butter pickle. Obviously I did not eat them, but they were GORGEOUS.

Next up, the entrees. As stated before, the waitstaff was sweet and impeccable. My order was originally the side for the rabbit bolognese but the chef was willing to make it a whole entree for me. I ordered the spinach ricotta gnocchi which was amazing and even my extremely carnivorous dad fell in love with it and told our waitress it needs to become a main entree. It was delicately topped off with shredded parmesan. It is particularly heavy, and I did not finish it after eating my appetizers, but it was fabulous, and I would definitely order again.

My parents split the house-smoked ribs with mac and cheese that came in its own personal skillet. The mac and cheese was pretty good and my dad was completely over the moon for the ribs.The plate display of each menu item was on point. I was originally worried it was to mislead you from mediocre taste, but the display was impeccable just like nearly all of the food.

We finally got to dessert. I recommend you save room  for dessert AT ALL COSTS. They make their own ice cream and serve them in cute mason jar cups. We enjoyed raspberry chocolate, sugar cookie and oatmeal cookie and it is so much better than tubs of ice cream. Next is the peanut butter cookie skillet. It was covered in their homemade vanilla ice cream and chocolate drizzle. It was the perfect combination of crispy outside and soft, warm, gooey outside. I usually am a bit picky with my skillet cookies and peanut butter cookies but I was genuinely impressed. Chili’s, step aside and make way for The Meeting House cookie skillet. As an FYI, the desserts rotate daily so it may be different ice cream choices or different cookie choices as they make everything from scratch.

Everything considered, The Meeting House is pricier, but if you want a good Friday or Saturday date night, I highly recommend it.

Rating: 5/5

Price: $$