There’s a dreamy new dining destination in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood — and if you’re familiar with the area, you’ll probably recognize the building. Meliora opened at the end of June, and it’s already a big hit.
Once upon a time, Canterbury Ale House sat on a more mellow end of 15th Avenue, serving as a beloved local dive for those who chose to call the slightly quieter part of Capitol Hill home. While the Canterbury was a cherished space for decades, no one could argue that it needed a bit of a revitalization. The Meliora team chose to convert it into something beautiful while still paying homage to its past. The results are mesmerizing.
The 5,000-sq.-ft. space in Seattle features a main dining area with original wood paneling from a local barn, chandeliers and plants that add tranquility, and the original stained glass from the Canterbury. Also saved was the iconic Canterbury Knight, which greets guests at the door. A separate corner lounge (called the Canterbury Room, of course) seats 15 and offers cocktails and cozy corners for quiet conversation.
Meliora is a sibling restaurant to Rasai, the progressive Indian eatery that opened in Fremont in 2021. The Singh restaurant family clearly values ambiance at both locations — but the food itself is reason enough to go.
Meliora’s menu is driven by mostly locally and sustainably sourced ingredients. Guests can enjoy a Northwest-inspired bounty, with highlights like fresh oysters, burrata, pan-seared halibut, a foraged mushroom risotto, and a tasty gem hen entree. The short rib tagliatelle is becoming a fast favorite, offering just the right amount of spice.
If you imbibe, treat yourself to a glass of wine or a cocktail. Along with serving the most unique Midori Sour and Corpse Reviver you’ll ever have, the beer and wine selection is full of locally recognized options. The menu also features plenty of delicious mocktails and zero-proof drinks, including a tempting array of teas and French Press coffee. Dessert is not an easy choice here, but it’s the most fun debate you’ll have all evening. You really can’t go wrong with the signature warm toffee pudding, which is topped with caramel and vanilla ice cream.
It isn’t easy to make a space feel modern and medieval at the same time, but Meliora has managed to make it seem effortless. While there is no shortage of dining options on Capitol Hill, this place truly has what it takes to stand out in a crowd. Even the most loyal Canterbury patron can admit that this new space is stylish and inviting. And at a time where this neighborhood especially is seeing a lot of change, it’s touching that this team decided to hold on to elements of its past.
Meliora is open daily from 3 to 11 p.m., with a weekday happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. For more information on Meliora, visit www.melioraseattle.com.
534 15th Ave. E.
Seattle, WA 98112