Meritage Closing After Nine Years

meritage-400Meritage is closing after nine years at 20th and Lombard. Owners Michele DiPietro and Irene Landy are saying goodbye on Saturday, September 19th. The restaurant opened as a dark space with a strong focus on wine. In more recent years Meritage reinvented itself with a lighter room, butcher block tables and Asian-influenced food under chef Anne Coll.

In an email to customers, the owners reminisced about the good times and the bad, from weddings, late night dance parties, to Mummers, fires and wall collapses.

The closing note to Meritage customers »

Tis the Season for Tomato Dinners


It’s local tomato season | Shutterstock

Just about every restaurant worth its salt has is celebrating local tomatoes with at least an heirloom tomato salad nowadays. But a couple of restaurants are going to the next level by creating whole menus with the tomato as the centerpiece.

Meritage is offering a special tomato tasting menu from Friday, August 28th through Friday, September 4th. The four-course dinner includes lobster with tomato conserva to a tomato sorbet with lemon biscotti.

At Jamonera, the Midtown Village Spanish restaurant is celebrating Lo Tomatina, Spain’s huge tomato throwing festival. On Sunday, August 30th and Monday, August 31st, Jamonera is offering a 10 dish, tomato tapas dinner for $45 per person. The local tomato menu will feature everything from tomato gazpacho to tomato sofrito with chorizo.

Check out both menus »

Meritage Debuts New Happy Hour Menu

meritage-newMeritage (500 S 20th Street) hasn’t had the best of luck with chefs lately. After only three months on the job, chef Paul Gauthier recently left the restaurant due to what Meritage co-owner Michele DiPietro described to Eater as an “uninspired menu.”

Now, chef Steven Forte is in the kitchen and he’s creating something that everyone can agree with: a new happy hour menu.

Beginning today, Meritage will host happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. The specials include $6 red and white wine, $6 sangria and a $10 Corona bucket.

You can check out the full food menu below.

Read more »

Meritage Has (Another) New Chef

meritage-newSome of you have probably already heard that Meritage recently let go their chef, Paul Gauthier, after just three months on the job. Eater Philly had the early word on that one–including a rare bit of honesty from a restaurant owner when they quoted Meritage owner Michelle DiPietro as saying “Paul’s uninspired menu was not received well.”

But now, we’ve got news on Gauthier’s replacement. New chef Steven Forte, formerly of Farmers’ Cabinet (which we’ll try not to hold against him), is in the kitchen now and already making changes.

What kind of changes? Well, you can check out chef Forte’s new Meritage menu here and decide for yourself whether or not this one looks a bit more inspiring to you.

Meritage [Official]

Meritage Names New Chef, Rolls Out New Menu

meritage-beets-400Meritage at 20th and Lombard has named Paul Gauthier as its new executive chef. Gauthier, who is a Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management graduate of Scottsdale Culinary Institute replaces Anne Coll (who is going to be running the kitchen at Susanna Foo’s new Center City restaurant) who was the longtime Meritage chef and her successor, Adam Ratmoko.

In a adjective rich release, Meritage promises Gauthier will bring “seasonally inspired cuisine prepared with a modern French technique” to the restaurant.

The menu no longer has any hits of Asian influence but now offers standards like Beef Bourguignon, Bolognese and seared salmon.

Check out the full menu » 

Bells Ring for Will BYOB


Craig LaBan has been promoting and demoting restaurants almost weekly in his online chats and Thursday food columns. Today, the Inquirer critic sings the praise of Will BYOB. He promotes Chris Kearse’s BYOB to three bells, stating:

[E]very intricate touch amplified the central themes, rather than distracting. Foie gras mousse enriched a bar of rabbit rillettes accented by wine-poached figs. Citrus-caramelized Belgian endive and licorice called out Sichuan spice on the duck. An entire hen of the woods, meanwhile, was cooked to two striking textures – buttery-crisp across a pan-roasted face of flattened fronds scented with sumac and rose hips, lusciously fleshy and moist at its heart, beneath which a Madeira caramel and smoked ricotta smear amplified its earthy savor.

Read more »

Rittenhouse Row Debuts Four-Night Culinary Event

Rittenhouse Row Culinary logo2_BlackThe forces of Rittenhouse RowKevin Sbraga, and Danielle DelRe, of Starr Restaurants, have come together to create an event that will be one to remember. From August 4th to the 7th, the restaurants of Rittenhouse Row will prepare meals unlike the ones on the traditional menus and give you a dining experience that is one of a kind. As of right now, 18 members will participate in the Rittenhouse Row Culinary Collective, but the list is growing.

Read more »

Chef Anne Coll Out At Meritage

meritage-lobsterOkay, so first it was Rob Halpern bidding adieu to Marigold, and now we hear that after five years in the kitchen, chef Anne Coll is walking away from Meitage?

Man, it has just been a bad week for restaurant news.

Anyway, the crew over at Zagat broke the story a couple days ago (including the news that Coll is moving on to some totally hush-hush new project tht she can’t even talk about yet), and now it looks like Meritage is going to be re-opening tomorrow night for dinner with a newly re-modeled kitchen and sous chef Adam Ratmoko getting to wear the big hat as exec.

You can check out the full Zagat story below. But here’s hoping that, like celebrity deaths, bad chef news doesn’t come in threes…

Meritage In Rittenhouse Opening With New Chef [Zagat Philly]

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