Happy Belated Valentine’s Day, everyone. For the past few years we’ve been staying home to make Lobster or Crab Legs, but this year we decided to go out. We chose the French restaurant, Meritage, in downtown St. Paul. We’ve been there before and I loved it, so we thought we’d try it again. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite as amazing as last time. (I know you’ll be disapointed, but I did not take photos. I thought I’d have a meal without the flash and distraction of the camera.)
And that’s a bummer, because, like on Iron Chef, there would have been more points for plating than for taste. But I don’t want to sound harsh. The food was good, even above average, but overall it was all a little disappointing, especially the service. Anyway, we chose the tasting menu, so I’ll walk you through the courses.
First, a tease, Husband had the Oyster-Bloody-Mary Shooter and I had a taste of the Lobster Bisque. Both were pretty good. The first of the five courses was a crab, grapefruit and avocado salad. I thought this was the best course of the night, Husband thought there was too much Avocado. I loved that it was fresh and light and reminded me that Spring will one day come. The second course was a Scallop dish, and they chef was kind enough to substitute Cod because of my past history with Scallops. It was served with braised celery and a blood orange sauce and marcona almonds. It could have used more sauce, quite a bit more, but it was perfectly prepared.
The next course, a beef dish, was also beautifully plated and quite delicious. It included short ribs, a New York Strip, Pomme Dauphine, Carrots and Foie Gras sauce. Again, the dish needed more sauce, the short ribs were good, not great, but the New York Strip was tender and full of flavor and should have been twice the size.
All of the dishes to this point were really good, maybe just a little bland, but overall I was quite happy. And then we were forgotten. Next up was the cheese plate and while we munched on the chunks of cheese and two raspberries thrown together on the plates, we waited for Husbands accompanying wine to show up. It never did. Until we were done and our plates were cleared. At this point we’d already been there for two hours and I was fading fast. She brought us his wine and we requested our fifth and final course so we could get moving. The last course was a Marquise au Chocolate, which was a light slice of Chocolate Mouse, served with strawberries, pistachios and gold leaf. It was nice, not too dense, not too sweet, but again missed the kick that we were looking for.
Overall the food was good and beautiful. The service was slow and unpredictable. But the company was what mattered and I couldn’t have had more fun. Happy V-day, Babe!