Last night I had one of the best dining experiences I've ever had. Good food at a restaurant is important, of course, but of as much importance is the ambiance and the service. Meritage didin't disappoint in any of those areas. Meritage used to be the Gas Light Cafe which was nice. But, the new owners have kicked it up a notch. Meritage is a converted house in historic Glendale. The decor is contemporary but cozy. There was a guitar player performing in the bar area where we had a short wait while waiting for a booth. The dining room is small but doesn't feel overly crowded and isn't noisy.
My wife and I were celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary and wanted to splurge a little. We started with the scallops which were prepared to perfection. I don't know why so many people have trouble sautéing scallops which should be quite easy. But, they are often overcooked or don't have enough color on them. Ours were prepared to perfection, not overly done, and with a wonderful chili sauce. The general manager recommended an excellent bottle of wine that I was not familiar with and we loved it.
My wife had the wedge salad and I had the Caesar salad. The wedge salad was great, if you're a fan of bleu cheese (which we both are). It was loaded with bleu cheese dressing with crumbles of bleu cheese a bit of a balsamic vinegar reduction. I'm a traditionalist when it comes to Caesar salad. I did notice the menu said it came with bacon. But, I skipped over the fact it came with red onions, too. In my opinion, it wasn't really a Caesar salad. But, it was good.
For the main course, my wife had a fish we can't recall the name of. It was from South America and was really good. It was most similar to grouper. I had been to Merigae for lunch once and had a fish sandwich, I do recall that fish. It was golden tile and it was the best fish sandwich I've ever had. So, if you go to Meritage and you like fish, try the fish of the day even if you don't recognize the name of the fish. My wife's fish was pan fried and served over a bed of rice with asparagus. I had the prime rib which was done to perfection. That came with a loaded baked potato.
For dessert, we were both stuffed. But, we had to try to the creme brûlée. Frankly, I'm not a huge fan of creme brûlée except for the caramelized sugar on top. When it came we both sighed because the portion was huge. But, we ate the whole thing. I think it was the best creme brûlée I've had anywhere.
The service was excellent. I like the little things like they kept our water glasses full and our server, instead of telling us to keep our forks between each course, brought out new silverware for every course. The prices are reasonable for such good food and a wonderful atmosphere.