Happy Mouth — September 2011

On Friday, September 23, a group of us met for the monthly Happy Mouth Supper Club outing. It was Wendy’s month to select, and she chose MERITAGE (which rhymes with “heritage”), a new restaurant that has opened in Glendale. It was a great selection, and we (Ted, Tracy, Carrie, Ron, Terry, Julie, Jay, Wendy, and me) very much enjoyed the food. They offer “classic food with a twist”, and have kept the menu small and reasonably simple, but flourishes appear here and there as the “twist”.

The classic Steamed Mussels in White Wine Sauce features a couple pieces of nice bread (however, the bread should be served alongside — rather than soaking in the wine sauce and getting soggy), and the Grilled Brie Sandwich is outstanding with it’s smear of balsamic reduction on the plate (if you happen to find the tomato soup on the menu, it is a natural pairing with this sandwich!). The Fried Eggplant and Zucchini is surprisingly light, and the roasted garlic aioli compliments the crisp, fresh vegetables nicely.

A previous visit, I tried the Bistro Steak Sandwich, which was cooked properly and tasted nice, but the large vein of sinew running through the steak made it chewy and slightly difficult to eat (this is to be expected with this particular cut of meat, but perhaps the kitchen could jaccard the steak before cooking). The fries were fresh, crispy, and very tasty — a treat.

We found their selection of wine to be very nice, but were surprised at the limited number of wines by the glass, especially considering the name of the place (meritage is a type of wine, “Bordeaux-style without actually being Bordeaux”). I hope in the future to see additional wines offered by the glass. However, we found pleasant choices by the glass.

We stayed for dessert and Wendy & I enjoyed a piece of their Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Nicely executed, with a thick layer of sweet frosting on top of dense carrot cake. The only thing missing, one of my dining companions noted, was the little frosting carrot decoration!

It was a good Happy Mouth, and we have high expectations for MERITAGE. Have you eaten there? Let us know what you thought of MERITAGE in the comments.

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