Like all college students, I eat my fair share of sandwiches, instant noodles, expensive salads, and pizza. For the price and convenience, there aren’t really that many other options. When I feel like treating myself, though, I head downtown to Center City. This time, a friend and I decided to have a girl’s night out at Meritage, one of the most highly rated and most talked about restaurants in Rittenhouse Square. Meritage is billed as a restaurant that “blends French techniques with Asian flavor profiles.”
Right as we entered Meritage, we knew we were in for a treat. The restaurant was gorgeous, with candles and classy decorations everywhere. It was pretty dark, perfect for a first date with that special someone. The waitstaff was friendly and efficient, and never once did we feel out of place, even though the other diners were primarily older, more affluent looking folk. It definitely wasn’t the type of place where you could Instagram your food without getting strange looks, though.
We decided to order one starter and two main dishes to share. To start, we had the scallops. They were juicy and perfectly cooked, and I haven’t stopped thinking about them since. They were definitely one of my favorite appetizers of all time. For our entrees, we ordered the Roasted Amish Chicken and the Korean Fried Chicken special. I know, two chicken dishes (so boring!) but both were so highly recommended that we couldn’t decide between the two. For the record, they were so different that it was totally the right move.
The Roasted Amish Chicken – no idea what the word Amish is there for – was delicious. It was super moist and juicy, and perfectly cooked (and normally I hate chicken because it gets so dry). This chicken also came with the best sides: roasted cauliflower and local mushrooms. So good. The Korean Fried Chicken, a weekend special, was also quite tasty, though not as nearly as good as the Roasted Amish Chicken. This chicken was thickly breaded and had some sort of sweet and salty sauce under the skin, and came with some deliciously vinegar-y cole slaw and a piece of fried polenta. The poMelenta was rather bland, but it actually contrasted pretty well with the chicken.
By the end of the meal, we were way too full for dessert, even though the menu looked amazing. Overall, I think Meritage was a great investment meal. Everything, from the ambiance, to the yummy free bread they served at the beginning, to the main entrees, was perfectly presented and tasted great, too. Next time you’re in Rittenhouse Square, be sure to stop by this cute little restaurant on 20th Street (with someone else paying, of course).
Hours of operation: 5pm to 10pm (Tuesday through Thursday), 5pm to 11pm (Friday and Saturday)