Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Can Meritage's New Chef Help Pick Up Its Strangely Lonely Outdoor Dining?

Despite boasting a good location and above-average outdoor seating (not to mention the potential for spillover diners from the always crowded Pub & Kitchen across the street), the outdoor seating at Meritage is not usually as full as you might expect it to be.

This is especially evident when perched across the street amidst the bustle of Pub & Kitchen's outdoor tables, which are pretty much consistently full from 5-10 pm everyday.

From there, by comparison, the outdoor seating at Meritage always seems extremely lonely.

Which is probably a missed opportunity.

We're hoping that new chef Anne Coll can generate a little more demand for Meritage and its outdoor seating — and help make the corner of 20th and Lombard a truly vibrant, two-trick pony.

The minor renovation plans to open the windows definitely sounds like it will help.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the renovation planned for later this summer?

A. Well, we’ll be closed for two weeks in August to expand the bar — now it’s only 10 seats — repaint, open up the windows, install butcher block tables, and just generally make it a more friendly, less fine dining place.
Appear to be emulating positive aspects (longer bar, open windows) of Pub & Kitchen — smart.

That question is from an interview the new chef just did with Philly Mag, in which she also gives a sneak preview of Meritage's new menu.

We like where this is headed.

Related:
Exclusive: Anne Coll on Her New Gig at Meritage (Plus the New Menu!) [ Restaurant Club - Philly Mag ]
Meritage Philadelphia - New Menu [ Official Site ]

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