There are great restaurant people and there are great people. The owners/chef of Meritage, the Kleins are both. After a total bonehead maneuver by one of their new servers, Desta Klein took over to address the issue, and Russell Klein also took a personal interest in the events. In the end, the entire situation can be described as snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. And Jfood is glad he stayed to enjoy a perfectly delightful evening of great food.
The space that Meritage occupies is very pretty, filled with wood and reminiscent of bistros Jfood has visited in Paris. Jfood ordered mosaic of duck confit with celery root, pickled apples, and cider-vanilla reduction for an appetizer and stuffed saddle of rabbit with a medley of summer vegetables and tarragon-riesling sauce for an entrée.
The duck was delivered and it was the size of the palm of your hand, about ¾” think and crispy on one side. The mosaic relates to its construction of smaller pieces to form the “filet” of duck. It was seasoned generously with salt and overlayed a pool of the vanilla reduction. Diced apples finished the plate (BTW – it originally comes with a small amount of frisee but be aware that there are walnuts in the frisee that are not mentioned on the menu). The duck was beautifully prepared, still moist, and succulent and the tartness of the apples combined with the sweet, vanilla-y sauce created great pleasures in this dish. Jfood would rate this dish a 9.
The saddle of rabbit arrived. It was nicely crisped on the outside with a delicate stuffing laid atop purple cauliflower, baby carrots, baby brussel sprouts and hericot vert. As great as the rabbit tasted, the hit of the dish were the sweetest carrots Jfood has ever tasted. Likewise the baby brussel sprouts were fantastic. The rabbit was beautifully prepared, delicate in flavor, still moist as possible and lightly seasoned so as not to overpower the meat. Jfood also gives this dish a 9.
So the drive from Edina to St. Paul was well worth it. And Jfood will definitely add Meritage to the power rotation. And thank you to the Kleins for there total professionalism and caring attentiveness.
And thank you to the MSP Hounds for this great recommendation.