I don't know what's been going on, but even the little bit of drinking I do the last few times makes me feel miserable the next day. One wimpy martini and one glass of wine left me with a headache all nite (still have it) and wanting to throw up this morning which thankfully didn't happen. What's gone wrong? In any case, I think I can now appreciate the food we had at Meritage last nite. Started with a drink at the Intrigue bar downstairs, they had entertainment outside and it was kind of jumping if you're in a more casual, brightly lit mood.
Upstairs at Meritage was very pretty, all the good tables overlooking the harbor were taken so we just sat at the bar (didn't make reservations). The bar is a good choice cuz they've got big baskets of homemade chips made from 7 different kinds of vegetables he said, with a couple spicy ones in there. They were delicious and addictive. Finally ordered real food, three small plates (price has gone up, $15 for small plates, $30 for large). That was enough with the chips and nice breads (brown bread, one with seeds and a good roll). The scallops were amazing, 3 large and very sweet ones served in a nice light cream sauce with maybe a little crunchy slaw type stuff and earthy mushrooms. Pan fried soft shell crabs were very good too, nice coating but the scallops had them beat. We got those first then ordered the filet which came with potatos and another creamy sauce which turned out to be the creamy garlic, but I didn't picture it poured over the meat the way it was written on the menu. The meat was tender and perfect. I had a glass of the Meritage Cosentino ($9, very few under $10) which my brother switched to cuz he really enjoyed it after whatever white he started with, can't remember what red he chose. The desserts weren't described well at all ($11), you really needed a waiter to walk you thru cuz they sound very boring on paper. They all were made up of three components, we just went with chocolate which had a mousse in chocolate candy coating, an espresso flavored something and white chocolate ice cream.
The people working there were really nice, from the two bartenders to the waiters and wine guy who had to come up to the bar all the time to pick up things. Cool lighting in the place, kind of modern looking but sitting at the bar, we maybe didn't get a real feel for it. We decided it was a bit overpriced cuz you can't even get soup or salad for less than $15. I wonder if anyone gets the large plates there. They *did* have free valet parking if you ate there which is quite a deal these days so maybe it all evened out. Definitely a pleasant meal.
Also returned to Carlo's in Allston for the first time in about 5 years. Got there at 7:00 right before it filled up. Split a decent caesar salad, my friend had eggplant parm. and I got lobster ravioli w/ salmon and peas. Eggplant parm. had a lighter breading than usual. I'm not a big peas fan and they seemed a little hard so I put them to the side after a while. I would have preferred just the lobster ravioli which I haven't had in ages but that was as close as I could get so I mostly ate salmon and salad and brought the leftover very yummy ravioli home. Had brisk, fairly friendly service, very loud and crowded but you go for the food which came to about $33 pre tax and tip.