Finally hit Meritage for RW last night after missing it the last year or two and hearing you folks say it was a great experience (though that probably raised my expectations too high)-:
The bread basket was good with a warm potato roll, a warm slice of multigrain bread, and a dark nutty bread w/ blueberries.
For appetizers, we had the soft shell crab, which was fried in a cornmeal coating rather than the usual batter coating. It was served over some fresh tiny grape shaped tomatoes. It was good, but parts of it (the gills maybe?) were a bit chewy. We much prefer the "spider maki" at Osushi and Douzo technique of preparing soft shell crab.
For entrees, we had the tuna and filet mignon. The tuna was coriander coated w/ a drizzled balsamic sauce around it; it was an appetizer-sized entree IMHO, so I'm glad I didn't get it :-)
The filet mignon was about 4" round w/ a horseradish sauce (I've never been fond of putting a sauce on a good steak, but it worked well on this because filet mignon doesn't have that much taste); It also came w/ sliced carrots and broccoli for vegetables. The mashed potato tower was interesting...it was shaped into a cylinder before being cooked w/ a potato chip stuck into the top.
The desserts were the most creative and best presented. The citrus tasting one had a great orange creme brulee (sounds weird, but tastes good), a key lime creamsicle w/ a chocolate stick, and an orange chiffon cake w/ lots of orange flavoring. The chocolate tasting one was somewhat bland in comparison: what looked like a chocolate/chocolate reese's cup (shell was too hard), a chocolate/chocolate eclair (bland tasting), a white chocolate flavored slice of cake, and a 1" round scoop of mint tea flavored ice cream (not much mint tea taste).
We also got two amuse bouches: a warm tomato soup w/ parsley oil (great for dipping the bread in) before the appetizer, and a few cookies (snowball w/o the sugar, and raspberry thumbprint about 1/3 normal size) after the dessert.
Service was good, attentive and efficient, although they mixed up dishes to everyone in our party except one (the dessert guy said he was new). It wasn't very crowded when we left around 8pm; even at 7pm, it was maybe 80% full. We also had no problems adding 2 more to our party (the veal cheaks over risotto looked good as did the quail appetizer).
Views were great...we were seated in the middle of the room and still had window views of John Henry's (the guy who used to own the Red Sox) giant yacht. I thought the sunset would have been prettier, but it happened on the other side. The view is pretty at night w/ the ships coming and going.
All in all, a mostly good experience, but not inspiring :-P
My brother said the regular menu entree sizes were about the same, so I'm not sure dining there would be my bag of tea. I don't expect to be stuffed, but I would get annoyed if I ended up wondering where the entree was at the end of dinner...lucky I had a big lunch on Monday :-)
Sorry...you're right...I miswrote the ice cream on the chocolate plate. It was a green tea ice cream. I was still remembering the wonderful mint ice cream we had at Mamma Maria last week :-)
The veal cheeks and filet mignon were probably the most filling entrees with the veal cheeks probably a bit more filling because of the gouda cheese risotto and the somewhat fatty cheeks.
The fruits they used in the desserts (including the lime popsicle and the raspberry sauce w/ the chocolate plate) seemed unusually tart.
Our bread selection had the dark fruited bread as well, a slice of crusty bread covered in various seeds, and a really enjoyable crusty roll. We were presented with little tea cups of mushroom consomme with truffle oil. The quail and the crab appetizers were enjoyed by their respective diners. Gotta say though, the quail looked to be rather a tough dish to eat while trying to act like a civilized person. The wilted grape tomatoes and corn were yummy with the crispy crab. I was originally torn between the filet mignon and the veal cheeks - your review pushed me over. The dish was a single cheek resting against a hill of creamy risotto with some fried what-nots sprinkled on it (potato?). It had an interesting texture - reminscent of beef tendons in its chewiness, and seeming fattiness. Quite interesting. My favorite of the red fruit plate was the cherry ice cream tart. The chocolate plate we saw had green tea ice cream rather than the mint you were presented with. We all tasted and found the lime creamsicle much too limey. And the bill was accompanied by a tiny chocolate cream puff filled with a strawberry filling, and dry slices of almond biscotti. Maybe we're lighter eaters, but we were stuffed before we were done.
In terms of portions sizes, the regular menu is divided into several (perhaps 8) categories of food, according to what they would recommend be paired with different types of wine. For each dish, one can choose either a 'small' or a 'large' serving, which last time I was there were $16 and $32 respectively. I'm not sure whether or not the appetizer and entree portion sizes you received at restaurant week are the same as what they consider 'small' and 'large' respectively the rest of the year, whether they were like two 'smalls' or whether there is no comparison between their usual 'small', 'large' system and their RW appetizer, entree system. I've always found the portions at Meritage to be perfectly adequate. They're not as dainty as at No.9 Park (which I think tend to be too skimpy) but Meritage is not a steakhouse or a place like Marco, either (where I find the portions to be impossibly large). Anyway, it sounds like they delivered a very nice experience and a great value at RW prices (even going so far as to offer a couple of amuse bouches!).