before I forget - (Philly)
I did want to mention Meritage.
We liked it very much.
It's no longer pricey. The menu, which you can get online, is divided into "snacks, small plates, large plates." The snacks are appetizer size, some quite large, and the small plates are generous.
The food is delicious!
I will have trouble in the future resisting the foie gras dumplings or the tuna tartare. Everything ordered by everyone in our group was excellent.
The atmosphere is casual, pleasant, and not overly noisy.
Service was excellent.
A bonus for us: discounted parking in the lot half a block away.
Jan, I am not very observant when it comes to my surroundings - though I do pay attention to the food! My husband says there was lots of wood - floors, tables, etc. - and it was bright and cheerful. Definitely casual. Also, there were two doors separated by a small vestibule, which was good for keeping out the cold air.
Barry was right in sayins that it was not cheap. Those little plates add up. But next time, I would just order two small plates or snacks; three was too much for me.
By the way, my husband said the mushroom risotto was great. Other good reports were about the soup, the little lamb chops, the salad - many good reports.
Report back if you get there.
I was there for the first time last night. Maybe we crossed paths?
It is not pricey but not cheap. Two of us ate til comfortably full but not stuffed for $70 or so--3 snacks, 3 small plates, 2 desserts. Lots of reasonably priced wines make it more attractive.
I am usually pretty put off by Asian fusion menus but this one had lots of attractive options--we had trouble deciding what to get because so much sounded good--and the food WAS good. Lamb chops small plate was excellently executed and pork cheek sticky rice was really interesting and tasty. A couple dishes needed a little extra kick, like the jalapenos stuffed with pork and the pork belly special. Even a little bit of salt may have put them over the top but there wasn't any on the table.
I would definitely go back and really want to try the foie gras dumplings and tartare--my dining companion last night does not eat offal or fish. Those dishes sound great.
Good date spot and a nice change of pace from the Garces small plates places as food and wine prices are bit better but service and atmosphere are good.