We had just gotten Wedding Week facials at Moko Salon, where skin expert Kelley had given us a gift of Pratima Love Massage Oil. Some vegan food magic was well in order. We had a reservation at Meritage for the Tuesday Vegan Food Tasting and began our walk there.
The tasting menu far exceeded my expectations (sometimes I want a chef to make the clouds part and burn bright little food memories into my head that leave me writhing in the sheets for days with a lustful fever). Not only did I find each course to be well in tune with the next, the plates stood out with charismatic saucery and outspoken vegetables.
I’ve had some crazy veggie tastings that drifted long on into the night and I thought the pace and amount of food were much more reasonable at Meritage. The early courses came quickly and then things slowed down, but we were enjoying ourselves. Dessert did take a bit longer than it should have. Overall, it was such a fantastic deal ($35 for four courses) and a strong execution for their first time. There was a vegan rose priced at $29 a bottle as the wine special.
You can’t argue with a healthy, lightly salted tomato and a better take on basil as an emulsion. Slurp the granita before it melts on you.
The eggplant and potatoes were a pleasure, but it was the carrot puree and crispy chickpeas that were the hero of this dish.
Why didn’t I reserve more of my appetite for Course 4? It was the one that truly impressed me – the sticky rice made with coconut milk and lentils was creamy and chewy at the same time, and the mushrooms on the side made short work of the lemongrass espuma.
Dessert was thankfully light – a sharp rhubarb soup that I would have downed a gallon of, the coconut panna cotta was simple and clean-flavored, and the chocolate sealed the deal.
I’m already planning to spend a good number of Tuesday evenings there.