The buzz about Meritage Cafe in Columbus produced high hopes for a pleasant night out. The ambiance was comfortable & ample yet somehow banquet hallish, our impression based on the catering tables & stack-able chairs, etc... However, the place settings were very well done. Nice decor.
Our evening resulted in two Duck plates served very under-done (& I like it rare), risotto flavorful, tomato parmigiano soup room-temp on a cold night. All salads on offer were frou-frou candied pecans or a crumble of bleu cheese, so I requested a simple green salad dressed with vinaigrette. What I received was a hand full of Mesclun lettuce with a little cup of olive oil & a little cup of vinegar. No salt, pepper, tomato, not a thing more to complete the plate, umff. One of our guests didn't know how to approach a scooped out head of iceberg filled with creamy dressing and just pushed it to the side. The second guest ordered medium rare Filet Mignon; it came to the table rare with fat untrimmed. Service lacked confidence even though sincere. Our waitress was rushed and repeatedly bumped into the backs of chairs as she scooted between tables, somewhat unnerving. We didn't say much - just paid the bill, tipped 20% and compared notes in the car.
We felt Meritage Cafe faltered in attention to detail. The cafe has many strengths (i.e. excellent wine list, decor, etc.) yet needs a seasoned professional at the helm so it lives up to the hype... I hope they can get it together as there's always room for good sensibilities on any dining scene.
1350 13th Street Columbus, GA 31901-2345