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Meritage Slips to Two Bells Following Chef Anne Coll's Departure

Craig LaBan demoted the Lombard Street mainstay from its previous three-bell rating in his live food chat this week.

Meritage

Inquirer critic Craig LaBan has adjusted his rating of Meritage, which he says has suffered in the months following chef Anne Coll's departure from the kitchen. (Much celebrated for her work at Meritage, Coll left this spring to partner with former boss Susanna Foo.) The downgrade, issued yesterday during his live dining chat, sees the former favorite slip from three bells to "the low-2-bell range."

While LaBan praised the "consistently outgoing service" that efficiently corrected a burger that had been brought to the table "still cold and raw inside," he couldn't seem to find much love for any of the food.

Under the current regime, redirecting the flavors towards a more New American and French-inspired spirit, the sharp execution and exciting flavors just weren’t there.

While a few dishes succeeded in flavor, LaBan's thorough accounting includes a heap of uninspiring adjectives like "dry," "dense," "OK," "mundane," and "strangely diner-y." (For the sake of comparison, here's LaBan's 2009 three-bell review of Meritage under Anne Coll.)

Meritage, 500 South 20th Street, 215-985-1922.

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