Longtime Rittenhouse-area staple Meritage announced today it will close its doors for good after service on Saturday, September 19. Owners Michele DiPietro and Irene Landy issued a brief statement on the closure, simply thanking their customers and noting that "for many, including us, it was a home away from home," offering the following reminiscences:
Three bells, Irene's stories at the bar, Miller Lights, Mummers, restaurant weeks, fires, power outages, wall collapse, tasting menus, late night dance parties, bar crawls, Phillies World Series walk to Broad St. with whole bar, our wedding, one final glass of wine with great friends. This sums up the Meritage experience!
This ends a nine-year run for the restaurant under DiPietro and Landy, who purchased and revamped the restaurant in 2006, keeping little but the name intact. (Under its previous owner, it dates back to 2004.)
The restaurant suffered a number of setbacks after celebrated chef Anne Coll left the kitchen last year. In the midst of several ensuing chef changes, Meritage was downgraded from three bells to "the low-two-bell range" by a disappointed Craig LaBan. However, things very recently seemed to be looking up: Earlier this month, a revisit from LaBan found things "trending in the right direction" under executive chef Steve Forte. Sadly, it looks like it may have been too little, too late.