On one of our trips to Chicago, we had to take a cab to an area; I believe is called Bucktown, to have dinner at a restaurant called Meritage. I am all for any restaurant that names themselves after a wine. In this case, a type of wine from California, which is a blend of varietals that emulate a classic Bordeaux style wine, and the Meritage Society insists that if the wine is called a Meritage it must be the best wine from the winery.
We arrived at the restaurant and noticed that they also had a “patio” next to it, for diners to experience a different atmosphere. We passed and went into the main part of the dining area. The menu was not extensive, but superb. The wines that were offered by the glass far exceeded the choices on the menu, but I guess that should be when you call yourself a wine bar. We started out with some appetizers; a rock shrimp cake for myself and a crab salad for my Bride. My Bride ordered the Chilean Sea Bass as she is a big fan of this dish, and I was able to enjoy a Roasted Duck Breast. Afterwards we enjoyed a wonderful bread pudding that we shared.
Since the dishes we selected were such, I passed on ordering a bottle of Meritage and decided to go with a white wine. I ended up selecting a Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay 2001 from the Central Coast district of California. I am always unsure when I see Private Selection or similar wording from a winery, but since I have seen just Robert Mondavi Chardonnay before, I thought I would try it. It was very buttery and it paired very well with the appetizers and with the entrée dishes. We were both very happy with our choices. We have returned to this restaurant again, which is something we normally do not do in our travels, as there are so many restaurants to try, especially in a city like Chicago.