Nestled within the Callaway Vineyards in Temecula, California sits Meritage. The name being derived from the blend of assorted Bordeaux grapes found mostly in the United States, Meritage offers the freshest seasonal cuisine with an emphasis on “small plate” fare, creative sandwiches and artfully-crafted entrees. Chef Mike Henry graces the area with his ingenious culinary talent, adding a Mediterranean touch to everything he prepares. Once you step inside the front door, you’ll feel welcomed by the amicable staff and the open air patio-like ambiance.
Meritage overlooks the rolling vineyards of the Callaway winery. Stunning vibrant greens and colorful flowers are just part of the striking view from the restaurant. Recently named one of the “Hot 100 Restaurants in the Inland Empire”, this casual restaurant with its varied menu is one to be sure to visit when in Temecula’s wine country.
On a wine tasting day trip, we chose Meritage for a late lunch location. To our overwhelming satisfaction, Chef Henry’s sumptuous creations attested to his culinary expertise. For the quality and quantity of food we were served, the bottom line in terms of price was surprisingly conservative.
Above, crusty warm bread ($2.50 per basket) was served with a creamy spread and a savory dipping olive oil. This was perfect after a bit of wine tasting.
Roasted 1 / 2 Chicken
The Roasted 1 / 2 Chicken ($17.50) with Citrus, Tarragon, Garlic, Roasted Carrots, Radishes and Baby Potatoes (above) was succulent, flavorful and a generous portion for one. My husband and I shared the chicken selection and the following lunch entree because they were so amply portioned.
Short Rib ‘Sloppy Joe’ Sandwich
Above and below, the Smoked Short Rib “Sloppy Joe” on Grilled Sourdough ($17.50) was an eye-catching display. A Cabernet BBQ sauce enhances the tender and full-flavored short rib making this large sized menu option a definite winner, while perfectly-cooked steak fries and a colorful refreshing cabbage slaw bring variations of color to the dish.
Short Rib ‘Sloppy Joe” Sandwich
Meritage also offers live music from various artists at select times of the day. Take a look at the schedule of musical performances for the restaurant at their website below for more information. We had quite an experience. Beautiful expansive views from every table, an outdoor feel while dining on the enclosed terrace, friendly knowledgeable staff and superior cuisine presented in enlarged portions with imaginative presentation. A sure win-win culinary involvement!
- ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Breathtaking scenery over the rolling hills of Calloway’s vineyards, casual, yet upscale setting and such a relaxed welcoming atmosphere.
- FOOD / DRINK: Excellent preparation and creative display of dishes, hearty menu selections with a Mediterranean twist and portions large enough that my husband and I both had leftovers to take home with us!
- LOCATION: Meritage is located on the Calloway Vineyards & Winery grounds at 32720 Rancho California Road in Temecula, CA 92589
- HOURS: The restaurant is open for Lunch daily from 11AM – 4PM, and for Dinner Friday through Sunday from 5PM – 9PM.
- SERVICE / STAFF: Welcoming, warm, inviting and friendly.
- PRICE / VALUE: With no complaints, we’re very happy to say that we will definitely be returning again very soon!
- CORKAGE FEE: $15 per bottle for Lunch or Dinner.
- CONTACT INFO: Phone: (951) 676-4001, Website: www.callowaywinery.com
- PARKING: Just pull into the Calloway Winery & Vineyards and you’ll find ample parking on the property just steps from the restaurant.
- TOTAL BILL: After enjoying several wine tastings in the area, we indulged in a bread basket, the Roasted 1/2 Chicken and the Smoked Short Rib “Sloppy Joe” sandwich for a total of $40.41 (including tax).