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The Meritage Collection

With acclaimed eateries and talented chefs at each of the hotels and resorts in The Meritage Collection, a world of flavor awaits your discovery. But where to begin? We asked our Director of Culinary Experience and talented chef, Chef Vincent Lesage, for his favorite dishes at each eatery – and he delivered all the tasty details. Bon appetit!

Olive & Hay

At The Meritage Resort and Spa, Napa Valley

At Olive & Hay, Chef Jose Mejia draws on his experience at several Michelin-starred kitchens to serve up contemporary cuisine, rooted in Italy, with a California twist. Local Napa Valley ingredients - like eggs from the on-property chickens and herbs and veggies from The Meritage Garden - are creatively transformed into farm-to-fork dishes.

Chef Vince’s favorite dish:
“This time of year, the Garden Pea Pizza is my favorite. All of the pizzas are fantastic, and this seasonal item features ingredients from the garden, with pea shoots and a ricotta spread. The dough is made fresh every day and takes over 48 hours to slowly rise in the oven. There is also a secret item – the Black Truffle Pizza. In the summer it is off the menu, but you can still get it if you’re lucky. It has fontina cheese, a bit of frisée, some truffle vinaigrette. It’s delicious.”

“Any Napa Cab would make a great pairing.”

The Village Bistro
At The Meritage Resort and Spa, Napa Valley

The inspiration behind this French-influenced eatery comes from Chef Vincent’s childhood memories of cooking with his grandmother in France. Back then, meals started at the vegetable garden by selecting the freshest ingredients, then moved into the kitchen where they were lovingly prepared, and finally were served on big platters for the whole family to enjoy. This spirit is captured at The Village Bistro.

Chef Vince’s favorite dish:

“The Bouillabaisse. It brings me right back to my childhood. It’s a comforting dish that’s expertly made. It’s a traditional fish stew, but here they pan-sear the seasonal fish, and serve it with the shrimp and mussels in the delicious tomato-saffron broth. There is tasty grilled bread — and aioli to dip everything into. It’s fantastic.”

“Any French white Burgundy. They are really high in acidity, with not too much oak.”

Crush Lounge
At The Meritage Resort and Spa, Napa Valley

Approachable and fun, Crush Lounge offers elevated bar food favorites, with craft cocktails and local beer on tap, alongside six lanes of bowling and 12 high-def screens for game day.

Chef Vince’s favorite dish:
“The wings! They will be the best wings that you’ll ever have in your life. They are brined for 48 hours, and cooked on a secret setting that is a mix of dry heat and steam, then fried at the last minute and served with our special house-made buffalo sauce and our own blue cheese dressing.”

“Any of the beers on tap from the local breweries would pair well. The Hazy IPA would be my pick.”

Red Salt
At Ko’a Kei Resort at Poi’pu Beach

Kauai native Chef Noelani Planas creates dishes that infuse the local flavors of the island into captivating signature specialties at Red Salt.

Chef Vince’s favorite dish:

“At Red Salt, the sushi bar is a hidden gem, with fish fresh from the fishermen. It’s not very publicized and it’s the best sushi on the island. My favorite is the Red Salt Rainbow Roll, which has Yuzo Kosho added to it for spice and a citrus taste. It just has a ton of flavor and freshness to it. Another favorite is the Baked Lobster & Crab Dynamite which is a cooked roll with a ton of spicy crab meat and lobster. It’s delicious and different from the traditional sushi roll.


“They have an absolutely huge selection of sake that would pair excellently with these rolls. They also make a fantastic martini tableside. Either one is a great pairing.”

Laurel Restaurant
At Hotel Viata, Austin

Chef Tommy Suddeth Jr. creates inventive Italian dishes inspired by the Amalfi Coast and influenced with just a touch of Texas. Finely crafted cocktails and a sophisticated menu can be enjoyed alfresco on the treetop patio or in the chic dining room at Laurel Restaurant.

Chef Vince’s favorite dish:

“The Fruitti de Mare seafood pasta is my go-to. All of the pasta is made fresh in-house, with really elevated flavor. This dish is served with a spicy tomato sauce, plenty of bay scallops, shrimp, lobster and a bit of fennel. Really delicious.”


“Laurel Restaurant has a really good selection of Italian wine by the glass. Any Italian white or a Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir would really go well with this dish.”

Tanner’s Restaurant
At Paséa Hotel & Spa, Huntington Beach

Inspired by SoCal and influenced by surf scenes, Tanner's Restaurant serves up locally sourced contemporary coastal cuisine. Sip on craft cocktails and feast on fine American, Mexican, and Asian flavors with Huntington Beach and the Pacific as the breathtaking backdrop.

Chef Vince’s favorite dish:
I love the Tomahawk Ribeye. It’s such a cool unique dish made of a fantastic cut of meat. The plating is impressive – it’s a 32-oz cut that comes out and they slice it tableside. If you’re really hungry you can maybe do it by yourself, otherwise it’s enough for two or three people.”


“Pair it with a Cabernet… or an Old Fashioned would be pretty special with that meat. Miguel Sandoval, our mixologist at Paséa Resort & Spa, won Mixologist of the Year in Orange County, so any cocktail would be great.”

Ready to dine your way through The Meritage Collection? We’re here to indulge you. Start your culinary exploration today with the Meritage Collection!

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