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Daniel’s Restaurant + Cocktail Bar Shines in Conshohocken

Daniel's Restaurant + Cocktail Bar in Conshohocken hits its stride under new ownership.

Daniel's
Photos by Ed Williams

The real-life “Daniel” behind Daniel’s is actually chef Daniel Brodeur of the now-defunct Brodeur’s on State Street in Media. With Brodeur out of the picture, new owners Kurt Benkurt and Annalise Long are looking to make the most of this prime Conshohocken locale. Drawing on several years of hospitality experience between the two of them, they’ve reinvigorated the spot with new menus, improved service and an affable ambiance. “We wanted to create a more upscale yet approachable experience,” says Long. “The area is a blend of older neighborhoods and corporate populations. We feel we can serve it well.”

Piri-piri chicken.
Piri-piri chicken.
Creamy mushroom soup
Creamy mushroom soup

The 80-seat bar area is swanky but inviting, with warm mahogany paneling and low lighting (think elegance without intimidation). A fireplace, brick walls, pleated shades and stained-glass partitions bring character and romance to the interior dining rooms and private eating space. A classy staircase near the entrance leads to a second-floor area used for special events.

Prepping an octopus dish
Prepping an octopus dish
Executive chef James Chun pours tableside
Executive chef James Chun pours tableside
The rye-based Smoking Barrel cocktail
The rye-based Smoking Barrel cocktail

In the kitchen, executive chef James Chun offers a globally inspired seasonal menu with Asian, Latin and Mediterranean touches. Braised then grilled, our tender octopus was served over endive and radicchio salad, crispy chickpeas, and a squash puree. Creamy mushroom soup du jour was poured tableside and topped with sliced mushrooms and microgreens.

A seasonal dessert special
A seasonal dessert special
A creative carrot cocktail
A creative carrot cocktail
Co-owners Kurt Benkurt and Annalise Long
Co-owners Kurt Benkurt and Annalise Long

For entrees, we went with the piri-piri chicken, which tasted as good as it looked, and an excellent seared salmon.

Crispy chicken bao buns
Crispy chicken bao buns
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The restaurant’s “happiest” hour is headlined by a team of knowledgeable mixologists who stir, shake and pour some of the area’s most creative cocktails. Standouts include the Lily Pad (Lillet Blanc, fresh lemon and cucumber) and the Smoking Barrel (rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, herbal liqueur and bitters). We also sampled a show-stopping cocktail (unnamed at press time) made with amaro, carrot liqueur, lemon, and gin infused with Thai basil and lemongrass, plus a pair of extraordinary espresso-based concoctions—one a martini.

Daniel's

Happy hour features three-day wings (brined, marinated, cooked twice and served over sweet-and-spicy cabbage salad), crispy chicken bao buns (a delicious and messy indulgence), a spicy tuna poke and more. Nothing on the menu is over $10, with $5 draft beer and wine by the glass.

Two espresso-based cocktails.
Two espresso-based cocktails.

Cost: $12–$36.

Atmosphere: Comfortably chic.

Hours: 4–9 p.m. Wednesday–Thursday, 4–11:30 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.–11:30 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday and Tuesday.

Attire: Casual.

Extras: Happy hour Wednesday–Friday, chef’s table experience in the private dining room, jazz on Thursday nights, late-night menu and brunch on weekends.

Daniel’s Restaurant + Cocktail Bar
16 E. 1st Ave., Conshohocken, (610) 941-4652
Website

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