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The Refectory Makes a Comeback as a Villanova Dining Destination

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The Refectory is back and better than ever, with delectable flatbreads and pastas, an open-concept kitchen and playful cocktails.

Following a short-lived debut, the Refectory has a new lease on life thanks to local entrepreneurs Ken Kearns (Wayne’s 118 North) and Chris Perella (Ardmore Music Hall) and chef Biff Gottehrer (Ardmore’s Ripplewood Whiskey & Craft). A culinary beacon directly opposite the John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts on the Villanova University campus, the somewhat imposing stone-covered structure offers intimacy and warmth inside. There, tufted blue banquettes offset by pecan woods and white-washed brick walls combine with thoughtfully displayed artwork and greenery to exude a casual sophistication.

Gottehrer’s well-honed kitchen skills continue to shine in the Refectory’s artistically presented flatbreads, pastas, steaks and seafood dishes. Of particular note was our spicy tuna, its puffed wild rice base a solid foundation for a fascinating blend of textures and tastes. GM Steve Khuu funnels his previous experience at Enoteca Tredici into an exceptional dining experience punctuated by an energetic front-of-the-house staff.

the refectory

Photo by Ed Williams

Anchoring the 150-seat space, the bar is lined with plush-backed stools that offer great views of the open-concept kitchen. Cocktails are playful and cover all the bases. The Sister Bell Spritz is a visual stunner, and the bourbon-based Return-On-Investment delivers as promised.
862 Lancaster Ave., Villanova, (610) 519-5786, refectorynova.com

Related: Chef Jose Garces Brings His Buena Onda Restaurant Concept to Radnor