It seems like a lot of people either gave or were given cooking lessons for the holidays. I can’t think of a better gift for people who are intimidated in the kitchen or cook well but need some “spice” in their culinary repertoire. Cooking classes are also fun when you gather a group of friends together or would like an interactive date night.
Sur La Table in King of Prussia offers classes practically every day for the inexperienced to the astute chef. Students learn how to make fresh pasta by hand in the pasta workshop, rustic Italian dishes with fresh ingredients in a Tuscan gourmet class, and a hearty winter menu paired with brews from McKenzie Brew House in a food-and-beer-pairing course. Reserve a spot online at surlatable.com or call (484) 612-0046.
Bryn Mawr’s Viking Cooking School is a local favorite for cooking classes—and looking at the winter schedule, I can see why! Learn how to impress your next set of party guests with the Italian seafood dinner or tapas and paella classes. Or expand your horizons with the homemade soups workshop. Classes fill up quickly, so check the calendar at vikingcookingschool.com.
Another option is Albertson’s Cooking School, which holds classes at several spots around the Main Line. For beginners, the Culinary Boot Camp may be just the thing they need. This four-week course starts with the basics, from poaching to braising to steaming. Davio’s executive chef David Boyle teaches the Sensational Winter Warmers workshop on how to cook up hearty meals to stave off the cold. Visit albertsoncookingschool.com for prices, dates and class descriptions.
Something about waking up a little later and gathering some friends or family for a casual, no-rush brunch makes Sunday so enjoyable and luxuriously lazy. I usually head into Philly, but, lately, I’ve been trying places closer to home—and all of the fantastic menus around the Main Line make it an easy decision. Here’s a sampling.
Nectar in Berwyn has a limited but perfectly decadent brunch menu, where traditional dishes with elegant twists are the specialty. For $10-$21, diners can indulge in eggs Benedict, brioche French toast, a grilled salmon sandwich, or the rich lobster omelet with fresh herbs and potato croquettes. Visit tastenectar.com.
If you’re familiar with Chestnut Hill’s Night Kitchen Bakery, you’ll be happy to know their cake savvy has translated to the savory with a delicious breakfast-and-lunch menu. The new 14-seat café offers organic yogurt with homemade granola and fresh fruit, a warm duck salad with Shellbrook Hollow Farm’s goat-cheese toasts and caramelized onions, plus the bacon-cheddar-and-egg strata. Plated desserts like the chocolate-chip bread pudding with vanilla and brown sugar sauces or the warm apple tart are also indulgent. Brunch prices range $5.75-$12. Visit nightkitchenbakery.com.
Suburban Square is always great for window-shopping on a Sunday afternoon, but it’s so much better if you throw brunch into the mix. Plate restaurant has a wonderful brunch of traditional items with a sophisticated twist. The complimentary house-made pastries with jam are a tasty way to start off the meal. The granola-and-cinnamon parfait, Belgian waffles, and lighter egg white omelet are favorites. Plate has a great selection of savory dishes, too, if you’re leaning toward lunch. Visit platerestaurant.com.
Also try The Silverspoon in the Eagle Village Shops. Sustainable and heirloom ingredients are used to create dishes like the crème brûlée brioche French toast with apple caramel compote, and quiche with crimini mushrooms, baby spinach, tomatoes, Swiss cheese and potatoes. The prices are reasonable, too! Visit silverspoonwayne.com.
Calling all tea lovers to the Eagle Village Shops. I can’t wait for A Taste of Britain’s annual Valentine’s Day afternoon tea on Feb. 13. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the cozy and casual eatery will offer special teas like the “Read My Lips” black tea with vanilla, mint and sugar and the “French Kiss” rooibos tea with chocolate-mint caramel, plus a tasty selection of tea sandwiches, pastries, and scones with preserves, clotted cream and lemon curd. Visit easyelegance.net.