EPICURE: Second Helping

Big Tastes at Sola

Big Tastes at Sola

Former chef/owner John Wolferth used to joke that the demure, dark-haired woman captured in a painting at Sola symbolized his “other woman”—a reference made by friends and family to his passion for the young BYO. Wolferth’s zeal is sorely missed, but for the most part, not much has changed other than the addition of two reproduction Provençal-style pieces of furniture and an absent waterfall. Soft, butter-colored walls, traditional-with-a-twist light fixtures, white tablecloths, stylish place settings and pattern-heavy carpet and cushions still set the stage for Sola’s eclectic menu, now prepared by chef/owner David Clouser (Susanna Foo, Nectar, Inn at Montchanin Village).

A mélange of color, texture and farm-fresh quality reminiscent of Northern Californian cuisine, the new menu reflects a style not too far off from Wolferth’s, even in presentation. Appetizers such as Szechwan peppercorn-dusted yellow-fin tuna, tempura-battered soft-shell crab with creamy potato and avocado salad, and crispy duck confit with a frisee, haricot vert and lardons salad highlight seasonal ingredients and promise a satisfying dose of sweet, salty, sour and bitter notes.

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The hearty entrées exude shabby chic. Provençal flavors abound in dishes such as grilled Australian rack of lamb (succulent, sweet and impeccably cooked), wild king salmon, steak frites, brined center-cut pork loin and French boned chicken breast. Clouser’s penchant for sauces proves to be both overpowering and his saving grace. The salmon, bland and overcooked, would have been lackluster without the richly flavored sauce crevette (shrimp), pleasantly aromatic with light lemon and tomato accents.

Classics such as crème brulée and bread pudding du jour comprise the modest dessert menu—sure to get a boost when a formal pastry kitchen is added in the coming months.

Sola, 614 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 526-0123.

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