Sweet Amelia’s Spotlights Fresh Ingredients in Kennett Square

Photos by Ed Williams

Sweet Amelia’s is a free-spirited gem in Kennett Square that taps into local produce and products for its elegant dishes.

A loaded table of shareable plates and larger entrees promises something for everyone at Sweet Amelia’s.
A loaded table of shareable plates and larger entrees promises something for everyone at Sweet Amelia’s.

Karessa and Zack Hathaway met in culinary school in Charlotte, North Carolina, before trekking through Australia in a converted camper for a year of exploring local cuisine and culture. Returning to Washington, D.C., they honed their kitchen skills at a few fine dining establishments before eventually landing in southern Chester County in 2021.

The chicken-skin tea sandwich
The chicken-skin tea sandwich

Then came a beautiful baby girl named Amelia and the golden opportunity to grab the prime downtown Kennett Square location offered by Verbena BYOB’s Scott Morozin. Their new eatery’s namesake is now almost a year old—and its free-spirited vibe is conveyed perfectly in the Sweet Amelia’s logo. “We wanted to convey a sense of travel with a nomadic vibe,” says Karessa. “The simple paper-plane logo seems to fit the vision of our brand best.”

Rosemary focaccia topped with ricotta, sliced strawberries and mint.
Rosemary focaccia topped with ricotta, sliced strawberries and mint.

For her husband, it’s all about capitalizing on the “extraordinary access to the freshest ingredients.” He’s done just that by cultivating relationships with Kennett’s Full Table Farm (for organic, low-till veggies) and Buck & Doe Bread Co. (for signature sourdough and focaccia), along with Kirkwood’s Lindenhof Farm (for grass-fed beef, lamb and pork).

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Roasted baby potatoes with cheese-and-pepper aioli
Roasted baby potatoes with cheese-and-pepper aioli

The overall vibe at Sweet Amelia’s is a sleek fusion of past and present—casual yet still upscale. The revamped space sports Scandinavian-style maple tables and white Nordic-scoop chairs that are surprisingly comfortable. Reclaimed brick walls surround the main dining area, and there’s a regional fieldstone wall toward the rear of the restaurant. Serving plates and bowls are a well-curated mix of the formal and casual styles one might find at an estate sale, with colors that complement the stunning culinary presentations.

Shrimp tortellini in chilled black-garlic brood
Shrimp tortellini in chilled black-garlic brood
The Porgy Schnitzel.
The Porgy Schnitzel.

Though the menu is still evolving, Sweet Amelia’s is already knocking it out of the park with its sharable plates. Especially impressive was the chicken-skin tea sandwich—something we’ve never seen in this region. The homey, offbeat appetizer tucks crispy, savory chicken skins and scallion aioli between crustless slices of Wonder bread, with a South African peri-peri sauce for dipping. We then moved on to the local duck breast from Keiser’s Pheasantry. Oh so tender and served au jus, it arrived atop a puddle of pea puree, with turnips and snow peas for crunch. The Porgy Schnitzel was a unique twist on the German staple. The white, somewhat fatty fish had a sweet, delicate flavor, and the skin was edible and quite tasty.

A streetside view
A streetside view

The menu caters exceptionally well to the vegans. On our visit, offerings included the crispy tofu with ginger scallion oil, a chili crisp with mango, and mushroom tartare. You can also expect a few house-made pasta dishes.

Florida rock shrimp cocktail
Florida rock shrimp cocktail

For dessert, we had a divinely creamy blueberry black-tea panna cotta topped with berries and a rye crumble. For brunch fans, there’s red grits, smoked-brisket hash, and concha (Mexican sweet bread) French toast.

Sweet Amelia’s owners Karessa and Zack Hathaway.
Sweet Amelia’s owners Karessa and Zack Hathaway.

Sweet Amelia’s 102 E. State St., Kennett Square, (484) 732-7943, sweetameliasksq.com Cost: $9–$48. Atmosphere: An appropriate and intimate blend of old and new. Hours: Dinner: 5–9 p.m. Wednesday–Sunday. Lunch: 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Thursday–Sunday. Attire: Casual. Extras: Seasonal nonalcoholic drinks.

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