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2016 Restaurant Review

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Photo courtesy of the Fat Ham

It’s been quite a year for dining on the Main Line, with a surge of new restaurants and breweries leaving us satisfied. As we get ready to ring in 2017, let’s take a look back on a year filled with fantastic food and delicious drinks.

King of Prussia Restaurant Boom

The big story this year has been the culinary expansion in King of Prussia. Savor, The King of Prussia Mall expansion project, brought us Hai Street Kitchen & Co, Nicoletta Pizzeria, Melt Shop, Sweetgreen, The Fat Ham and a second mall location of Shake Shack. Pizzeria Vetri also joined the mall dining scene this year.

The King of Prussia Town Center opened next to Wegman’s and brought us City Works Eatery & Pour House, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, honeygrow, Naf Naf Grill, Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar, b.good and Fogo de Chão.

Revolution Chop House opened at Valley Forge Casino in the space formerly occupied by LP Steaks.

The restaurant boom will continue in 2017 with Founding Farmers, Mission BBQ, Mistral, True Food Kitchen and Yard House expected to open.

Chabaa Thai shrimp//Photo by Ed Williams

Manayunk Moves

There were plenty of moves and re-openings on Main Street in Manayunk. Chef Moon Krapugthong moved her well-regarded Thai BYOB, Chabaa Thai, to the corner of Grape and Main streets. Along with the restaurant, Binto Market & Cafe opened next door. Maya.J opened in Chabaa Thai’s vacated location. Things went so well with Maya.J. that owner Craig Wilson and his fiancée Jacqueline Au also opened Gigi Italian Bistro in the former So Crepe spot. Jake’s & Cooper’s Wine Bar is scheduled to reopen in mid-January after a devastating water main break over the summer.

Tangine//Photo by Steve Legato.

Meals in Media

Media saw its own expansion of dining options on State Street and beyond. The quaint town welcomed Brazuca, Tom’s Dim Sum and Hildago’s. Popular Havertown haunt Brick & Brew expanded to Media and Tagine opened to rave reviews.

Autograph Brasserie//Photo by Christie Greene Photography

Elsewhere on the Main Line

This year brought us plenty of new dining and drinking options elsewhere, as well. We raised pints at Exton’s World of Beer, The Bottle Room in Downingtown and La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, and Conshohocken Brewing Company brought a second outpost to Bridgeport.

Restaurateur Marty Grims brought us Autograph Brasserie. Sean Weinberg of Malvern’s Restaurant Alba opened Biga Pizza + Beer in Bryn Mawr. Cotoletta brought seasonal Italian flavors to Belmont Hills. At The Table settled into the old Creperie Béchamel in Wayne.

Tim Courtney, who most recently served as the executive chef at Silverspoon in Wayne, is the executive chef at Paoli’s new EatNic Urban Farmhouse & Eatery. The restaurant is owned by John Scardapane, a 30-year restaurant veteran and the former chairman and CEO of Saladworks.

Brian Pieri of restaurants Bar Lucca and The Stone Rose just opened Cerdo in Conshohocken in the former Isabella at the corner of East Elm and Cherry streets.

Additional openings included Exton’s Al Pastor and Bella Vista, Glen Mills’ Cask Bistro and Tap, Newtown Square’s Firepoint Grill and a sixth location of Dave Magrogan’s Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar in Radnor.

Closed Doors

With so many fantastic new options, it was inevitable that some eateries shut their doors. In 2016 we said goodbye to Chadds Ford’s Farmer’s Road Drive Thru, Narberth’s Art of Bread, Ella’s American Bistro in Wayne and West Chester’s Rapidough, Three Little Pigs and Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House.

Additionally, we bid farewell to Barren Hill Tavern, the brewpub located in the historic General Lafayette Inn, Bala Cynwyd’s historic The Tavern and Parlor in Ardmore’s Suburban Square.

 

There’s no question it was a fantastic year for gastronomes. Let’s hope 2017 is just as flavorful.