Management has changed and so have the interiors, but Longwood Gardens’ Terrace Café and 1906 restaurant continue to satisfy guests with health-minded salads, soups, sandwiches, hot entrées, kids’ fare and sweets. Signature dishes at the more formal 1906 include mushroom soup, braised short ribs, crab cakes and huge burgers. The 1906 dining room is minimalist but comfortable, and the porch is so pretty it’s bound to make you long for warmer weather.
On a recent afternoon at 1906, I set my sights on a bowl of “Longwood” mushroom soup and a plate of scallops. While waiting on my appetizer, I sampled an amuse-bouche of mildly spicy, citrusy-sweet lobster pico de gallo piled atop a blue-corn tortilla chip. And the bread was hard to resist. Puffy and airy, with taffy-like insides, it arrived straight from the oven.
The soup had a soothing, velvety texture, lots of mushroom bits, chives, and a garnish of fried onions. It was a great prelude to the sweet, plump, perfectly caramelized scallops. Dessert came in the form of a thin cordial glass filled with banana ice cream, topped by a caramelized banana chunk. It was served alongside a pyramid of layered chocolate cake and creamy mousse. An impressive finish, to say the least.
The Terrace is bound to be insanely busy right now, so don’t feel guilty about indulging at the pricier 1906. Try Sunday’s prix-fixe lunch—just be sure to make reservations.
Route 1, Kennett Square; (610) 388-1000, longwoodgardens.org
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