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Everything Edible: The Year of 2015 in Food

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It’s been quite a year for dining and drinking on the Main Line, with a surge of new restaurants, breweries and distilleries in 2015 leaving us satisfied. As we get ready to ring in 2016, let’s take a look back on a year filled with fantastic food and delicious drinks.

El Limon Burrito//Photo by Steve Legato.

Highlights

We saw a Mexican invasion with the addition of Xolo Tacos, El Limon, Pipeline Taco and Besito Mexican. Acclaimed chef Marc Vetri announced that he would be selling his Vetri Family Restaurant Group to Urban Outfitters and is bringing his Roman trattoria, Amis, and a Pizzeria Vetri to the Devon Yard project.

Malvern Buttery//Photo by Tessa Marie Images.

What’s New

Cheese and charcuterie fans got their fill at Christine and Nick Kondra’s Cornerstone in Wayne. Cuban-inspired cuisine hit Narberth with the opening of New Habana. Malvern Buttery, a coffeehouse-restaurant hybrid, became our new hangout. Green Engine Coffee Co., a coffee bar serving fresh artisanal brews with seasonal menus including baked goods and sandwiches made in-house, debuted in Haverford. The Dairy Café opened, specializing in casual kosher cuisine. Parlor premiered in Suburban Square in Ardmore, serving artisan-style wood-fired pizzas, pastas and salads in a family- and group-friendly atmosphere.

Mainland Inn//Photo courtesy of Mainland Inn.

Revamped and Better Than Ever

After extensive renovations and nearly five years of being off the grid, the historic Mainland Inn of Montgomery County got an elegant eco revival thanks to sustainable pacesetter Sloane Six. Frazer’s White Horse Tavern, a historic public house in the Sheraton Great Valley Hotel, got a revamp with a sharp new menu, on-point cocktails and an upscale-yet-casual ambiance. Chef Andrew Patten of Butterfish and Spence Café fame returned to West Chester with his new Spence 312. Farmer Dean Carlson and new partner executive chef Andrew Wood of Philadelphia’s acclaimed Russet opened their new restaurant at Carlson’s Wyebrook Farm in Honey Brook after guests pleaded for a permanent dining option.

Main Line Chefs Inch Toward Philly

Susanna Foo closed in Radnor after nine years, but Foo turned her focus full-time to a new project with her son, Gabriel. Their Philly-based spot, SuGa, will be located at 1720 Sansom Street and will hopefully open early in the new year. Chef John Mims closed Carmine’s Creole Act II in favor of opening a new Philadelphia-based restaurant, Treme, set to open in spring. Fans of Berwyn’s Nectar will have an excuse to make the trek to West Philly next year. Chef Patrick Feury and partners Michael Wei, Henry Chu and Kenny Hung are set to open a new restaurant, Danlu (which means “nectar” in Chinese), in the newly built high-rise apartment venture at 3601 Market Street.

White Dog Café’s Halibut//Photo by Steve Legato.

Restaurant Expansions

Restaurateur Dana Smith Farrell brought her Avenue Kitchen to Glen Mills. Chef Chris Scarduzio has partnered with West Chester’s Teca owners, Alberto Guadagnini and his son Roberto, to bring a 3,500-square-foot version of the contemporary Italian brand to Newtown Square. Marty Grims expanded his White Dog Café to Haverford. Restaurateur Dave Magrogan sold off his West Chester location of Kildare’s and the Downingtown location of Stella Rossa to concentrate on expanding his Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar throughout the region.

Healthy Fast-Casual Movement Continues

Zoes Kitchen opened in Wayne, Bryn & Dane’s opened in Plymouth Meeting with a Bryn Mawr location to come in the spring, and b.good opened its second Philadelphia-area location in Wynnewood over the summer.

Drinks Were Flowing

The age-old cider industry made a comeback in Pennsylvania. Phoenixville saw openings of Bluebird Distilling, The Barrel Wine Bar and Stable 12 Brewing Company along Bridge Street. The brewpub movement was also strong this year, with the openings of Boxcar Brewpub, Victory’s Kennett brewpub and Parkesburg brewpub. Tired Hands opened Fermentaria, right down the block from its original location. The much anticipated 2SP Brewing opened in Aston. Sterling Pig brought barbeque and beer to downtown Media, and Levante Brewing Company opened to rave reviews in West Chester.