Talula’s Table: As Aimee Olexy continues to expand her brand in Philadelphia and beyond, you might think the eight-course tastings at her original 12-seat table in Kennett Square might suffer. Hardly. Novel seasonal ingredients, unexpected flavors, striking presentations and clever compositions are still the norm. For an even more intimate experience, try the kitchen-based chef’s table, available for up to eight guests. As always, reservations are hard to get, but worth the wait.
102 W. State St., Kennett Square, (610) 444-8255.
The Tasting Room: JPM Catering has broken new culinary ground with its 20-seat, from-scratch cafe. Owner Jennifer McCafferty offers a rotating seasonal menu sprinkled with organic and local ingredients. Year-round staples like three-cheese mac-and-cheese and kale salad have found a place on the menu. The buttermilk-marinated fried chicken with white barbecue sauce is another favorite. The best part: Everything—even the sandwich buns—is made in-house.
8 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, (610) 642-2670.
Terrain at Styer’s: Those who frequent Styer’s for its beautiful flowers, trees and outdoor décor already know about its delicious little secret: a barn-chic eatery with an innovative menu that includes marinated kale salad, locally sourced cheese plates, a savory pork-belly egg-and-cheese sandwich, and more.
914 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills, (610) 459-6030.
Thai L’Elephant: Upscale digs, attentive service and a flavor-packed menu have inspired serious customer loyalty at Thai L’Elephant. Start with the Thai Treasure, a selection of traditional appetizers like chicken satay, tulip dumplings, crispy roll and cabbage salad. The aromatic curries, rice and noodle plates, and wok dishes are all solid. Specialties like tamarind duck and Shrimp in Paradise (jumbo prawns stuffed with crabmeat in a panang-curry sauce) are outstanding. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available.
301 Bridge St., Phoenixville, (610) 935-8613.
Tiramisu Cucina Romana: Sean Delbello’s Roman-Jewish BYOB has one of the Main Line’s most romantic dining rooms. It also offers a thoughtful menu of simple, delicate dishes. The paper-thin scallopini of veal is melt-in-your-mouth tender; the artichokes in olive oil are straightforward and delicious. Be sure to order the restaurant’s namesake—rest assured, you’ll want this luscious dessert all to yourself.
720 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, (610) 906-3299.
Tradestone Confections: Conshohocken’s first—and only—artisanal chocolate spot is the result of a sweet collaboration between Chip Roman and pastry chef Fred Ortega. Named for the hard stone used for tempering chocolate, it specializes in small batches and bold, sophisticated flavors. Have dinner next door at sister restaurant Blackfish, then head here for an ultra-creamy, dark-chocolate truffle. Soups, sandwiches and La Colombe coffee are also available.
117 Fayette St., Conshohocken, (484) 368-3096.
Vecchia Pizzeria: Everything here is a product of Naples, from the flour and cheese to the wood-fired oven. The menu offers five pies, each crafted to Neapolitan perfection under the watchful eye of owner Frank Nattle. The classic Regina Margherita comes with buffalo mozzarella sourced from Caserta (Nattle’s ancestral town) and San Marzano sauce. His Covaccino is layered with peppery arugula, salty prosciutto, shaved Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. The Phoenixville shop is just steps away from Black Walnut Winery, a convenient BYOB option.
249 Bridge St., Phoenixville, (610) 933-1355; 134 N. Wayne Ave., Wayne, (484) 580-6135.
Veekoo Asian Cuisine: Have a seat at this Berwyn hot spot’s classy sushi bar and sample luscious cuts of toro, uni and eel. Or head to the mod dining room to indulge in whimsical riffs on specialty rolls. The kitchen also crafts affordable Chinese, Szechuan and Thai dishes. The crisp-skinned flounder—accented with pine nuts and sweet-and-sour sauce—is a must-try.
564 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, (484) 318-7655.
Vgë Café: Credit goes to Fernando Peralta for bringing such tasty, health-conscious vegan fare to the Main Line. The seitan-filled Vgësteak is a cheeky rendition of the iconic Philly sandwich, and the lentil-and-flaxseed burger is even a favorite among somecarnivores. The baked falafel is another sure bet.
845B W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 527-3091.
Yanako: Moon Krapugthong and her team simultaneously celebrate and elevate Japanese cuisine with their mastery of traditional techniques and appreciation of exceptional ingredients. Piping-hot bowls of udon, fine-tuned bento boxes, handmade gyoza dumplings, and slow-cooked teriyaki options are just a few of the draws at this popular Manayunk spot. Even more compelling is the talent behind the 18-foot sushi bar, which features masterful sashimi platters and maki rolls. Look for the pop-up menu spotlighting sister restaurant Chabaa Thai.
4255 Main St., Manayunk, (267) 297-8151.
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