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The Garden Café’s crab cake (Photo by Heidi Reuter)If you haven’t been to Terrain yet, now is the perfect time to visit. All dressed up for the holidays and bursting at the seams with seasonal plants, home and garden décor, a bevy of earthy cookware and tableware, gobs of cookbooks, and funky serving pieces, Terrain is Anthropologie gone green. Happening upon its Styer’s Garden Café, even the most stressed-out holiday shopper will be lulled into serenity by the aroma of fresh-baked bread, inviting café tables set against a backdrop of reclaimed stained glass and worn wood doors, rustic planters dripping with greenery, and an authentic dirt floor.

The sassy yet simple fare of chef David Berg (Catering by Design) and sous chef Erin Fitzgerald (former assistant pastry chef at Water Works) changes monthly and is built around local produce provided by Lancaster Farm Fresh, which operates a CSA in Quarryville.

A soothing teacup of fluffy roasted tomato soup was light and airy with a beguiling smokiness, a nice complement to the honey-wheat bread that arrived in a terra-cotta pot, its poufy top spilling over the edge. A trail of steam confirmed its freshness as we pulled it apart with our hands and slathered it with sweet pumpkin butter.

We’d nibbled our way through a Caesar salad made of crisp oak and red leaf lettuces, crunchy herb and olive-infused croutons, and a feisty aioli-like dressing. Perfectly grilled eggplant—lightly crispy on the outside, with a pudding-like interior—was the centerpiece of a second salad. Combined with a charred shrimp kebob and bites of heirloom-tomato-vinaigrette-dressed micro-greens, it delivered a knockout punch. Ditto on the crab cake, its zip coming from a small pool of tomato oil and peppery micro-arugula lightly dressed with a lemon vinaigrette.

The café serves brunch Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and offers an extended holiday lunch menu Thursday-Saturday.

914 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills; (610) 459-2400, terrainathome.com

 

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