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Mouthing Off: Local Chefs Open Up

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The best things about the Main Line dining scene … (page 2)
The worst things about the Main Line dining scene … (page 3)
Most overrated Main Line restaurants or chefs … (page 4)
Most underrated Main Line restaurants or chefs … (page 5)
Food trends that have run their course … (page 6)
It annoys me when customers … (page 7)
What the local restaurant scene could use … (page 8)
 

 

The best things about the Main Line dining scene …

“There’s a more eclectic mix. You can go to Savona for upscale Mediterranean, and to Teresa’s Next Door for a beer and some good food.”

“People are knowledgeable about food. That’s also the worst thing, because they think they know everything.”

“There are so many great restaurants to choose from that I don’t have to go to Center City and deal with the hassles of parking.”

“You’re in the suburbs. That’s also the worst thing.”

“It’s nice to see the progression of people’s tastes expand.”

“Diner loyalty.”

“It’s a very affluent area. Even in the middle of a recession, people are able to go out.”

“There’s very little that’s good about dining on the Main Line.”
 

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The worst things about the Main Line dining scene …

“Too many restaurants with the same kind of food.”

“Summer vacations.”

“Too many beef-and-beer ale houses, and some of the bigger establishments don’t want to change or expand.”

“There are so many restaurants to choose from. I can’t possibly afford the gas to sample them all.”

“Lack of choice, lack of variety.”

“Its limited culinary scope. For the most part, you have to have salmon, you have to have filet, you have to have rack of lamb, you have to have chicken. It becomes a little more difficult to try to branch out—and the Philadelphia dining scene is vastly overrated to begin with.”
 

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Most overrated Main Line restaurants or chefs …

“I can’t think of a chef who doesn’t have at least one dish I like.”

“David Clouser from Sola.”

“Patrick Feury.”

“White Dog Cafe in Wayne.”

“Blackfish. There’s no way they deserve the press they get.”
 

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Most underrated Main Line restaurants or chefs …

“Old Guard House Inn. It’s a comfortable place with a chef [Albert Breuers] who’s busting his ass the old-school way—and I respect him for that.

“Fellini Café in Berwyn.”

“Clark Gilbert of Gemelli. He’s very, very talented.”

“Marly’s BYO in Phoenixville.”

“Sola in Bryn Mawr.”

“Carlo deMarco. He’s consistently talented and interesting, and he’s not been given the credit he’s due.”

“John Brandt-Lee at Avalon.”
 

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Food trends that have run their course …

“The Philly cheesesteak spring roll. I think it’s the most ridiculous thing. If I’m gonna have a cheesesteak, I’ll have a cheesesteak.”

“Gastro-chemistry is very attractive to young chefs, but it can be overused so easily.”

“I’m sick of a place using the term gastro-pub and really just serving plain old bar food.”

“Scientific, chemical cooking.”

“Pork belly.”

“Tapas. Some chefs don’t get the true essence of what it is.”

“The whole celebrity chef thing and wanting to be on TV.”

“The overuse of ‘farm fresh’ and ‘sustainable.’ It’s just a joke in most situations.”
 

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It annoys me when customers …

“There’s a sense of entitlement that comes along with Main Line dining. A lot of people are accustomed to getting whatever they want, so that same kind of attitude transcends the regular dining scene.”

“Suggest ways to improve your restaurant, like they can run it better than you.”

“Get up and walk out when they don’t like the table they’re sitting at.”

“Are no-shows for a reservation, or don’t give even a little notice when canceling. Last minute or no notice equals lost revenue.”
 

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What the local restaurant scene could use …

“Restaurants should be bolder and more trendy. Chefs shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with a fusion of flavors and textures.”

“Better restaurants, more consistency. There aren’t any restaurants here that stand up to anything you get in Philadelphia.”

“More of an expansion to Phoenixville.”

“More ethnic eateries. I’d love to see a solid Mexican restaurant.”

“More family-style restaurants—a place where you can feed the kids, have a couple of drinks, and not spend a ton of money for quality food.”
 

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