Friday, September 2, 2011
Good service, but uneven food, and somewhat pricey.
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- Mitch Davis
Friday, September 2, 2011
The space that most longtime residents remember as Abington's Inn Flight restaurant, which had a lengthy run, is now home to the Timber Wood Fired Grill, directly opposite Abington Memorial Hospital on Old York Road. Timber boasts a moderately large dining room divided into several varied smaller dining areas, plus a cozy bar. The seating is comfortable, and the noise level low. It has ample off-street parking around two sides of the building. We gave it a try with part of our extended family—three generations, including our daughter and two grandchildren. We were pleased to learn that there is a children's menu. But before I get to what the youngsters in our party of five had, I must tell you that our starter, the “Original Flatbread” ($…
Friday, August 19, 2011
This restaurant has well-prepared dishes of Persia and India in a quiet, comfortable dining room near Ambler.
Everest Grill restaurant, only 6 months old, is an unusual amalgam of ethnicities. It features Persian and also Indian cuisines, yet the owners, chef, front room and serving staff are Nepalese. That explains its name, which of course refers to Mt. Everest in the high Himilayas of Nepal. I think they should have called it by the incomparable mountain's original name in Napalese, Sagarmatha Grill, which sounds more exotic and romantic. However, there are no Nepalese dishes on the menu, but rather two full side-by-side menus with most of Persian and Indian cuisines' classic hits (all clearly described). If you have never had Persian food, I can tell you that it will resemble Middle-Eastern cuisine, with hummus, eggplant and chicken dishes, …
Friday, July 29, 2011
The Kitchen Bar has a chic setting, and above-average service and bar drinks.
The name “Alexander’s” in large letters is inscribed above the front entrance; one could suppose this is to link the chic, sleek new Kitchen Bar with its more prosaic, yet successful and popular past. Alexander’s, an upscale Greek diner with a bar, owned by the Makris family, was a mainstay for many years in restaurant-poor Abington. The new, completely rebuilt Kitchen Bar restaurant, reopened by the Makris family in May 2006, with its rakish modern exterior, and stylish contemporary interior, is a dramatic departure from Alexander’s. It is filled with eye-catching details, such as a wall of falling water lit with ever-changing colors (There’s one on the outside, too.), a giant metal cook’s utensils on another wall, acres of glass windows…
Friday, July 8, 2011
The 77-year-old Horsham restaurant serves good, belly-filling German and American dishes, and has a large outside patio for summer dining.
As far back as I can remember, Otto’s Brauhaus has been there, a mile north of the Turnpike, on busy Easton Road, even before the Days Inn was erected next door. Indeed, it was founded over 75 years ago. Though it changed ownership a few years ago, the new owners were smart enough to make this change invisible. The menu, the chefs, the longtime hostess—Ursula—the serving staff and the restaurant’s interior are largely intact, thereby holding on to Otto’s large, longtime following. Otto's offers four dining areas from which to choose: a light airy room with big bay windows, a darker central dining room, a cozy atmospheric bar decorated with hanging moose heads and shelves of beer steins, and an unusually large canopy-covered and tree-…
Friday, July 1, 2011
Pumpernick’s is one of the few good Jewish delis in the ‘burbs.
The Philadelphia region was once one of the best in the country for good Jewish delis—short for delicatessen, from the German/Yiddish word delikatesse (“delicacy”), also meaning the place to eat (“essen”) delicacies—but the number of real Jewish delis is rapidly shrinking. The reason is up for debate. I think it’s that few former and potential deli store owners are willing to put in the long hours involved in cooking and preparing the myriad home-cooked deli meats and salads required. It is almost as if the great Jewish delis of the past have set the bar too high. Thankfully, one of the holdouts is Paul Klein, a longtime Philadelphian and traditional deli man. He came out to the Montco suburbs four years ago and opened Pumpernick’s in the …
Friday, June 24, 2011
Pistachio Grille has pleasant ambiance and quality dishes at a mid-range price.
Five years ago, Ray Moscardelli took over a dingy, moribund restaurant and personally made it over—new name, new menu, new furnishings—and saw it doing brisk business in a few months. Moscardelli, called Ray Ray by family and friends, created Pistachio Grille from what had been Hayeck’s Café in Maple Glen. The name stems from the fact that the pistachio is his beloved young son’s favorite, and the first four-syllable word he learned to pronounce, even before he could say his four-syllable last name. Moscardelli paid his dues and learned his craft well. He trained at the prestigious Johnson & Wales University, and cheffed (newly invented verb) in such top restaurants as Il Gallo Nero, which later became the excellent (5 m’s) San Marco in …
Friday, June 17, 2011
This is a highly rated little Thai-French BYOB.
To our good fortune, chef-owner Tony Kanjanakorn and his wife Ladawan have decided to scale back a bit in their older age. Thus, after many years of successful operation of their Thai-French Alisa Cafes in Upper Darby and Cherry Hill, Tony has opened a much smaller, easier-to-manage B.Y.O.B. in Horsham named Kinnaree in the space that had been the Magnolia Café, bringing his well-honed culinary skills and sunny disposition along with him. I have made several visits to Kinnaree with my LDC (Lovely Dining Companion) and friends in the two years since it opened. The Thai-French cuisine is weighted toward French; two-thirds of the dishes are of French cuisine, or a French-Thai fusion, such as the Thai calamari salad, Thai-style Cornish hen and…
Friday, June 10, 2011
Restaurants like this are helping Ambler become the 'new Manayunk.'
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Friday, June 10, 2011
Has Ambler become the new Main Street Manayunk? With chic Dettera restaurant, the recent expansion of Bridget’s, and From the Boot right across the avenue from The Shanachie and the new B.Y.O.B. Massa, it is starting to look and feel like it. If you add in Act II Playhouse and the Ambler Cinema, I think it is surpassing Manayunk as a dining and entertainment center. From the Boot owners Bob Devine and Nick, Marc and Nicole Ciaffone opened their first, much smaller From the Boot in Lafayette Hill, which is still going strong after more than 10 years; it has an almost cult-like following. The newer Ambler location occupies the space that had housed Agave Grill. When it opened two years ago, I wrote, “It is hard to prognosticate the …
Friday, June 3, 2011
An excellent little Italian BYOB.
I have written that Italian cuisine is what many, including myself would choose if told we could only have one cuisine to eat for the rest of our lives. Mina Cucina Rustica (Mina's “Country Kitchen”) is a good place to find out why. Owners Miriam (“Mina”) Bompartino and daughter Lisa serve up fresh, homemade Italian dishes like your “Nonna” (Italian grandmother) – if you had one – should make. Their moderately sized menu is centered around the deeply traditional foods and recipes of the various regions of Italy and especially Sicily. It even offers: “If you have a ‘family favorite’ … please let us know; we will do our best to accommodate you on your next visit.” (And/or, if you call ahead, I would assume.) Mina's has a talented new head …
Friday, May 27, 2011
This restaurant has friendly management and standout service.
The Japanese word “umami” means “delicious savory taste.” In my imagination, I can see owners Mr. and Mrs. Myung Kim and their daughter, sweetly vivacious manager Cindy Kim, sitting together during the early planning stages of creating their new Japanese restaurant and choosing this most desirable name for it. By doubling the name, they clearly hoped that it would bring a double measure of good taste and good luck. Umami Umami opened in April in the long-closed Dresher Inn. And by choosing to make sushi the major focus of the menu, given the public's current resounding love of it, they are already a large step-up in achieving their hoped-for namesake. Indeed, more than 80 percent of the menu is devoted to the now familiar forms of sushi: …