Friday, December 29 2023 9:14

Best of the Best: Welcome New Restaurants

Written by County Lines Magazine

Sweet Amelia’s

102 E. State St., Kennett Square
484-732-7943 /

Named for Chefs Karessa and Zack Hathaway’s daughter, Sweet Amelia’s changing monthly menu reflects its commitment to local, seasonal ingredients, working with suppliers like Kennett’s Full Table Farm, Buck & Doe Bread Co., Kirkwood’s Lindenhof Farm. The space (former Verbena spot) has an upscale, casual Scandinavian vibe, and the menu includes international influence from the chefs’ travels (note the paper airplane on the sign). Choose from snacks, small and large plates — braised lamb osso bucco to striped bass and ever-popular chicken skin tea sandwiches on December’s menu. Plenty of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, including grilled haloumi and sweet potato fritters. Yum!

Bar Reverie

4017 Kennett Pk., Greenville, DE
302-315-3663 /

From breakfast bistro to chic lunch café to wine bar/date-night restaurant, Bar Reverie spans the day with a French-inflected, international menu. From David Dietz of BBC Tavern (next door), this spot with a Manhattan vibe does it all, and does it with high style — check the Petrossian caviar on the menu and specials with black truffle shavings, plus a hundred curated wines from around the world. Stop by for Pastry Chef Gretchen Sianni’s confections or Chef Steve Taplin’s (Union League) sophisticated cooking. CineMondays, half-price wine Tuesdays and Happy Hour menus provide so many reasons to visit. There’s even a Bar Reverie signature scent!

Blue Elephant

110 N. Wayne Ave., Wayne
484-580-6142 /

It was worth the wait for Pottstown’s Blue Elephant to expand into this beautiful space on North Wayne Ave. (adios, Matador). Self-proclaimed as Asian fusion, blending Italian with Japanese and Thai cuisine, they’re wooing diners with dishes like house-made edamame truffle tortellini, tuna bruschetta and green tea tiramisu. The broad menu covers starters, rice and noodles, sushi, pasta, entrees from branzino to strip steak, plus temaki for two (roll your own sushi). More faves: Main Line roll, drunken noodles and passion fruit chocolate mousse cake.

The Boardroom Restaurant

101 Bridge St., Phoenixville

Promising a “great atmosphere, even better food and drinks,” Pat Merriman, The Boardroom’s owner, bought Paloma’s Restaurant and partnered with Boardroom Spirits to bring something new to Bridge Street. Eclectic menus from Chef George Crow cover brunch, lunch and dinner along with buck-a-shuck on Mondays and negroni week — but that was in September. Starters range from raw oysters to grain salads, while handhelds include burgers, chicken sandwiches and cheesesteaks. For mains, choose from Vietnamese pork vermicelli bowl to hanger steak frites. An extensive cocktail menu features oyster shooters, smoked old fashioneds, French 75s and whiskey sours, plus beer, wine and Boardroom Spirits in cans.

Crown Tavern

451 Wilmington West Chester Pk., Glen Mills
610-361-9800 /

A new English pub arose in Concord Township’s former McKenzie Brew House, from the folks behind Will’s and Bill’s, serving lunch, dinner and Happy Hour. Think clubby, dark spaces with fireplace, taxidermy and house-crafted ales, perfectly drawn pints, gin-based cocktails and British standards — cod cakes, curries, fish & chips, pub pie, bangers & mash, plus the Earl’s sandwiches. You’ll find enough of the usual pub grub options to keep everyone happy — Soho nachos, king’s wings, truffle fries, poutine, plus steaks and chops (12-oz. tomahawk pork chop). Top it off with toffee pudding … for pudding (that’s dessert to Yanks).

The Iron Eagle on Lincoln Bar & Grille

143 Lincoln Hwy. E., Coatesville
610-400-4407 /

Another addition to Coatesville’s Gateway Development Project, the Iron Eagle looks out on the downtown scene through large windows in the renovated Cultural Society building. CIA-trained Chef Cameron Huhendubler oversees brunch, lunch, dinner and Happy Hour everyday menus served in the industrial space. Sample starters — from bahn mi eggrolls to Korean BBQ quesadillas — along with salads and handhelds, including a hot chicken sandwich and the “Double Old Fashioned,” a two-patty Angus burger. For entrees, braised short ribs, free-range airline chicken or wild boar ragu. Wine and beer menu, plus specialty cocktails, including the Iron Eagle — Bulleit bourbon, Cointreau and lemon.

Manjé Caribbean Cuisine

237 E. Gay St., West Chester
610- 241-1852 /

Adding a taste of the Caribbean to the West Chester restaurant mix, Manjé serves regional dishes prepared with a proprietary blend of seasonings, marinades, fine selections of meat and fresh ingredients. Dishes feature options like oxtail, goat (stewed, fried, curried), jerk chicken plate or sandwich, curry chicken, Haitian patties. Take the Manjé Caribbean Tour, with two starters, an entree and a side or the Island Feast Fusion — jerk chicken wings, oxtail and veggie stew, and of course, Jamaican rum cake for dessert. Be sure to order the plantains, fried or chips, too. Heaps of 5-star Yelp reviews to welcome them to town.

Motto Sushi & Ramen

668 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn
484-320-8604 /

Motto, which means “more” in Japanese, promises mindfully selected ingredients and a heightened dining experience focusing on sushi and ramen (build your own by choosing the broth, noodle, veg and meat). Offering omakase and an extensive and imaginatively named selection of rolls — White Album, Golden Wind, along with a Berwyn and Love PA options — the food is presented like precious jewels. Order a la carte, regular rolls, specialty rolls, sashimi rolls, lunch special or all-day combo. All fresh, all too beautiful to eat — almost.

Rooney’s at Dilworthtown

1390 Old Wilmington Pk., West Chester

Across from the new Ground Provisions stands the historic Dilworthtown Inn, vacant for far too many years. News of plans for a breakfast, brunch and lunch spot in that complex cheered fans of preservation and of food. JamOnIt Specialty Foods, which began by making barbecue sauces in 2019 and is known for its Turks Head Sauce, announced in November their plans for opening their first restaurant in the space behind the Inn and Blue Pear. Stay tuned for more.

Soko Bag

95 Nutt Rd., Phoenixville
855-765-6224 /

From idea to pop-up (at Manayunk’s Pizza Jawn) to a brick-and-mortar, Soko Bag’s Korean fried chicken is the passion project of Shea Roggio and Alice Chang. Modeled after the bustling spots in Seoul, South Korea, and using authentic family recipes (double fried, bamboo salt, all kinds of sauces), they create addictive dishes away from Bridge Street in a sports bar atmosphere. Try a KFC Jawn sandwich topped with kimchi aioli and ghost pepper cheese, bulgogi pizza, cheese-powdered snow chicken and Jeju fries. Quench your thirst with a beer or house-made blueberry cider. Plus merch, 5-star reviews and a year’s worth of fried chicken grand opening giveaway.

Takumi Bistro & Bar

821 Lancaster Ave., Wayne
610-922-1788 /

Nobu-trained chef, as in led by Executive Chef Larry Jiang, who was trained by the team at the renowned Michelin-starred Nobu global chain (note: Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is known as the originator of American sushi). That’s the big news at the new addition to Devon Village (Whole Foods shopping center), where Takumi (meaning artisan or skilled) opened. The dark, sophisticated interior, with cocktail bar, hosts an extensive menu of hot and cold dishes, along with ramen and lengthy listings of maki rolls, nigiri and specialty rolls — the 821 roll, Out of Control roll, Summerlicious. There’s chicken teriyaki, wagyu on stone, uni scallop carpaccio and a nine-piece omakase option.

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