Kennett Square & Chadds Ford
The Gables at Chadds Ford
423 Baltimore Pk., Chadds Ford
610-388-7700 / TheGablesatChaddsFord.com
Enjoy history mixed in with hospitality? Then The Gables is your kind of place. Dating back to the 1740s, with years as a dairy barn, the property feels like it’s always been part of the Brandywine Valley scene. The main building is welcoming, with a cozy bar accented with comfy banquettes and a piano, wood-beamed dining room with fireplace, sun-filled event rooms. Plus the stone-walled patio, seasonal beer garden, fire pits and lush grounds. Ann Kolenick’s Southern roots are reflected in the fresh American dishes (shrimp & grits, fried green tomatoes) and her mastery of chocolate in the award-winning desserts (chocolate espresso cake and Bourbon Street chocolate banana cake). Satisfying on so many levels.
1625 Creek Rd., Chadds Ford
610-388-7061 / HanksPlaceChaddsFord.com
On your way to or from Longwood Gardens or the Brandywine River Museum, stop at Hank’s Place and eat at Andrew Wyeth’s favorite restaurant, a 70-year-old neighborhood favorite. Enjoy a Kennett Square Mushroom Omelet or Hank’s Breakfast Sub, with fried eggs, cheese, Lancaster ham, sausage and bacon. Though not a Greek restaurant, Hank’s added Greek specialties to the menu (gyro, spanakopita, Greek Frittata, Greek salad) under former owners Peter and Skoula Skiadas. Current owners, Anthony and Katie Young, who bought it in 2017, planned to change nothing. To date, except for adding outdoor tents and more take-out options, they haven’t, leaving this community favorite intact.
114 E. State St., Kennett Square
610-444-2244 / LaVeronaPa.com
When we yearn for authentic Italian cooking—cucina classica, with a mix of fine dining and warm hospitality—we head for La Vernon. There, owners Jack and Sam Mavraj make sure each meal is memorable as they take care of every detail, fulfilling their motto, “Let us spoil you.” Inspired northern Italian cooking produces veal chop artichoke mushroom demi glaze specials, house-made braised short rib ravioli and so much more. A Trip Advisor Favorite and member of the Kennett Business Hall of Fame, La Verona kept State Street outdoor tables full well into the fall. Plus take out and inside dining options to satisfy everyone through the long winter.
Lily Asian Cuisine Sushi & Grill
104 W. State St., Kennett Square
610-925-3700 / LilySushiAndGrill.com
Our vote for a place to find the best sushi and sashimi has long gone to Lily’s. The husband/wife team of Tony Liu and Suki Li make sure the seafood is consistently fresh and expertly prepared. We judge sushi/sashimi partially by the presentation and the work at Lily’s is a joy to the eyes as well as the palate—Angry Dragon Roll, Kiss of Fire Roll, One Night Stand Roll …. On Tuesdays, after the pandemic ends, we’ll once again get all-we-can-eat sushi.
102 W. State St., Kennett Square
610-444-8255 / TalulasTable.com
We still remember a day one November making a reservation for the Farm Table … then showing up for dinner one year later. Long known as the toughest reservation in the country, that was how it’s done. The wait seemed interminable, until we savored eight flawless courses of a seasonal menu—salmon, cheeses, sourdough, squash, mushrooms, beef, chocolate merengue—from local sources, paired with our BYOB wines from Collier’s. The Farm Table and the small Nook Table continue to preserve the tradition under Chef Dylan Sweeney. These days, it’s possible to get an occasional reservation sooner for a singular dining experience at the table or shop any day at the gourmet market.
696 Unionville Rd., Kennett Square
610-444-5600 / Facebook.com/SovanaBistro
Sovana 2.0 and #sovanastrong are the bywords as this beloved upscale bistro with its farm-fresh, French/Med menu rebuilds after the devastating fire in early January 2020. Luckily no one was hurt by the fire, and the outpouring of community support helped the displaced staff during the early months. Then came the pandemic. Yet rebuilding continued. A GoFundMe campaign, virtual wine tastings and cocktail kits keep the spirit of Sovana going, reminding fans of the past 22 years of craft cocktails, strong wine list, housemade pastas and wood fired pizzas. A place serving up tuna and beet tartare with equal panache. Can’t wait to see the reboot, scheduled for early 2021.
102 State St., Kennett Square
484-732-7932 / VerbenaBYOB.com
Verbena is a culinary love letter sent on Valentine’s Day. The restaurant opened on that special day in 2018—the chart of the stars from that night hangs on the wall later signifying its connection to anniversaries and love. From spectacular, creative soups—apple one year and sweet potato the next—to salads of greens with avocado puree, then filets of salmon or beef, and finishing touches of mille feuille of pastry layered with blackberries and tea-whipped Chantilly cream, the tastes are always memorable, even in the takeout meals they now offer. Intimate candlelit tables and food presentation are as pretty as the purple flower that symbolizes romance and gave the restaurant its name: Verbena. A star in Kennett.
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