New Places to Love
Le Cavalier at the Green Room
42 W. 11th St., Wilmington
302-594-3154 / LeCavalierDe.com
Likely the most anticipated restaurant opening in 2020 was
from a chef with Wilmington roots, Chef Tyler Akins’ (Stock, Res Ipsa, Zahav) neo-French brasserie in the Hotel DuPont. Mixing the best of the landmark space with new life for a refined yet welcoming feel, Le Cavalier (meaning horseman) serves up modern (unstuffy) French food with North African influences—branzino with blistered herbs, harissa, pistachio dukkah, plus tagine, steak frites and a house burger with dijon- naise. The familiar oak paneling and chandeliers are there, along with velvet banquettes and globes on the lighting fixtures creating a place for dining more often than just anniversaries. A fresh new era for the esteemed Green Room and a new place to love.
Media’s Towne House
177 Veterans Sq., Media
610-566-6141 / Facebook.com/MediaTowneHouse
Happily, memories created in the iconic, block-long D’Ignazio’s Towne House in Everybody’s Hometown can find new life in this reincarnation as Media’s Towne House. D’Ignazio’s closed in 2015, but this long-awaited update that respects the sense of place and memories was, well, worth the wait. Since the November opening, diners have been generous in their praise of the five dining spaces, particularly the outdoor courtyard (the IdleWild) and the cozy pub (Shebeen—Irish for illicit bar). The upscale Colony Cocktail Club sports green ban-quettes and I.M. Pei-designed chandeliers. Pick your preferred ambiance and sip an Irish coffee or tuck into Guinness short ribs, shepherd’s pie or fish and chips. A place for new memories for decades to come.
Wayne Hotel, 139 E. Lancaster Ave.,
610-977-0600 / RosalieWayne.com
Many thanks to Marty Grims, of Fearless Restaurant Group, for transforming the former Paramour space in the landmark Wayne Hotel into the stunning new Rosalie. Similar to Autograph and White Dog (more Grims creations), each room creates a unique ambiance for enjoying impeccable service and wonderful food, here, Italian soul food from Chef Merick Devine. The inviting wrap-around porch, attractive bar with custom mural, private dining rooms, redone lounge in the hotel lobby join to make it difficult to choose where to dine. Sample snacks for the table (speck pizza gets raves), any kind of pasta (chitara made using guitar strings, or simple squash and sage ravioli), or popular branzino. Takeout is available, but you’d miss half the pleasure. So great to have these special spaces preserved.
Avlos Greek Cuisine
258 Bridge St., Phoenixville
610-455-4110 / AvlosGr.com
A taste of Greece arrived in Phoenixville, and what a flavorful taste this new-ish restaurant brought to the former Majolica space. Initially opening in early 2020, only to have to close in mid-March, the BYOB reopened for takeout in May, later adding popular outdoor dining on Bridge Street. Its authentic cooking caught the eye of restaurant critic Craig LaBan who dubbed it a top outdoor dining spot. You’ll find a mix of the usual favorites—grape leaves, spanakopita, moussaka—plus authentic takes on lamb dishes, octopus and grilled vegetables with plenty of EVOO. Here’s hoping the Skartsilas sisters, the owners, keep the kitchen buzzing as long as Chef Andrew Deery did.
Bloom Southern Kitchen/ Eagle Tavern
123 Pottstown Pk., Chester Spring
484-359-4144 / BloomSouthernKitchen.com
Southern cooking offers much-needed, soul-satisfying comfort food, so we were thrilled when Bloom Southern Kitchen opened in the historic Eagle Tavern (original liquor license dated 1727). The eagle is still on the façade, along with hand-painted flowers (in bloom), and the interior got spruced up, too. Maybe the best news is former Funky Lil’ Kitchen’s chef, Michael Falcone, heads the kitchen. Savor spicy deviled eggs, pimento cheese balls, hush puppies, buttermilk biscuits, along with fried green tomato BLTs, chicken fried steak, fried shrimp po’ boy Andouille. A strong whiskey and bourbon list (Blanton’s, Widow Jane, Angels Envy, plus local Manatawny) and cocktails add to the hospitality. The eagle has landed with a great new home.
109 W. Gay St., West Chester
484-288-2044 / LaTartineWC.com
Among several new restaurants slated for West Chester in 2020, only a few had the moxie to open their doors. La Tartine, a modern Mediterranean café concept, opened in early May, offering Med specialties, along with crepes, juices and smoothies. The light, healthy fare, with gluten-free and vegan options, was welcomed by locals, many enjoying meals in the open-air marketplace along Gay Street. From Lebanese meat pie (kibbeh), tabbouleh, falafels, shawarma to savory crepes, Capreses panini, açai bowls and organic lavender lemonade, the menu grew. We hope its following grows as well.
Mae’s West Chester
39 W. Gay St., West Chester
484-887-0062 / MaesWC.com
Chef/owner Josh Taggart brought 25 years of experience at a raft of award-winning restaurants (Lacroix to Dilworthtown Inn) when he achieved his dream of opening his own place, a gem of a farm-to-table BYOB on Mother’s Day 2020. There’s a warm, inviting vibe along with seasonal menus for brunch, lunch, dinner, takeout, family meals and catering. Family takeout meals, which sell out, range from balsamic glazed pork tenderloin to meatloaf to taco kits. Similarly the chef has fun with catering menus—Taste of Italy, Philly Special, Backyard BBQ and Street Taco options. There are pop up shops, dinners at SIW Vegetables and good causes. West Chester welcomes its newest chef-driven-and- owned restaurant.
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