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Oct 26, 2006 10:09 PM

Anniversary dinner in the suburbs?

Hi, we live in the Western Main Line area (Paoli/Malvern)....we'd like to try somewhere we've never been to before for our upcoming anniversary. We love Sullivan's and the Dilworthtown Inn.....we'd prefer to stay out of the city....any suggestions?

And, has anyone been to the new Big Easy Saloon in Paoli yet?

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  1. I think the Big Easy Saloon in Paoli opened just about a week ago -- I drive past it every morning.

    Have you tried Restaurant Alba in Malvern? I haven't been there yet (been meaning to) but lots of people rave about it and it just got a really high Zagats rating.

    Another place I would suggest would be the Birchrunville Store Cafe, but I called there recently myself to get a reservation, and they are not accepting any more Saturday night reservations for the rest of 2006, and they are not letting you call now to set up a Saturday night reservation for 2007. So -- If you can do another night except Saturday, you may have a shot.

    Majolica is excellent to -- Seasonal Menu, BYO, and the restaurant is intimate and very nice inside. That is in Phoenixville.

    Another place I've also heard is good --- hopefully someone can chime in with an experience -- is Gilmore's in West Chester.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DanielleM

      Happy to chime in. Gilmore's is wonderful. We have been there many times and loved it each time. Very romantic and perfect for an anniversary dinner. The food is delicious. Peter Gilmore was the luncheon chef at LBF for many years. The service is the best I've ever encountered. And it's byob. Only problem is if you're going on a Friday or Saturday. They are reserved a month to two months in advance for those nights.

      1. re: DanielleM

        I second Majolica--it truly is excellent. It is equal to almost any restaurant in Center City. Also, it is pretty far from where you are, but Birchrunville Store Cafe is terrific, and a great special occassion spot. If you like Dillworthtown, you'll love this place.

      2. I, too, think Birchrunville is terrific. However, the atmosphere is very different from Dilworthtown. Much less formal. You would need to reserve two month's in advance at Birchrunville for a weekend.

        1. I totally agree with the recommendations for Gilmore's and Birchrunville. We're especially fond of great BYOs and those are two of the best in Chester County. If you'd like to travel a bit further west, I highly recommend Sovana Bistro in Kennett. The food is always freshly prepared, with local ingredients used whenever possible. It's also BYO, although there is a $5/bottle corkage fee. Sovana Bistro generally doesn't take reservations, and gets a good crowd on weekend nights, but even waiting for a short while isn't so bad because they'll uncork your bottle and you can chat with other patrons while you wait.

          1. I was just at the Big Easy Saloon last night and can tell you that we will never go back there. The service was inexplicably horrendous and everyone around us was saying the same thing. The orders were mixed up, the wait time to be served even water in your glasses was absurd (20 minutes at the table before a bus boy even filled our water glasses, let alone a waiter come and take our order). We had to go up to the bar twice to get our drinks because the waiter had so many tables, he couldn't handle it all. once we did order our food, there were missing appetizers, incorrect orders, and the blackened chicken sandwiches even came out completely dry with no condiments whatsoever (and of course it took 10 minutes for them to bring any to the table). Even our check was incorrect - we got the next table over's check! unbelievable...

            1. Try the Duling-Kurtz House in Exton. Excellent food and ambiance. Great for an anniversary celebration.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Philly

                I'd like to hear an update on Duling Kurtz. It used to be one of my favorite "special occasion" restaurants, but a couple of years ago I began to find it uninspiring and stopped going altogether. Is it time to re-visit?

                1. re: CindyJ

                  I think it's worth a re-visit. We had a great experience on our most recent, last month, visit. Veal Tenderloin and the Jumbo Lump Crabcakes were both very good. The Mozzarella salad was a nice starter. We are giving the daughter and her hubby a gift certificate for Xmas; believe they'll enjoy their experiece as well.