Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >
Jan 16, 2007 05:28 PM

A night in Chestnut Hill...

I love Chestnut Hill but have always been disappointed with their restaurants. My husband and I headed out to Chestnut Hill this past Saturday and had a great time.

We had dinner at Cafe Barcelona and I highly recommend it. It is very small, with a shabby-chic atmosphere, and good if you are confortable sitting elbow to elbow with the other diners. service was a little slow, but extremely friendly. The menu includes a nice selection of traditional spanish tapas, a handful of entrees, and some salads and sandwiches. We shared a bunch of tapas and a paella. Tapas were very good, very homestyle tasting (i.e. not high concept like you's find at an upscale place like Amada). The standouts were goat cheese wrapped in ham and sauteed calamari in garlic and olive oil. The paella was tasty but not great, it seemed as if the rice was simply mixed with the meat and seafood after the fact (instead of baked together). We had very good perfiteroles for dessert. Our billl came to only $51, which is a geat value. It is a BYO so we split a bottle of wine. We will definitely go back.

We were thirsty for an after dinner drink so we headed over to the bar at the Chestnut Hill Hotel for a few drinks. We have gone ther on a few occasions on the past but, after Saturday, I will never go back. It was well after 9:00 when we got there, and it was fairly crowded because the game was on. A sever asked if we were having dinner and we responded we were just going to sit at the bar for drinks. My husband found an empty seat at the bar and as we were walking over, the "manager" tapped me on the shoulder, pointed to the door, and said "the exit is that way". Very rude. It was as if they did not want our business if we were only buying drinks.

Of course, we left, and headed over to Solaris. WE had some delicous martinis and the service was great. We spent nearly $50 so I'm glad that the Chestnut Hill Hotel did not get any of that money!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Thanks for the information. The behavior of the "manager" at the Chestnut Hill Hotel bar was a disgrace. After 9 pm I don't see any problem sitting at the bar just for drinks particularly in view of the high profit margin associated with liquor. You might want to call and ask to speak to the actual manager and let him/her know of this. Again thanks.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed Cafe Barcelona. Where on the hill is it?

      We've lived just outside CH for many years and really enjoy going there but we've been mystified as to why it doesn't seem to be able to attract outstanding restaurants. I think there are some "good" restaurants (Osaka, Cafette, Al Dana) but nothing that really stands out. I would really love to see some fine dining options there.

      Do you think CH dining for the most part is just average?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Den

        I forget the name of the cross street, but Cafe Barcelona is located on the corner, less than a block up from Solaris. There are some cafe tables outside, set up for outdoor seating in the warmer months. You can't miss it.

      2. Cafe Barcelona is at 6 East Hartwell Lane, just off Germantown Avenue, not at the corner. The reviewer described it very accurately, both its charms and drawbacks.

        1. Yes, Chestnut Hill is lacking in good restaurants. If you venture a little further down to Mt. Airy, you'll find a great restaurant serving "low country" southern cuisine with asian and other influences. Everything is fresh and delicious --from pulled pork to roast chicken to gumbo to sauteed greens and asian slaw. It's at Germantown and Carpenter -- across from the firehouse at 6825 Germantown Ave.

          The Chestnut Grill is a hole owned by a very rude man. But that's just my opinion.

          1 Reply
          1. re: hungry100

            hungry100 I assume that you are talking about geechie girl am I correct? If I am could you answer a question for me? Are the owners/chef of Gullah background as I believe the cuisine there is described? I plan to go anyway but I'd like to know.


          2. As a resident of East Mt. Airy for me the issue with the area (Chestnut Hill/Mt. Airy/Germantown) in terms of restaurant selection can be attributed to the lack of young single professionals (who are a factor in driving new and interesting restaurants). The area to my observation is dominated by families which isn't a bad thing it just leads to certain kind of restaurants being promulgated.