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Talulah's Table -- Kennett Square

CindyJ Mar 4, 2007 06:48 AM

The long-awaited Talulah's Table has opened in Kennett Square. Has anyone been there yet? Your impressions...?

  1. bluehensfan Mar 5, 2007 05:35 AM

    When did it open?

    1 Reply
    1. re: bluehensfan
      CindyJ Mar 5, 2007 03:38 PM

      They had their grand opening on Friday night, timed to coincide with the First Friday Art Stroll. I stopped in there this afternoon. Very interesting --- among the cooked entrees they were offering today were crab cakes, chicken pot pie and roasted squab. There were several pastas in the fridge including two kinds of ravioli -- duck and mushroom. There were several side dishes including roasted root vegetables. Also 2-3 varieties of homemade sausage. There are some prepared sandwiches and salads, as well as their own homemade salad dressings. They have a nice selection of artisanal cheeses. In addition, there's a cafe area with luscious looking pastries, scones and croissants. Apparently just about everything is prepared on site, including freshly baked breads. I was there mid-afternoon, and they were just starting to put out dinner selections, so I'm sure there's a lot more available than I saw. The menu will change often.

      There are only a few small tables -- it's more "gourmet-to-go" than eat-in -- but there's one very large "communal" table in the middle of the shop, where people are invited to sit together. I like the concept, and, although I had the feeling that they're starting off slowly in terms of menu items, I think Talulah's Table shows great potential. Whether they can survive in Kennett is, I think, yet to be determined; it's definitely a destination stop, and you may be aware of the parking situation in Kennett. In fact, the boro just raised the cost of a parking ticket at an expired meter to (I think) $20.

      It's definitely worth a visit if you're in town. If you go, I'll be eager to hear your opinion.

    2. bluehensfan Mar 9, 2007 04:31 PM

      Well we tried Talula's Table this evening and it was a resounding sucess. The store itself is very homey and tastefully decorated (too bad some of Aimee's art on the wall is not for sale!) but as CindyJ stated, it is primarily for take out, as I only counted three tables including the large one in the back of the store that seems to be more decorative than for patrons.

      When you enter, there are prepared sandwiches, and salads, as well as hummus in small containers. There is an adjacent freezer with large desserts and freshly baked breads and rolls and heading further back in the store is another fridge with artisanal cheeses, salads, salad dressings and individual sized mac and cheese and other dishes to prepare at home including pastas and ravioli. Also here are a number of freshly prepared soups including a creamy saffron and mussel, clam chowder, fish chowder, and a few others. At the rear of the store are the main entrees that are served by the pound to take home. Tonight there was salmon, squab, chicken, pasta with shrimp, sausages with saurkraut, lasagna, lobster pot pies and maybe mushroom risotto. Also there were root vegetables and a few other dishes that I can't recall as well as a small butcher's block table with a number of cheeses set out for sampling. Near the cash register up front are single serving desserts such as individual chocolate tarts and a hazelnut torte sold by the slice. On top of the sandwich case near it are also clear jars of cookies and macaroons as well as gourmet fare and drinks here and there throught the store. A word to the wise is to tour the whole place before you decide what you want, since there are things here and there, and you won't miss anything.

      We talked to Bryan and Aimee, and both are extremely friendly and go out of their way to make sure you are happy, as they seem very genuinely concerned about their latest venture. Even the cashier there is friendly, and the environment is more like a down-home store versus say Janssen's Market or DiBrunos.

      Now to the food...we tried the fish soup which was deliciously smoky tasting and had good sized pieces of fish in it. It was not at all salty but needed a little seasoning. We tried the salmon which was very lightly grilled and very juicy, and had the shrimp pasta which was very fresh tasting and had capers and other greens in it. We also tried the root vegetables which were fabulous, as were the homemade rolls. We admittedly made the mistake of getting a rather large chocolate tart (since we did not discover the smaller ones until we checked out). The tart was good and had a rich, dense chocolate flavor but we found it to be a bit restrained and somewhat one dimensional. It seemed a bit plain compared to other desserts we like such as those from Sweet Somethings in Wilmington or Termini's. Next time we will try a few of the smaller ones as well as the coconut lime macaroons that we missed heading out of the door.

      All in all, the food itself was fabulous. It was all very fresh, and extremely tasty and well-prepared. It was a lot better than say the Back Burner to Go in Hockessin, and head and shoulders above the prepared food offerings at Food Source (looks good, tastes not so good).

      Needless to say, we will be back there very soon, as we plan on making it one of our regular stops!

      1 Reply
      1. re: bluehensfan
        CindyJ Mar 10, 2007 07:06 AM

        GREAT write-up, Bluehensfan! I agree with you about the colorful artwork; I'd even asked about it myself. I just had a thought about that -- given Bryan and Aimee's mission to utilize ingredients and products that are local, maybe they'd also want to feature the work of local artists as part of their decor.

        You didn't say whether you ate in or took out, and I'm curious about what you did. Here's my little personal dilemma: The entrees at Talulah's Table can be quite pricey. I'm NOT saying they're not worth it -- they're fresh, creative, delicious, nicely prepared, etc. But when I'm paying that much, my overwhelming preference is to want to dine out rather than do take-out.

        I'll be meeting friends for coffee there this week, which ought to be nice. They might give Harrington's (which I really love) a run for their money.

        All in all, I'm glad to see Talulah's Table in Kennett. I think Aimee and Bryan's commitment to the community is a great indicator of the direction in which the town is moving. I LOVE that little town, and that space had been unoccupied for so long (was it 5 years or so?) I was beginning to think nothing would ever come of it.

      2. bluehensfan Mar 10, 2007 03:07 PM

        We actually took everything home given the fact that we bought a lot that needed to be heated up, so we were under the impression that the tables there were just for sandwiches and the like. If I am wrong and you can eat the entees there, by all means let me know given my questionable reheating skills. I'd rather eat out too myself, but only if the service is good.

        The prices at Talulah's actually seemed very reasonable to us. We spent $53 before tax for everything mentioned which included two large pieces of salmon ($10.36 for both), about a pound of root vegetables, about a pound of shrimp with pasta, a decent sized container of soup (one was $5, one $8 and one $9 something) , three large dinner rolls ($.75 each), and the $18 large chocolate tart. Take out the large tart the whole meal ran only $35. I know that the prices at Talulah's are better than a lot of take out places around the area where I tried and the food at Talula's uses local ingredients and tastes much, much better. And if we had a similar meal a few doors down the block we'd be in the $90 or $100 range, so it seems like a good deal to us.

        1. t
          tetellita Mar 11, 2007 07:51 AM

          This all sounds good but where exactly is this place located? I am curious to try it, thanks!

          1. bluehensfan Mar 11, 2007 09:20 AM

            It is on State St. in Kennett Square. Apparently I have been misspelling it.sorry! http://www.talulastable.com/

            1 Reply
            1. re: bluehensfan
              CindyJ Mar 12, 2007 07:23 AM

              Looks like I've been misspelling their name, too. It sounds like you did very well for what you paid. I'll definitely be back there in the next couple of days.

            2. Rondo Mar 11, 2007 02:25 PM

              Does anyone know whether they serve a full breakfast or just croissants, scones, etc.? We looked in the window last night after eating at Half Moon (love those crab nachos) and it looks really cool inside. Also, what coffee do they serve? It looked like the cups had the ilie's (sp- the good Italian coffee) log on it but we couldn't be sure. If it is, we're there! Can't wait to try it.

              1. Rondo Mar 14, 2007 06:13 PM

                ok, then, I'll answer my own questions. wife went there and picked up a couple things for dinner. Chicken pot pie. Huge and worth it. Very good. Coffee is not Illy's but it is some other Italian wife couldn't remember the name. will go back and try some of their other dishes.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Rondo
                  bluehensfan Mar 23, 2007 03:31 PM

                  Figured I'd report back from the second trip to Talula's Table (look spelled it right!). All in all the food we tried was fabulous, even better than the first time. After we finished we agreed that it was like going to Philly for a wonderful meal but without the hassle of a 45 minute drive up I-95 (in the rain, in the night). The meal started with us splitting a container of Portuguese stew with chorizo and potatoes (which at $8 was the most expensive thing we purchased...even the fish) Anyway, the stew was very tasty and was full of chorizo, potatoes, and cabbage and had a tangy, spicy, almost beef-jerky (but in a good way) quality to it. We've never had anything like it before but would get it again. For an entree the little one had BBQ'd chicken drumsticks and saffron couscous. Both were good but the couscous seems a bit oily for my taste. For entrees the bigger ones split BBQ'd salmon that was excellent and a perfectly lightly cooked mahi mahi with a tomato and olive tapenade. The mahi was very tasty and juicy. Also tried the root vegetables which were good like the last time but now had cauliflower in them as well as trying out-of-this world baked beans that appeared to have miniscule pieces of bacon chopped up in them that gave the beans a very good bacony flavor but were undetectable texture wise. The beans also had some pork (or was it chorizo?) in them as well. I also picked up a mac and cheese that looked great but that is for tomorrow so I can't comment on it yet. The desserts this time seemed much better than from the first visit. We tried a homemade braided soft pretzel which was good but would not hold a candle to say Fisher's in Reading Terminal Market. We tried a piece of chocolate banana cake which was marbelized between the two with a thick fudgy layer on top. It was very good and devouered in no time. We also tried a chocolate truffle torte which was excellent as well, and seemed much better than the tart we tried our last visit. All in all it was a delicious meal and the food was very tasty and sophisticated, as it seemed like a lot of thought was given to the recipes. The tab for the whole meal was $45 before tax, and that was for a lot of food. First State Foodies can rejoyce in the fact that a good meal can be had a short drive away!

                  1. re: Rondo
                    David McDuff Apr 10, 2007 11:52 AM

                    The coffee is Hausbrandt, an Italian brand recently launched on the US market.

                    1. re: David McDuff
                      RC51Mike Apr 10, 2007 12:45 PM

                      I'm sure it's good coffee and all but, please tell me that doesn't translate to "house brand."

                      1. re: RC51Mike
                        David McDuff Apr 10, 2007 04:40 PM

                        No worries, it doesn't. The company is named for one of the major players in Trieste's early coffee association history. You can read the full story on Hausbrandt's website:
                        http://www.hausbrandtusa.com/php/our....

                        1. re: David McDuff
                          bluehensfan Apr 20, 2007 04:36 PM

                          Went to Talulah's again tonight. Just about everything was fabulous as usual. This time we tried an incredible braised pork empenada with a very tangy filling (I could live on these for a meal), BBQ'd salmon that was deliciously tender, a good non-filler-filled crab cake, a haddock fish cake that was smoky but seemed like it could be done with a slightly stonger fish. The saffron topping (think consistency of mayonnaise) that came with it was great though. Also good were the wild mushroom risotto and eggplant salad. Also tried a fennel salami that was tasty and the little one tried some cheeses before deciding on one to take home. The desserts featured a good hazelnut chocolate tart, a lemon cupcake that that had icing that seemed a bit lardy to us (although we're sensitive to this so if you like the cupcakes at the Flying Mokey Patisserie in Philly this is right up your alley). Also we had a killer ginger lemon scone. It could not have been better. Probably the best scone we've ever eaten. All-in-all another winning meal from start to finish.

                          1. re: bluehensfan
                            bluehensfan May 4, 2007 05:14 PM

                            Our meal from Talulah's tonight featured excellent black bass topped with tomato and ramps, smoky baked beans, a medley of mushrooms, spaetzle, excellent homemade pretzels, a very good mocha tart, and an out-of-this-world banana chocolate bombe. And that it was. On our next visit we may try dining in there...

                  2. CindyJ Oct 22, 2007 01:22 PM

                    I'll post my email address in my profile. If you're interested in gathering for dinner at Talula's Table, email me and we'll see if we can make it happen.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: CindyJ
                      The Chowhound Team Oct 22, 2007 01:30 PM

                      Please see this post about organizing a Chowhound gathering:

                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/36760...

                      After you review it, we'd suggest that you post a new thread about it and flag it for us so that we can sticky it and more hounds can see it.

                      Thanks!

                      1. re: The Chowhound Team
                        CindyJ Oct 22, 2007 02:23 PM

                        Thanks. This is helpful. It seems that if this event does NOT happen, it won't be because of lack of interest, but rather our inability to secure a reservation.

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