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nice dinner near Willow Grove area

We are meeting people for dinner who will be staying at Marriott in Willow Grove. Looking for a nice place for dinner (no Asian) within about 15-20 minutes drive from the hotel. Any suggestions?

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  1. There are quite a few options within a 15-20 minute radius. Ambler is bout 15 minutes from Willow Grove and there are some great options along Butler Avenue. Bridget's is a great "hawaian-fusion" steakhouse with a great atmosphere and a really good bar that serves up some great martinis. Trax Cafe is a nice American BYO with an outdoor patio. La Cava is an upscale Mexican BYO.

    Also about 20 minutes from Willow Grove is Springhouse. Arpeggio is a very good Mediterranean BYO. Drating Room is good and has a great beer menu.

    If you want to stay in Wilow Grove, most of your options are chain restaurants. However, Bonefish Grill is pretty good for a chain.

    1 Reply
    1. re: AmblerGirl

      thanks for the suggestions- I'll look into them! Not really interested in any chain type places.

    2. There is a German restaurant up the street - Otto's if I remember correctly. Food was pretty good, fairly authentic (brats, snitzels, kraut, etc) outdoor beirgarden.
      Trax in Ambler is a fantastic place too. Its in a little (very little) old train station at the end of the main drag in Ambler. You would probably need a reservation.
      Just further afield from Ambler is Tamarindo's, another upscale Mexican with free margaritas. It gets pretty busy at times, so depending it you are dining prime time you may want a reservation. Everything I have every had there was tasty.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mymagoogle

        I'd stay away from Otto's if I were you - it's pretty bland. A better choice would be the Kitchen Bar in Old York Road, a few minutes south of Willow Grove. Or, you might enjoy the Old Mill on Old York Road in Hatboro, a few minutes north of Willow Grove. The Kitchen Bar is pretty hip and the Old Mill is a bit more staid.

        1. re: JohnnyT

          Both the KitchenBar (it used to be Alexanders) and the Old Mill are good choices, for different reasons. BTW, the grilled octopus appetizer at KitchenBar is fantastic. Old Mill is much more sedate, somewhat romantic, etc.

        2. re: mymagoogle

          I heard a rumor that Otto's was sold and is being converted to a diner (as if the area needs another diner). Its such a shame. I know Otto's did not have the best food but it was a nice option seperate from all of the chain restaurants and diners on 611. Plus, they had a decent beer selection and their beer garden was so much fun in the summer!

        3. I'll second what Ambler Girl recommended about Arpeggio(Italian/Mediterranean mix) in Springhouse. The food is delicious and it's BYO. They do not rush you even though there are usually people waiting for tables. So you can take the time to sit and chat.

          1. Hi,
            The Kitchen bar (formerly Alexanders) is a very popular restaurant in the area. It has been newly renovated and the decor is pretty nice. The food is decent, and they have a nice big selection. Also, they have outdoor seating now. If the weather is nice, give it a try. It is about 15 minutes from your hotel.

            1. Arpeggio is great, but not as close as one might think from Rte 611. Ristorante Mediterraneo is right around the corner from the Marriott, on Rte 463. I have not been there recently, but they typcially have excellent fresh fish choices. Great for entertaining, as the service is top notch.

              I know you said no Asian, but there is a sushi/hibachi place on the other side of the Turnpike called Ooka - very good. Down the road into Willow Grove near the mall is La Vang, a decent Vietnamese-French BYOB.

              Sorry to hear about Otto's. I find the comments in this forum about it being bland a bit perplexing; their food is pretty similar to what one orders in most of Germany. Let's face it , German food is bland and heavy, but it can be comfort food if you think of it that way. When keeping the food style in context, one can have a very good homestyle and/or German meal at Otto's. They also have a wonderful selection of imported beers on tap. I'm very sorry to hear they are being sold.

              Based in the comments about the Kitchen Bar, I am anxious to try it out as well.

              1 Reply
              1. re: BucksFoodie

                I was at the Kitchen Bar for lunch today, and I was underwhelmed by both the food and the service. First of all, the waitperson didn't know what V.O. was when a drink was ordered. IWe had to wait forever for her to come back to refill drinks. I ordered a Caesar salad with grilled shrimp instead of salmon, and I got just romaine and four grilled shrimp. One of our party ordered mussels, and when the waitperson served them she dropped two of them on the table and just left them there. On top of that, someone was sweeping the floors while we were eating -- I mean sweeping them almost under our feet, and leaving piles of debris in the aisles between the tables. Although they've done a lovely job on the design, based on this experience, I have to wonder about the food and service.

              2. In addition to the recommendations so far, let me add Cafe Lombardi's in Horsham (just south of 611 on Blair Mill Rd.) and the Fountain Side on 611 at the Naval Air Station. Enjoyed them in the past but it has been a couple of years since I have been to either -- anyone have an opinion from a recent visit? My wife and I did not have the best of food at the Old Mill last time and, then, we found out from friends they had the same experience a month before we did. Sorry to hear about Otto's, but a diner is probably better than yet another chain restaurant. Why is it that, "Open another chain restaurant and they will come" is the rule in the restaurant business?

                1. i have a great one for you. cafe lombardi, at the corner of dresher road and horsham road... very unassuming from the outside, but the food is phenomenal and it's very close to the hotel. everyone loves italian, right? get any of the ravioli dishes... i'm telling you... so good!

                  1. Hope I'm not too late, but I'm a huge fan of Ristorante Mediterraneo on Horsham Road, across from the Giant Supermarket. Great food that is always fresh and well prepared, a pretty decent wine list, and smart, friendly, service. The pastries will make your mouth water.

                    1. Go down to center city - there is no where that good to eat in Willow Grove.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Marleenie

                        perhaps you haven't looked - there are some phenomenal spots in the area. maybe not in willow grove proper, but within a 20-minute drive you've got some really great options...

                      2. Also try Villa Barola in Warrington. It's Chef Lo's place and it's really good. The menu is big and varied, lots of fish and game, pasta, etc. It's really nice inside the restaurant with a few different dining rooms and a bar. Good drinks.