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Jan 17, 2008 07:49 AM

Restaurant recs OUTSIDE of Longwood Gardens

Will be going to Longwood in a few months. We haven't enjoyed the restaurant on the premises the last few times we've been and would like to try something new.

MIL is very picky. Must be more on the upscale side. Not a seafood restaurant.

Thanks for the help!!

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  1. Sounds to me like Sovana Bistro in nearby Willowdale would fit the bill. It's only about a mile or two west of Longwood on Rt. 926. The food is quite good, as is the service. It's a "white tablecloth" restaurant that features fresh and local ingredients whenever possible. The atmosphere is upscale and lively. And it's BYO, but be forewarned that there is a $5/bottle corkage fee. Check out the menus on their website:

    6 Replies
    1. re: CindyJ

      That's a great recc!. I'd also recc Talula's Table. I think there is a 4-6 mos wait for a reservation, but if you have enough people in your party, it's well worth the wait. Your M-I-L will be very impressed. The dining experience is simply unique. here is their site. :-}

      1. re: Tay

        Actually, there is a 1-year wait for dinner at Talula's table, and that's only because they won't take reservations more than a year in advance. That said, Talula's table is a great place to go mid-day. Bring your own wine, sit at the communal table, and dine on whatever delights happen to be coming out of the kitchen. Upscale but casual at the same time.

        1. re: CindyJ

          It's up to a year now?... Sheesh! That's really something...
          I'm going back in May or June.

          1. re: Tay

            It was a year out from the day they re-opened their reservation book on Jan. 2. On that day they booked EVERY available date through to Jan. 2, 2009.

            1. re: CindyJ

              Good Grief! I wonder if that will prompt them to somehow add another table? Since their 'bread &butter ' (I couldn't resist!) is their takeout business, I imagine they aren't in any hurry to 'grow' their table service... Still and all, a bonafide restaurant would be wondrful.

              1. re: Tay

                Well, since one of the reasons they sold Django was to be able to spend less time at work and more time at home with their daughter, I don't know whether expanding Talula's Table is part of their long-term plan. But I have heard through the grapevine that there's been some talk about having a "chef's table" in the kitchen.

      1. Each time this topic comes up here I say the same thing: consider the Farmhouse Restaurant along Rt 1 at the Loch Nairn golf course. My wife and I like it very much.

        Others to consider if price is an issue: The Whip Tavern is a good imitation of an English pub, and El Sombrero off Rt 41 if you want really cheap and authentic Mexican food, but yummy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jwbausch

          It's funny -- I agree with you about the Farmhouse. The food is nicely prepared, the setting is lovely, and yet it NEVER comes to mind when I'm recommending area restaurants (OR when I'm thinking about where I might go for a nice lunch or dinner). Maybe because it's a bit off the beaten path? But yes, the Farmhouse is a great recommendation.

        2. Talulah's is great but hence the wait. Sovana Bistro was good before Bryan Sikora left to open Talulah's (which you can still do take out anytime...). The Half Moon is generally pretty good too (eat upstairs unless you like to smell like an ashtray). Also, Firehous BBQ is less than a mile from Longwood and is great (albeit not at all upscale).

          5 Replies
          1. re: bluehensfan

            LOL, she would never eat at BBQ place. But my DH and I would LOVE it.

            Also thinking about Winterthur instead since we have never been there. Is it close to Longwood? So would the same restaurant recs apply? How is their Sunday buffet?

            1. re: rizzo0904

              Winterthur is very close to Longwood, in fact both places were originally part of the same DuPont estate. There's a little pub called Buckley's Tavern right by the entrance, I have no idea if it's any good but it would be very convenient.

              1. re: Buckethead

                Buckley's is ok...not spectacular. Winterthur's about 15 minutes away from Longwood (you hang a left on 52 South from Route 1). There's not mech else to eat in that neck of the woods. There is Pizza By Elizabeth's a little further down 52 in Greenville which is pretty good.

                Here's the link for the BBQ place if you ever decide to go: It is great BBQ but I'm scared that no one is ever there so wonder how long it may be there...who knows?

                1. re: Buckethead

                  IMHO, Buckley's is overrated. It's okay if you happen to be in the area, but I wouldn't go out of my way to eat there. I think it's more a "see and be seen" kind of place than a foodie find.

                  1. re: CindyJ

                    I'll third (fourth?) the Sovana rec. Re: Buckley's -- I used to enjoy them quite a bit, but their food has slid downhill pretty disastrously in the last few months. We first noticed that some of our 'standard' dishes were being made with new, subpar ingredients (like the goat cheese & honey toasts -- the cheese went from good to gooey overnight). Our visits slowed, but we learned during a recent attempt to place a takeout order that the menu had been scaled back quite a bit. I think it's safe to say that the emphasis is swinging away from the kitchen in a very bad way.

                    Also, the Mothers Day buffet at Winterthur is very good -- have been the past two years now and would def. recommend it. You have to jump through some hoops to actually get your reservation confirmed, but the food / service itself is great.

            2. I think Sovana's looks like the place for us. Menu is nice and reasonably priced. Since we'll be going on mother's day, I'll likely be paying for all 6 it'll be nice not to break the bank.

              Thanks for the recommendations.

              3 Replies
              1. re: rizzo0904

                For Mother's Day, I'd make a reservation now. Hope you enjoy it!

                1. re: CindyJ

                  Geography isn't my strong suit, but unless I am mistaken, Wilmington is very close by.
                  And if so my answer is, absolutely without question go to Moro. Their food is outstanding. It rivals some tops in Philadelphia and New York. I kid you not!

                  1. re: idia

                    Moro is an easy 25-minute drive from Longwood. And you're right -- it's a superb dining experience.