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Sovana or Orchard?: Brandywine Valley

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We're celebrating my birthday this weekend and are trying to decide between Sovana Bistro or The Orchard. Any opinions?

We like upscale, but not super-fancy, foods. Both seem to be well recommended. We're not big drinkers.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Jennifer

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  1. We opted for Sovana Bistro and had a lovely dinner. We started with the Chopped Beet Salad and the raw Tuna and Avocado appetizer - both were flavorful, fresh, and big enough to share. Then we had a pizza with artesianal pepperoni. We ate half and brought the other half home (had it for lunch today when we realized almost everything in Kennett Square is closed on Sunday for lunch). Very tasty, nice thin crust, yummy pepperoni - not sure it was worth the price ($15) but it was worth the calories. Then we had the Halibut entree (in a green nage which was very subtly flavored so I can't remember what the flavoring was exactly; but with a delicious tomato/olive tapenade which really sparked up the delicate flavor of the fish) and the NY Strip Steak (which was the most tender NYStrip I've ever had - this was a highlight of the meal). Each entree we ordered was about $28.. Desserts were nice (We had the lemon poppyseed cake in strawberry soup and the apple crisp) but given the price ($8) they should have been great. We were reminded of a dinner at Matyson where the desserts had us on our knees. Nothing like that here unfortunately.

    Service was attentive but young and inexperienced. That didn't affect our experience but some might find fault. We were in the side room so it wasn't too noisy. The main dining room was crowded and loud though! And the bar seating was packed!

    We really enjoyed our meal though and would recommend it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kiwijen

      Glad you enjoyed Sovana. You should definitely try The Orchard, though, for your next special occasion meal. Definitely not cheap but the attentiveness to the food was amazing. My wife and I went to Orchard for our anniversary and thoroughly enjoyed it. As you may be aware it is a BYOB. Figure close to $150 w/tax and tip by the time you are all said and done. We each had an appetizer, an entree, split a dessert, and coffee. Oh, and bottled water is extra.

    2. I have been to Sovana twice, the 1st time was great, the 2nd time just good. They had apparently changed chefs in between. Orchard is our "celebration restaurant", have been there 4 times, and it only gets better with time (I still dream about La Bete Noire, their chocolate cake). We also prefer the more romantic and intimate setting of The Orchard.