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Apr 23, 2008 05:11 AM

What's happening to Birchrunville Store Care

Just got an e-mail from The Inn at St. Peters telling us that Francis Trzeciak was their new executive chef. Great new for the IaSP, but what will happen to Birchrunville Store Cafe? Does anyone know?

I had heard that rumor last month, but I also went to BSC last week, and saw no hint of any change except that the usual hostess was not there. Food was just as good, and service a little slower than usual, but otherwise no sign of big changes.

Does anyone else have any light to shed on this?


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  1. From what I understand, Francis Trzeciak has purchased the Inn at St. Peters... and will be maintaining both the Inn and Birchrunville store. On a personal note, I know a lot of people love Birch. Store Cafe, but I've always thought it was way overrated. I've had a few meals there as well as at Pear (his former restaurant in Ardmore Pa, and was never impressed.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sanfrantransplant

      Actually Pear was in Haverford, but I kwym.

    2. Last night we went to the Inn at St. Peters for dinner. We originally had reservations at Birchrunville, but they were cancelled because the restaurant is closed this weekend as they focus on getting going at St. Pete's. No one would tell us what happened to Martin Gagne (chef/owner at St. Pete's) other than that he's no longer there (it all sounds very mysterious). They told us that Francis is now partnering with the other owner of St. Pete's, but that he will still be at Birchrunville. At St. Pete's he's listed as the executive chef, and there is another guy, George something, who is the Chef de Cuisine. The new menu at St. Pete's looks just like a BSC menu. Among other things, it's a little less expensive than the previous St. Pete's menu.

      Our dinners were good, but not great. I had branzino with a salsa cruda, in which the fish was totally overwhelmed by the sauce (one spice, possibly cumin, in particular). My first course of diver scallop mousse was excellent, however. My husband ordered lamb saddle, but was served a lamb shank (waitress brought the wrong thing), which was very good. His first course was lobster dumplings which were good (not fantastic). We shared a very good dessert, lemon-lime mousse with strawberries and raspberry sorbet.

      Service wasn't nearly as good as at BSC, but the staff was dealing with a new menu, new chef, etc., so that will probably improve. The atmosphere is modern, not warm and cozy like BSC.

      Then, there's the fact that it's not a BYO. They do have some lower priced wines (less than $46) in addition to their regular wine list. I wasn't impressed and would have far preferred to bring something from home.

      We live only about 1 mile from St. Pete's, so we would are really rooting for it to be a success. But for a great dining experience, for now we'll continue to go to Birchrunville.

      4 Replies
      1. re: zelbee

        Thanks, Zelbee. So much mystery around all this. Nice to hear some facts.

        1. re: FrancisdeR

          Likewise. :-)

          The Inn at St. Peter's Village
          3471 St. Peter's Rd.
          St. Peter's Village, PA 19470
          (610) 469-2600

          I haven't been there since it was a biker bar, so I'm really curious about the transformation under the previous owners. We used to leave our helmets on the deck and play on the rocks and in the water on hot days.

          Inn At St Peters
          3471 St. Peter's Road, St. Peters, PA 19470

        2. re: zelbee

          I, too, would like to know what happened to Martin Gagne. My wife and I have been to St Peter's a few times and loved the food and enjoyed chatting with Martin (when he wasn't too busy). When I got the email from St Peter's that announced their new chefs, I immediately replied back asking what happened to Martin, but got no response.

          1. re: Scott R

            I went to the re-opening of St. Peter's two (?) years ago and was favorably impressed! We so needed some place to go out this way. I am 3 miles from St. Pete's and want more often because of Martin Gagne. I have never met a more personable, humble chef. For an organization not to let locals know where he went is unprofessional, unless Chef requested it...unlikely. It just tells of a cloistered, cold group of people. Even if there was a sordid parting, I would continue to go to St. Pete's if they were kinder about how they treated people.

        3. I just read this on the phillynews foodandddrinq blog:

          <Francis Trzeciak of Chester County’s Birchrunville Store Cafe has quit his short-lived executive chef’s job at the luxe Inn at St. Peter’s, near French Creek State Park.

          “I am happy where I am,” Trzeciak said. “It was too much for me.”

          Chef de cuisine George Cook takes over the kitchen.>

          1. I had a bad experience at St Peters. I am told that Francis Trzeciak has nothing to do with St Peters any longer. He is focusing on BSC and left St Peters. It shows. I had a salmon Napoleon that I've had at both places. It was wonderful at BSC - it was horrible at St Peters - gray crab, salmon not fresh, I could go on.

            St Peters is a far drive to go for a poorly executed $35 brunch. Both of our starters and main courses had errors in them. I had sauteed filets - one was med rare, the other well done. Don't believe the word crispy on the menu, everything is soft. The manager was haughty. The pastries were wonderful but they were most likely from the great bakery next door. Go somewhere worth the money, not here.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dininginfo

              I have been to both BSC and St. Peter's and liked them both very much. BSC is nice because of the BYOB, but St. Peter's has a wonderful location. It's a matter of personal preference, I believe.