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Sep 2, 2008 03:03 PM

Need help in West Chester area

I want to get my son and daughter-in-law a gift card for their anniversary. Although I'm familiar with some of the restaurants in the West Chester area, my knowledge is definitely not comprehensive. I need suggestions. My daughter-in-law is not an adventurous eater at all, although my son eats anything. I think they would prefer a restaurant that's not a BYOB. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Jdbc, they can have a very lovely, special occasion meal at Simon Pearce in West Chester, and it's fine for a non-adventurous diner. The website is here:

    Tell them to be sure to ask for a riverside/window table. You can see the view from anywhere in the restaurant, but the window seats are really nice..

    1. Simon Pearce is a good bet. Another is The Gables or Brandywine Prime. A bit more upscale is the Dilworthtown Inn. I have a Gift Certificate for the Concordville Inn, but it's menu leans heavily to crab dishes, so we tend not to go. They also own the Mendenhall Inn which is nice.

      1. Although I haven't been there, I've heard good things about Pietro's Prime for great steaks.

        2 Replies
        1. re: CindyJ

          Cindy, you really should try Pietro's. Not quite as good as my favorite Philly steak joints (Barclay Prime, Capital Grille) but darn close. Also, seeing where you live, have you been to the Whip yet? It's fairly awesome.

          1. re: Rondo

            Yes, I've been to the Whip several times. I like their burgers and their roast beef sandwiches. I haven't been bowled over by anything else there, and I've found some of their dishes (the shepherd's pie and the fish & chips) to be really heavy.

        2. My daughter's brother-in-law, Chris, works at Limoncello. They have just undergone (may still be undergoing?) renovations and expansion. He raves about the place. I know that they have a web site, so you can check it out.

          Also consider the outdoor dining at The Desmond. They have some interesting events.

          1. Jasper in Downingtown is very good, it's less than 10 miles away from West Chester. There's also a new chef's table dining thing going on at Northbrook Marketplace in WC, two former chefs from Striped Bass and Charlie Trotter's are doing a $75 multi-course dinner, one seating a night: . I tried it a month or so ago and while the overall dining experience was a little weird (it's a communal table), the food was excellent.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Buckethead

              I second Jasper. It's worth the drive. Glad to see Chef Nick back in the kitchen!

              1. re: Buckethead

                How interesting! Northbrook Market is walking distance from where I live, yet I had no idea about this new dining option. I'm curious enough to give it a try. Buckethead, can you say a little more about your communal dining experience?

                1. re: CindyJ

                  I typed a long reply and chowhound ate it. The food was really good, the atmosphere was awkward due to the communal table. Sitting at a huge half-empty table with two or three other parties you don't know is uncomfortable. If you're within walking distance it's definitely worth checking out though.

                  1. re: Buckethead

                    I wondered about that table -- it looks immense in the photo on their website, and I wondered if parties tend to separate themselves from the others, or join together, if the table isn't full. And let's say there are only two couples dining who don't know each other? Do they sit at opposite ends, or do they force themselves to become one group of four? Yes, I can understand the awkwardness you referred to. Sounds like they tried to ride on the success of Talula's Table by changing the concept a little.

                    Why do you suppose CH deleted your other reply?

                    1. re: CindyJ

                      It wasn't deleted, the page just stopped responding when I hit 'post my reply', as it does a lot lately.

                      When we went, the table was already set for a full table, with glasses and menus at the chairs for the guests that were supposed to be there that night, with an empty chair between each party. We could have moved our glasses to the other end of the table, but we didn't want to seem like we were being antisocial. The whole thing was just weird.

                      They are definitely trying to emulate Talula's. I was all ready to hold it against them, but the food is very good.