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A La Maison - BYOB - Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore

Mawrter Dec 23, 2008 02:06 PM

I just drive through Ardmore today and noticed this new bistro. Anyone been? There's a yellow overhang and it says "Steak Frites" "Bouillabaisse" "Coq au Vin" and "Pot-au-Feu" on the windows. I hope it's good!

53 W. Lancaster Avenue
(484) 412-8009

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A La Maison
Ardmore, PA, Ardmore, PA

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  1. Carole RE: Mawrter Dec 23, 2008 03:12 PM

    They're not opening until next weekend. I have a reservation for Saturday night (first Sat in January).

    Hope they're good, too! I expect there will be some problems (food, service, possibly) going this soon, but I'm going very early. I love that space.

    1. r
      rocknroll52 RE: Mawrter Dec 23, 2008 07:24 PM

      do they have a website?

      9 Replies
      1. re: rocknroll52
        Carole RE: rocknroll52 Dec 24, 2008 06:52 AM

        I don't think so. I did find a link to Opentable (that's how I made my reservation).

        https://www.opentable.com/rest_profil...

        1. re: Carole
          r
          rocknroll52 RE: Carole Dec 24, 2008 10:12 AM

          I hope it is good. We could use a good new restaurant in Ardmore.

          1. re: rocknroll52
            t
            the dog ate my homework RE: rocknroll52 Jan 3, 2009 12:23 PM

            Carole: I hope you'll post your 'review' after you eat there tonight. I am so curious about the place; it has a fantastic look from the street. Is this (Saturday 1/3) the first night serving?

            1. re: the dog ate my homework
              Carole RE: the dog ate my homework Jan 3, 2009 04:40 PM

              Hi!

              (Wow, sorry this is so long!)

              Just finished dinner there. Actually Friday night was their first opening and they told me they were just slammed. But from all accounts, the kitchen handled it. Overall the waitstaff was attentive and I felt comfortable but not rushed.

              My husband had dinner fairly early (5:45 pm) to avoid the worst of the crowds. They have done just the right amount of redecorating - painted the wall a nice French mustard yellow, hung chandeliers in the main dining room, removed the buffet tables, moved the front door to allow more seating, and added a coffee/espresso bar. It is quite nice. I like the color and the large sideboard where bread is cut for bread baskets. They have copper pans, etc., hanging on the walls and it still has the high ceilings but it is warm feeling and doesn't seem so cold.

              We each had an appetizer. My husband had the house salad. The dressing was nice and it was a decent portion. I had the Goat cheese with caramelized onion tart. It also had a salad on the side which I'm sure was the same as my husband's, only smaller. They had run out of my first choice, a chicken liver mousse with bread and chutney. But the tart was very good. If it had been clear that the tart came with a small salad on the side, my husband would have ordered that.

              My entree was the Boeuf Short Rib Bourgiugnon and it was moist and had a very rich sauce on just the beef. It was accompanied by mashed potatoes (very potato-y, not overly fluffed), green beans (haircot verts), and carrots. No mushrooms (not that they were missed). The short ribs were wonderful, very juicy, not too fatty but just enough, and fell apart. I would order them again, no problem.

              My husband had Roasted Salmon with a Champagne leek sauce (very mild) served on spinach. The sauce was pretty well overwelmed by the greens (spinach) but you could taste it on the salmon. The salmon was served to order as medium and was perfectly done. They said they normally cook it to Medium-rare, but my husband likes it done a little more than that. They cooked it just right for him.

              We ordered dessert (not too normal for us) and they have a "Crepe of the Day" and contained had caramelized pears with ice cream on the side. Again, very good. We also had espresso with dinner. It was served in a coffee cup but was a single, so it was a little odd.

              We brought our own wine, a Pinot Noir from California, and it went well with the dinner for both of us. In total the bill came to $80. The highest priced dish was my Beef Bourguignon at $28. Most of the entrees are from $22 to $28. This high in my mind for a Bistro where you might just stop in at the spur of the moment. But the food and the service was good. So I probably won't be going there every week, but it's certainly on my list for good place in walking distance. (And there aren't that many!)

              Last Friday night we ate at Teresa's Next Door, and both had oyster shooters, we each had an entree (I had a very good cassoulet, husband had a pulled pork sandwich), 3 beers in total for less than $50, so that is their competition in my mind. 'Course, the fact that I can walk to "A la Maison" is a huge plus.

              Bottom line: This was there second night open, we ate very early (5:45), had excellent service, and really liked the food. We'll definitely try them again soon.

              BTW, they are on a limited menu until January 14th when they bring out the full menu. I think this was very smart. As it was they ran out of some food items the first night. They apparently had over 100 covers Friday night and had reservations for 100 more tonight!

              1. re: Carole
                Mawrter RE: Carole Jan 3, 2009 10:01 PM

                Thanks for the review! I can't wait to try it... it's local for me, too (not walkable, but I'm in the nabe often) & of course we're really curious.

                1. re: Mawrter
                  t
                  the dog ate my homework RE: Mawrter Jan 4, 2009 05:23 AM

                  Carole: we decided to go ahead and get a reservation Saturday night, too, and must have been right behind you. We loved the place, even on just its second night of being opened! It was so much like a warm, friendly bistro around the corner. I agree with you on the goat cheese tart/salad. It was tremendous: pastry crust topped with carmelized onions and spread with soft goat cheese with a generous side of salad. Our waitress told us the delicious dressing had a touch of Karo syrup. For main: husband had the chicken with pureed potatoes which was fabulous. I ordered steak frites. I give the frites high marks: they were very thin, hot and plentiful. The steak, however, was blue (I ordered medium rare) and mostly unchewable because of gristle. The server was accomodating and sent it back for further cooking, but it returned to me STILL undercooked (and it takes a lot for me to consider anything too rare). They called it a strip, but was much too thick and fatty. Since it's such a signature dish, perhaps the chef should consider choosing a different cut of meat? On to better things: For dessert, I had the pot de creme which was phenomenal. There was much more whipped creme than an authentic one would have...but the chocolate was perfection. We will most definitely return. And, with friends. The servers and bussers were very attentive and the hostesses and manager on duty were welcoming and concerned. The owner chatted with us and she was a delight. She said she was responsible for cooking my two faves: the goat cheese tart and the pot de creme. We adored the skinny, chewy bread she has chosen. And, it was served with soft butter in a tiny wooden pot. The atmosphere is warm, though the fabulous French cow poster needs to be moved from back by the bathrooms to a place of importance in the main room! A few more trips to some flea markets to add to the decor, and A La Maison will have it down. Do give it a try. Yes, there was a boo-boo on one of the menu items but overall, the food is spot on authentic and good.

                  1. re: the dog ate my homework
                    m
                    michyphilly RE: the dog ate my homework Jan 4, 2009 08:01 AM

                    I cant wait to try it,I love french bistro eating !

                    1. re: michyphilly
                      r
                      rocknroll52 RE: michyphilly Jan 4, 2009 10:44 AM

                      is the menu for this place online anywhere?

                      1. re: rocknroll52
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                        the dog ate my homework RE: rocknroll52 Jan 5, 2009 02:42 AM

                        I haven't found a website or menu yet. I think A La is still fine tuning its menu. There were five or six choices for main courses this weekend: steak frites, salmon, chicken, ribs, and I can't remember the others. I don't believe coq au vin, pot au feu or bouillabaisse (as painted on the front window) are available yet. There was a notation on the menu that nightly specials will start later next week.

      2. m
        Mainliners RE: Mawrter Jan 12, 2009 05:32 AM

        Staff is inexperienced and needs further training.Server barely came by to see how we were doing.Manager seems inexperienced and not customer service oriented. Our table of 4 asked for bread 3x before it came and were disappointed in small basket of tiny pieces of bread. The appetizer-vegetable napolean and berry crepe dessert were good with nice presentation. However, the main courses were very disappointing with no plate presentation at all. Boeuf Short Rib Bourgiugnon was greasy, steak was just OK,roasted Salmon,although fresh, was bland and ordinary.The restaurant was very noisy and it was difficult to hear and have a conversation. If you want to have dinner at a good BYOB in the neighborhood-go to Sola or Theresa's.

        1. m
          mario b RE: Mawrter Jan 18, 2009 08:53 AM

          One advice, keep driving through. We just had dinner last night and it was a horrible experience. We had a dinner reservation at 8:30 pm, we sat down at 9:15pm, we did not receive one apology for the wait . After being sat, we waited another 20 minutes to get our wine open. ( Tips : with your wine, come with your wine opener as well....) Half of the menu items were already sold out. The server was nice, I think it was his first time working in a restaurant. The food was below average, my wife ordered the goat cheese and caramelized onion tart. When the tart came, it was no onion. I got the vegetable napoleon with goat cheese, the cheese was out of a can. Entrees were as bad as our appetizer. Desserts, we did not need to adventure anymore. I can go on and on about our experience, bottom line keep driving through. There is so many other restaurants on main line that are much better.

          1. Carole RE: Mawrter Jan 18, 2009 03:45 PM

            Went again last night for dinner. Had an early 6:00 reservation to avoid the crowds. It's only been a couple of weeks since they opened and the staff is still learning. By the time we left, it was full.

            As before the food was very good. I had the chicken mousse with chutney for my appetizer. We was very buttery and the chutney was a nice contrast in texture and flavor. They need to put more of the toasted bread slices on the dish, but when asked quickly brought more from the kitchen. My husband had the onion soup. He said it was perfectly made. It had the right amount of cheese on top - not overloaded. The man next to our table also had it and when we were leaving he remarked to us that it one of the best he had ever had.

            For our entrees, I had the herb roasted chicken with potato puree. It also had asparagus on top of the potatoes. I was surprised to see that the kitchen had taken the time to peel the ends of the asparagus - just as I like it. There was a half of a small roaster chicken with crispy skin and you could definitely tell by it's taste that it was a flavorful free range chicken. After all that, we were too full to eat dessert!

            We had two small complaints about the service. One, the tables for two at the front where we were seated had been allowed to spread out and as we were the last table to be seated, they had to ask everyone who was already there to move down slightly. A more experienced wait-staff would have kept track of it and stopped it from happening in the first place. The second complaint was that when the wait-staff person saw that our wine bottle had a screw top she didn't bother to open it. Again, their inexperience is showing. Our wait-staff person checked on us periodically, not making a pest of herself but being available when we needed something.

            So, we're very happy that this restaurant has opened in Ardmore and will definitely be back soon. They are now offering their complete menu selection and there are many more items I'd like to try. Next time I know I'll be getting the onion soup!

            1. vicarious RE: Mawrter Jan 19, 2009 08:59 AM

              We had high hopes for this restaurant, but our group of four was disappointed. The starters were all good, but the main dishes were not. Two of us had the duck and found the dish simply devoid of flavor. The frites were good, but the steak was underseasoned and tough. My friend liked his profiteroles, but my dessert crepe wasn't well-executed or flavorful. By the way, noone asked us for feedback (although they did offer to wrap up our uneaten food. We declined.).

              1. m
                michyphilly RE: Mawrter Jan 20, 2009 05:07 PM

                I have a reservation for this Fri. night. The reviews are so mixed Im not sure if i should waste my $ and time. Any thoughts?

                3 Replies
                1. re: michyphilly
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                  sanfrantransplant RE: michyphilly Jan 20, 2009 06:07 PM

                  I say don't be a lemming over the cliff... go and see for yourself, make up your own mind. Who knows if any of these people even know what they are talking about... i.e. the good or bad reviews. It's all frame of reference and expectation. I've eaten at places I thought were the absolute WORST only to have others rave over them. I suspect it's like that for most places. Who knows which door you're behind...

                  1. re: sanfrantransplant
                    Carole RE: sanfrantransplant Jan 21, 2009 05:04 AM

                    I definitely agree about having to try it yourself.

                    First of all, it's still a much too small sample to get a good feel about what it's like. It's only been open a couple of weeks and just a few of us have reported on our experiences there.

                    You really do have to go yourself and see what you think.

                  2. re: michyphilly
                    r
                    rocknroll52 RE: michyphilly Jan 20, 2009 06:53 PM

                    Personally,. the above posts do not make me want to run over there and try La Maison, even though I live fairly near...and I truly would like it to be great but it just sounds like they have a lot of problems to work out with the food....

                  3. m
                    michyphilly RE: Mawrter Jan 21, 2009 05:06 PM

                    OK, good advice... Im going to give it a try this Friday night , lets see....

                    1. m
                      michyphilly RE: Mawrter Jan 24, 2009 06:31 AM

                      I did finally decide to give them a try because they are so close to where I live. We went at 7:00 on Friday night. Our sever was nice but very inexperienced. We ordered a salad to start ,it was like the mixed greens that you get from the supermarket with a few candied walnuts thrown on top,nothing special at all. I ordered the steak frittes and I thought that it was prepared very nicely ,although the steak was a bit tough. Our seating was a problem,as the rest. filled up we had to move over to give another diner more room.Five min. later a manager came over to us and asked us to move back again to give them more room! I couldnt believe my ears ,we had no room and I didnt want to squish my friend up against the wall. Im sorry but this is not an inexpensive rest. and they were way out of line. I complained to the owner and she smiled and said: have you been to Paris? She couldnt have cared less . OK this is not Paris and the food is no where near Paris or even a NY bistro for that matter. I found the bread to be skimpy and just OK.,Parc on Rttenhouses bread is many times better. We ordered a banana bread desert and it was also just Ok.,dry and tiny. The place for the most part has a charming atmosphere ,and is tastefully decorated. I found that the small wooden bistro seating uncomfortable for an extended dinner. Friends, If you dont like really ,really loud retaurants ,I mean not being able to hear your dinning partner loud be careful . At 8;30 on a Fri. night we left both saying that it was way too loud. For now Im not going to go back , I felt that there were too many negatives to justify the price even if I could take the din.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: michyphilly
                        r
                        rocknroll52 RE: michyphilly Jan 24, 2009 07:53 AM

                        Thanks for posting your feedback...I'd rather take the time and effort to go into the city to Parc where you know the service and food will be excellent.

                        1. re: rocknroll52
                          m
                          michyphilly RE: rocknroll52 Jan 24, 2009 11:01 AM

                          Glad to give you the heads-up!

                        2. re: michyphilly
                          a
                          Angusthewino RE: michyphilly Jan 25, 2009 10:52 AM

                          I also went this past Friday night at 7 and left very disappointed. I have to agree with all of the above post - this place has a very long way to go and should be avoided for the time being. The waiter was nice, attentive, but completely clueless: had trouble opening our first bottle of wine (put the corkscrew in crooked and struggled getting the cork out) and needed to ask for help ½ way through opening our second bottle. Couldn’t tell us if the Coq au Vin was made with rooster or chicken and needed to check, um shouldn’t a waiter in French restaurant know Coq au Vin means "rooster in wine"? I bet IF we where in Paris they would! One of my companions ordered the Goat cheese with caramelized onion tart and the mixed green salad as her main course, not knowing the tart came with a large side salad (a helpful point the waiter never mentioned). This however turned out to be a good thing because my Boeuf Short Rib Bourgiugnon was ICE COLD!!!! The mashed potatoes, and carrots where hot but the beef well below room temperature and had to be sent back. So as I waited for it to return I ate the extra salad. Since I was also in the restaurant at the same time I completely agree with you Michyphilly; it was very loud, at times hard to hear, and we had to shuffle our seats around because people (waiters and guest alike) constantly bumped into us. As much as I think Parc tries too hard and reminds me of Epcot Center, the food is spot on and the wait staff is excellent. Next time I’m in the mood for French, that’s where you’ll fine me…

                          1. re: Angusthewino
                            n
                            nosefood RE: Angusthewino Jan 27, 2009 09:09 AM

                            WOW,
                            I guess I am not the only one disapointed with this place, Unfortunately I also had the ICE COLD Boeuf short rib,Whats up with that. I think someone needs to go back to Culinary school and better educate themselves on time and temperature. This place needs a lot of help, And I agree with you for the fact of the wait staff also being educated on the french? dishes...This is a far cry from France...hahaha....Far too crowded and noisy....The decor was nice, But before you knock yourselves out in decor, We should take a look at alot of other areas....Oh well, I had to try it....last time though.....I will see you at Parc....lol

                          2. re: michyphilly
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                            Buckethead RE: michyphilly Jan 27, 2009 09:37 AM

                            "I complained to the owner and she smiled and said: have you been to Paris?"

                            Wowee, why would you say such a thing to a customer? Even if the food was good I would not go back if the owner had that kind of attitude.

                            1. re: Buckethead
                              n
                              nosefood RE: Buckethead Jan 28, 2009 05:18 AM

                              GET OUT! She said that to you? I believe customer service comes far before anything else, That is unbelievable and how unprofessional.Wow, Just curious as to what your response was...hahaha, Has she been to Paris?...Amazing......I hope you got a refund....

                              1. re: nosefood
                                b
                                Buckethead RE: nosefood Jan 28, 2009 05:25 AM

                                She apparently said it to michyphilly, I was just expressing my surprise..

                                1. re: nosefood
                                  m
                                  michyphilly RE: nosefood Feb 1, 2009 04:39 PM

                                  Im with you, my friend and I were totally stunned by her response. I think I said something to the tune of , yes Ive been to Paris .... I didnt want to get into an argument with the owner .It would have been nice to have been comped something but that clearly wasnt going to happen.

                            2. m
                              mpeet77 RE: Mawrter Feb 5, 2009 12:17 PM

                              4 of us visited here on Tuesday night and have mixed feelings about the place.
                              Our reservation was originally for 5 people and when I said to the hostess that it would now be 4 people, she sat us at the last table in the restaurant, fairly close to the back door which kept opening and closing with people arriving- it was very cold. We asked if we could move further up and she said she really wanted to keep us with the same server. Considering it was a Tuesday night and there were only 3 other tables there, I don't understand why we couldnt move closer. We sat down and a few minutes later decided that we did want to move for sure- when we mentioned that to the hostess, she didnt even acknowledge us, just acted like we were a big nuisance and waved her arm towards another table we could take. She was very cold and unwelcoming. For a new restaurant, I would have expected the opposite.
                              The food and service was very good- no complaints on that. The ambience was also very nice. It was just the unfriendly hostess that didnt sit right with us. Am not sure we will return as we didnt feel welcome.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: mpeet77
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                                the dog ate my homework RE: mpeet77 Feb 5, 2009 02:02 PM

                                I don't understand restaurant staff who behave like this. We all 'get' that a big part of a host/hostess' job is distributing tables fairly among servers, but surely something could have been worked out. Why couldn't she put herself in the customer's position....how would she feel being seated at a drafty table on a freezing February night? If the place had been packed, I could have seen why you would have had to take what was available, but that wasn't the case according to yoru report and her response just wasn't hospitable. I suspect she was a young person who is not accustomed to picking up the tab on a $150-$175 dinner .. and then having to pay the credit card bill a month later. I really hope A La Maison management reads Chowhound (or that somebody tips them off). So many of the comments here have to do with lousy customer service, problems that should be pretty easy to deal with.

                                1. re: the dog ate my homework
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                                  bigdog2084 RE: the dog ate my homework Feb 5, 2009 05:21 PM

                                  I went there last friday night and we had a wonderful experience. the place was packed but the service was quick and the food was superb! I would recommend to anyone to try it.

                                2. re: mpeet77
                                  m
                                  michyphilly RE: mpeet77 Feb 8, 2009 05:56 PM

                                  I know the table that you were at ; the back door does open and there is no vestibule or curtain to protect dinners. In tis winter climate its unfortunate that they dont care enough to think of their customers comfort and their response to you I found typical. For a rest. of that price range I find this attitude to be way out of line.

                                  1. re: michyphilly
                                    Mawrter RE: michyphilly Feb 9, 2009 04:21 PM

                                    They should buy one of those little tent/portico thingies that restaurants in Manhattan put up in the wintertime. And everyone should learn to let the outside door SHUT before opening the inside door, and the same thing in reverse.

                                    1. re: Mawrter
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                                      Bigley9 RE: Mawrter Jun 2, 2009 11:47 AM

                                      oh that everyone would learn to do that! My pet peeve

                                3. t
                                  teachermommy RE: Mawrter Mar 1, 2009 12:21 PM

                                  We went here last night for dinner. I was excited for a nice new restaurant on the main line. I read the reviews, but I always take them with a grain of salt, as everyone is different. There were 4 of us all foodies.

                                  Well, the reviews were on the $$. We got there for our 8:30 res. and were seated right away. The waiter was clueless. He mentioned bread, but it didn't come for a while. You could see the staff was not trained. Then we ordered. The appetizers didn't come until 9:45. At 9:30 we realized the appetizers were not here and we were perplexed. Then it came. We were barely finished when the dinner came. 2 of us got beef short ribs, fabulous! One got salmon and the other got steak. All good. We got dessert too, lemon tart and crape of the day. All good. Our issues were the slow and inattentive service and the noise level was so loud we needed to huddle in to hear each other. Also we found the age group was a bit older. We are all 40, the age was 60+. We felt out of place. Bottom line good food, and that is it. We won't be returning.

                                  1. l
                                    luvtoeat5 RE: Mawrter Mar 11, 2009 05:59 AM

                                    SKIP IT!! The only thing French about this rest. is the name. Had dinner here last night. As in all of the other posts, found the service to be inexperienced, slow, and unknowledgeable about the limited menu. And tactless, bordering on rude. As is the manager/owner. Seating is hard, little (very little-some may not fit) uncomfortable, bistro seating. The noise level, even with the rest. far from full, makes it impossible to have a relaxing evening out. Now on to the food- the news does not get better here. The food is bland, totally unseasoned, with no salt on the table to help it along. Even a basic salad nicoise was lacking anchovy, eggs, tarragon, and the luttuce was chopped up romaine (not the usual boston or bibb). Dressing was not flavored correctly- no herbs and too sweet. When we asked the waitress for a few extra olives (to hopefully add flavor to the tasteless salad) she came out of the kitchen and said, "the chef does not want to give you any". By the way, the chef is the owner so it makes one wonder- what could she be thinking?? This is not the way to stay in business for the long term, by insulting your customers.... We eat out often, and have lived in Europe for 5 years, have never had a more unpleasant experience in terms of flavors, service etc. Chicken was tough and again no seasoning, served with just a couple of asparagus thrown on top. Was supposed to come with a salad, when we mentioned this to the waitress she returned with an undressed small plate of chopped romaine(again) and nothing else. Side order of mashed potatos was inedible (who could ruin mashed potatoes?) Someone needs to go back to culinary school. When we moved on to dessert, we were looking forward to the crepes (this is supposed to be a "FRENCH" rest. after all) We were told they came with berries and ice cream. We asked for a plain crepe with just butter/sugar (as my fellow diner is allergic to berries) and were told, in these words, " No, the chef does not want to make them that way". So diner beware- one chef offering on dessert crepes and if you can't eat it, or don't care for it, you are out of luck! There are so many delicious, warm, and friendly rests. on the main line, and in Philly, if you would like to enjoy yourself, SKIP THIS!! By the way, prices are higher (expensive for this area) then any other rest. around the suburbs. Neither the food, nor the service warrants such prices...

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: luvtoeat5
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                                      michyphilly RE: luvtoeat5 Mar 17, 2009 08:51 PM

                                      I was hoping that they would get their act together, sounds like more of the same customer abuse and mediocre food. Not a winning combo!

                                      1. re: luvtoeat5
                                        s
                                        stormicans RE: luvtoeat5 Apr 4, 2009 05:56 PM

                                        To each his own, but many good restaurants will not put salt or pepper on the table, preferring instead to let the food speak for itself, although the paying customer should have the final say.

                                      2. Carole RE: Mawrter Apr 4, 2009 02:15 PM

                                        There's a review in the April Philly Mag issue that pretty well sums up our collective experience at A La Maison. The bottom line was:

                                        Food: C+, Service:C, Vibe:B+

                                        And they're usually rather generous with their ratings.

                                        Basically they recommended just getting the appetizers. The article is on page 158 for those interested in reading it.

                                        Edit: found a link to the article online.

                                        http://www.phillymag.com/restaurants/...

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Carole
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                                          Buckethead RE: Carole Apr 5, 2009 07:47 PM

                                          Looks like LaBan is reviewing it next week.

                                          1. re: Buckethead
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                                            rocknroll52 RE: Buckethead Apr 6, 2009 04:34 AM

                                            Ouch! That won't be pretty.

                                          2. re: Carole
                                            Seeker19104 RE: Carole Apr 6, 2009 12:36 PM

                                            Not being a big eater, I often order two appetizers. Many restaurants seem to do better with these than entrees, I think.

                                          3. r
                                            rocknroll52 RE: Mawrter Apr 12, 2009 07:02 AM

                                            "pas mal" 2 bells for A la Maison

                                            http://www.philly.com/philly/restaura...

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: rocknroll52
                                              Carole RE: rocknroll52 Apr 12, 2009 09:50 AM

                                              If I had to guess, I'd say he was recognized.

                                              1. re: Carole
                                                j
                                                JanR RE: Carole Apr 13, 2009 09:11 AM

                                                That was my guess too. How else does one explain this place getting the same number of bells as Littlefish?? I haven't been to A La Maison but, based on posts here, I don't plan to go.

                                            2. w
                                              waynefoodie RE: Mawrter May 27, 2009 05:06 PM

                                              Went to lunch with three co-workers this week. We all ordered the short ribs and cheese sandwich, two with frites, two with house greens. Bill was less than $60, a very good value.. One thought her lunch was heaven, I thought it was good/very good, but not awesome.

                                              Frites were very good, salad had hardly any dressing, but salt and pepper were provided.

                                              Service was better than described here. Perfectly acceptable.

                                              Would recommend based on my experience.
                                              Room is beautiful

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: waynefoodie
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                                                heartdoc RE: waynefoodie Jun 2, 2009 06:03 AM

                                                went for dinner last saturday night and had a great meal.
                                                Firstly, i love the decor. Our waiter was excellent, attentive and knowledgeable, and is French.
                                                meal was very good and very generous sized dishes.
                                                We had the french onion soup, and grilled vegetables with goat cheese to start.
                                                And the beef short ribs and lamb with white beans.
                                                huge portions and very tasty. ony had room for cappucino for desert, check out the espresso machine.
                                                bill came to $80

                                                1. re: heartdoc
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                                                  the dog ate my homework RE: heartdoc Jun 2, 2009 11:10 AM

                                                  Glad to hear this review. I hope it means they've gotten things together. Really like the idea that a French person is onboard. I'm more than game to give the place a second try.

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                                                percyn RE: Mawrter Aug 13, 2009 06:09 PM

                                                Any recent experience that people care to share?

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: percyn
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                                                  foodiepair RE: percyn Aug 14, 2009 06:00 PM

                                                  We went there last week (after seeing "Julie & Julia" we were in the mood for French food, or at least, French inspired food). We had been there once before for brunch, several months ago, which was OK.

                                                  Dinner was a disappointment. For appetizers we had a basic salad which was OK, nothing bad, nothing special, and the French onion soup (of course). We love French onion soup, but this one was disappointing. It had the expected amount of nice gooey cheese on top. But, the stock was not good. The stock itself tasted like water thickened with baking powder, and the amount of onions was very skimpy.

                                                  For entrees we had trout, which was very oily and salty, tasted old, and a chicken dish which in France is simply called Poule au Pot (chicken in a pot with noodles and vegetables). We had Poule au Pot in Paris on our honeymoon, and it always has a nostalgic feeling for us. The chicken was OK, a generous portion, but I was shocked to discover that the sauce in the pot was the exact same water-thickened-with-baking-powder as the stock in the "onion" soup, and tasted the same! Clearly, the kitchen is looking to save time and cut corners and cost, but, it was noticeable.

                                                  Overall, the experience was simply "OK", but definitely not worth the $70 for two price (if it was a $25 meal at a diner we would have said that's what you get for the price, but in this case, it was a $25 dinner masquerading as a $70 one). The ambience and "feel" of the place is kind of fun, it's the closest to "French" on the Main Line suburbs. But the food is overpriced and not particularly good, and not worth the premium for the decor of some copper pots hanging on the wall. We will not be going back.

                                                  1. re: foodiepair
                                                    Mawrter RE: foodiepair Aug 14, 2009 08:14 PM

                                                    Foodiepair, that's exactly what I thought about that place, only we had different dishes.

                                                    The kitchen isn't using ingredients of sufficient quality or turning out dishes of sufficient sophistication (or just sheer elbow grease) to justify the prices. lt's not bad food and and it's not a terrible place, you just have to do better than that to attract me as a repeat/regular customer.

                                                    I like the sort of thing they serve, they just aren't doing it well enough to bother with. If I couldn't cook, I might not know the difference - but I can and I do.

                                                    1. re: Mawrter
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                                                      emdrus RE: Mawrter Jan 4, 2010 09:16 AM

                                                      Has anyone eaten there more recently? I am looking for a good (doesn't have to be perfect) byob restaurant near Bala Cynwyd or Ardmore areas.

                                                      1. re: emdrus
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                                                        rocknroll52 RE: emdrus Jan 4, 2010 09:52 AM

                                                        Haven't been to La Maison. Other BYOB choices could be Avril on Bala Ave in Bala Cynwyd (nice atmosphere but people haven't raved about the food); Gemelli in Narberth (frecnh/italian fare, casual & moderate price); and Ginza (good sushi);

                                                        1. re: rocknroll52
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                                                          Buckethead RE: rocknroll52 Jan 4, 2010 10:01 AM

                                                          I haven't been to either place in a while but when I was, Avril had an edge over A La Maison in terms of the food. They definitely care more about the food at Avril, at A La Maison I got the feeling that no one was checking the dishes as they went out (fries with my steak frites were pale, limp and way undercooked).

                                                          Sycamore in Lansdowne is another option, it's a little further away though.

                                                          1. re: Buckethead
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                                                            JanR RE: Buckethead Jan 4, 2010 10:58 AM

                                                            I have only been to Avil once and A La Maison, never. Based on what you say, A La Maison's food must be pretty bad. While I liked the couple who own Avril and the place is charming, the food was pretty poor. We had a butternut squash bisque that was strangely gluey. The rest of the meal was better but that's not saying much. Dessert was good, however. Wish Avril was better.

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                                                  rocknroll52 RE: Mawrter May 11, 2010 04:56 PM

                                                  Anyone been to A La Maison lately? I'm taking a friend there this Friday per her request, so I'm hoping to find out what may be decent on the menu.

                                                  -----
                                                  A La Maison
                                                  Ardmore, PA, Ardmore, PA

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: rocknroll52
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                                                    alilsaucy RE: rocknroll52 May 23, 2010 04:37 AM

                                                    The above detailed problems of inexperienced, cold service and very sub par food for the money unfortunately persist despite the passage of time. My wife and I did go on a busy Saturday night when these places are at their most frazzled but we did not come away filled with the romantic, comforting feeling we were hoping for. The place was extremely loud and our server was overwhelmed and underenthused. We had to ask for silverware more than once after our food arrived. Appetizers: country pate was enjoyable and rich; escargot: very rich, oversalted but I liked them more than my wife. Entrees were served about three minutes after the arrival of the apps, then taken away in a hush and I'm sure placed under a heat lamp or in an oven. My wife's duck breast, ordered mid rare came back beyond well done and my crab gallete was dry. We simply felt too bad for our waitress to complain. Profiteroles for dessert were filled with ice cream whose wetness of course made the choux as tough as leather. Our bill was $95 before tip. I'd say maybe just an off night but not in light of other reviews. I'd consider going back on a less busy night but not before trying one of the many other interesting places in the area first.

                                                    1. re: alilsaucy
                                                      Mawrter RE: alilsaucy May 28, 2010 08:48 AM

                                                      Try Cochon - yes, you have to drive to the city, but parking is ample (hey, it's South Philly) and the service was perfect, and the food was to die for. Comparable prices, but a much better value in every sense.

                                                      1. re: Mawrter
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                                                        alilsaucy RE: Mawrter May 31, 2010 05:01 AM

                                                        Thanks, sounds interesting and will definitely check out

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