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Cozy upscale restaurant in or near Blue Bell for anniversary dinner for two - moved from Pennsylvania board

My parents are looking for a nice place to have an anniversary dinner that isn't to far out of the Blue Bell area.

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  1. William Penn Inn, Call ahead and reserve a quiet table out of the way. They will do it.
    Lai Lai Garden is very nice, quiet and cozy. very good service. only 3 blocks up 202 from 73.

    1. Bridget's in Ambler is a great place.

      5 Replies
      1. re: crazyspice

        I wouldn't characterize Bridget's as either cozy or upscale. I thought the food was just OK and, if there's an upscale part it's the pricing.

          1. re: crazyspice

            I like Bridgets a lot better since they added the tapas menu. I too would consider them upscale - good wine list, valet parking, high quality food, AND the pricing.

            1. re: truffles2

              Hmmm - Bridget's has tapas - might have to return! What's the tapas pricing?

              1. re: bucksguy14

                Pricing is lower, 8 - 21 dollars. My favorites are the lobster risotto, tomato tower, mac and cheese, and scallops. Give them a try and tell me what you think.

      2. I also like Trax, but how about a place in Skippack like Fuzion or Back Porch Cafe? Back Porch is very cozy and intimate (especially in the winter with the fireplaces!) I also hear Parc Bistro is good!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Jen516

          The last time we had lunch at Back Porch Cafe, I ordered the stew and no lie, it was from a can. We won't go back.

          Parc Bistro is fabulous!

          1. re: crazyspice

            Back Porch has definitely gone downhill over the past few years.

            I would also agree with the Parc Bistro recommendation, but wouldn't agree with Trax (very overpriced and above average at best).

        2. I highly recommend Casselli's in Roxborough. It is a lovely small cozy intimate place with EXCELLENT food. You cannot get a bad meal there.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Userfriend

            I like Casselli's too but it's not at all upscale.

            1. re: JanR

              I also wouldn't consider Roxborough "near" Blue Bell.

          2. I recommend Savona in Gulph Mills for a special upscale celebratory meal. It isnt too far from Blue Bell. Depending on where in Blue Bell they are coming from it is a 15 to 20 minute drive on either back roads or 476 to 76.
            I would ask for a quiet table. The main dining room is a bit close and loud, but there is an area off to the side with only tables for two outside of the main dining room that is very romantic.
            The food, wine and service are all excellent.

            6 Replies
            1. re: thehungrything

              I've never been to Savona. I checked their website after reading your post. I know the OP said "upscale" - but $49 for dover sole? That's kind of "tipping" the scale over for me! What is it about Savona that lets them command pricing well above what I think is the norm for "upscale"?

              1. re: bucksguy14

                I'm with you, bucksguy 14: Savona sounds special if over the top expensive. Is it worth the price?

                1. re: Karen K

                  Considering I recently bought fresh Dover sole at Shop-Rite for $6 a pound, the half C-note pricetag for the 8 oz. (or less) Savona rendition would exceed my threshold for enjoyment. That's the main reason I've only been there once.


                  1. re: Chefpaulo

                    I dont spend special anniversary dinners shopping at Shoprite, then cooking the dinner, serving it to myself and then cleaning up. So whether a price for dinner is "worth it" depends on your perspective. For an upscale, romantic dinner to celebrate a special occaision where the service is impeccable, the food is perfect and the wine is excellent Savona is your place in that part of the world unless you are going downtown to Lacroix or Le Bec Fin or some place similar. I also dont celebrate my anniversary dinners at the local tavern on the corner. Similarly, it pisses me off to spend half of what Savona costs on a dining experience that is only 1/50th as good, such as any number of suburban dining spots that suck.
                    The dover sole is the most expensive entree on the menu, but I get the point. This place does cost at least 100 per person if you order 3 courses and wine. So for that kind of experience for a special occasion, yes it is worth it to me.
                    It depends on what you are looking for.

                    1. re: thehungrything

                      As my dear, departed, father liked to say, "that's why Breyer's makes chocolate AND vanilla"! I don't think Chefpaulo was comparing restaurant dining to home cooking, I think he was doing a cost vs. price analysis. Which is kind of what I was doing when I stated that $49 for dover sole tipped the scale over for me. If you're willing to drop more than $200 for an anniversary dinner, God Bless You! I'm not.

                      1. re: bucksguy14

                        I think the concept of 'special occasion' and 'upscale' dining need not apply to the price tag. Dining at many corporate functions, many of my colleagues and friends believe the more it costs the better it is. I agree with thehungrything on the fact that it is all about perspective. Budget often dictates what you can get and quality is all determined by what you are used to.

                        One of the recommendations above is one that I would wholeheartedly agree with: Boccelli at the Gwynedd Train Station. They have a few tables on a second level that is very intimate and overlooks the entire restaurant and gives a particular view to the kitchen. They provide complimentary bruschetta, generally a bit of pasta (last time there we got delicious manicotti) and then a limoncello shot after dinner. Their osso bucco is to die for and as a BYO, you and your special someone can splurge on a favorite bottle and enjoy great food and an awesome atmosphere. Highly recommended!!!

            2. I note that your first qualifier is "cozy" and upscale follows. I've found my coziest place to be at "my" table (#124) in the Penn Tavern of the Wm. Penn Inn. Two well-padded, high backed Queen Ann style chairs ensconce you next to the window. Put in a request for a small candle and a special dessert, you have cozy and special that are close to home for mom and dad. You might also inquire about a similar seating upstairs in the Commonwealth Club. It used to be a members only affair but maybe not anymore.


              1. I haven't been to either but Parc Bistro and Restaurant Roslie both look interesting. I wouldn't mind hearing from anyone who's been to either. Both are just a few minutes away on 73 too. Frankly I don't see Gulph Mills as being anywhere near Blue Bell. If the OP said near the greater Norristown or KoP area I might agree though.

                6 Replies
                1. re: RC51Mike

                  I have not dined at Restaurant Rosalie as their concept just doesn't appeal to me, but I can vouch that Parc Bistro is very good. I have eaten there for many years and I have never had a bad meal there (in fact, I've never even had a "good" meal either as it's always exceptional). I just ate there last weekend and it was no exception. And, the more that I think about it, the upstairs is rather cozy.

                  IMO you can't go wrong with going to Parc Bistro for virtually any occasion.

                  1. re: mitchh

                    Thanks. I suggested to my wife that we take her mother there. Sounds great.

                      1. re: crazyspice

                        My wife's been bugging me to take her to Parc Bistro. From the sounds of the folks on this thread, it seems to be a good idea. I checked their on-line menu and we can definitely find lots that would fit our tastes. The one thing I didn't like was they have pricing on everything except the wines. Is that because their pricing is high?

                        1. re: bucksguy14


                          I don't find their wine pricing any higher than any other comparable restaurant.

                          What I really like about Parc Bistro is that there are so many food options to choose from. If you're in the mood for something small, an appetizer and salad is more than enough or you can opt for a big plate. Their brick oven pizzas are exceptional as well.

                          1. re: mitchh

                            I have to agree with mitchh. I don't recall exactly what we paid for wine when we were there last, but I am still talking about the mixed seafood grill I had. Can't wait to go back. Oh and the oysters were fabulous!

                2. Thank you all for your input. Mom & Dad wound up at the Wm. Penn Inn and had a wonderful time! They loved their meals & found the atmosphere very cozy, especially since it was decorated for the holidays. I made a list with all of your suggestions for them to research, I'm sure that they will be trying Bocelli & Parc Bistro in the future. Thanks again & Happy New Year to All!