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Jul 8, 2011 09:48 AM

last minute trip to Longwood Gardens

planning a visit to Longwood Gardens this Sat (tomorrow). We usually eat in their restaurant but I've noticed a few places nearby that look very nice. Has anyone been to any of these places? Looking for a nice beer and good food, nothing fancy. Will have my 10 year old niece with us. Any suggestions are very much appreciated. Thank you Chowhounders!

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  1. one of our favorite places....longwood gardens!!! we, too, usually eat in the restaurant (not the cafeteria) but also have been to a few other places. Two we especially enjoy are:
    Sovanna Bistro


    Bistro on the Brandywine

    Sure there are many others...but these are two we enjoy!

    7 Replies
    1. re: ilovesummer

      thank you for your suggestions. How far in time/distance are they from the gardens? Can we leave and be back in 2 hrs or so? I hate to lose too much time out of the gardens - so much to see and so little time:-)

      1. re: basil4me

        Bistro on the Brandywine is only about 10 minutes north on rte 1 towards chadds ford...Savonna is about 15 minutes away....I know there is an easy back way to get there...if you decide their menu looks best I would call and ask for the best route...
        No matter...either place would be a pretty quick trip!
        have fun!

        1. re: ilovesummer

          I recommend Sovana Bistro- it is excellent. It will take you ~ 10 minutes each way from Longwood Gardens.

          1. re: ilovesummer

            Sovana Bistro is one of my very favorite restaurants. I'd recommend reservations for a Saturday. From Longwood's entrance... turn right as you exit the gardens, bear right onto Conservatory Road, turn left at the traffic light onto Route 926, and stay on Rt. 926 for about 2 miles until you come to the entrance for Sovana Bistro on your left. If you reach the light at Rt. 82, you've passed the entrance. Total travel time, maybe 7 minutes.

            Also, a little further out into "horsey country," but still within a 15-minute drive of Longwood, is the lovely Foxfire at the Stone Barn. They do a really nice lunch and a wonderful dinner. Not only is it "Farm-to-Table", it's also "garden-to-table." They've got garden beds right outside the entrance to the kitchen where their herbs and salad ingredients are freshly harvested. Further back on the property is the rest of their garden with an amazing variety of veggies. We were there last Sunday and enjoyed their Sunday Bistro dinner, which is a bit lighter than their regular dinner menu. I had the roasted vegetable salad for a starter course and virtually everything on my plate came right from their garden. For my entree I chose the crab cake, which might have been the best crab cake I've ever tasted. BUT it's BYO -- no liquor license and no corkage fee.

            1. re: CindyJ

              Cindy thanks for the info about the Stone Barn, I have to try that crab cake.

              1. re: Displaced California Foodie

                I'll be eager to hear how you like it. It's all jumbo lump crab meat, held together with (I think) a shrimp mousse. No filler.

                I think Foxfire is one of southern Chester County's best kept secrets. It's really not far from Kennett Square, and the locals know about it, but, maybe because it's a bit off the beaten path, it doesn't seem to be a tourist destination (yet).

                1. re: CindyJ

                  Oh no, shrimp mousse--I am allergic to shrimp--Thank you for mentioning, I will check out the menu.

                  Just checked the menu--it is SCALLOP mousse I can go !! The menu looks fabulous.

                  Thank you again! I will let you know....

      2. Be sure to report back on your choice...we'll be in the vicinity next week!

        2 Replies
        1. re: DonShirer

          and an added bonus to the bistro on the brandywine is that is right across from the brandywine river can stop in to see some wonderful wyeth paintings!! such a beautiful area!

          1. re: ilovesummer

            Thanks, ilovesummer, I also love your recommendation. After touring the museum, which is an archictectural feat in itself, we had a very good lunch at B.Bistro. They have a short but creative menu including designer pizzas. I enjoyed the shrimp fettuchine and my wife swooned over the tuna "snack" course. We ate other great meals at Alba in Malvern and Nectar in Berwin, but hope to return next year to try Sovana.

        2. I was at Longwood Gardens in October and liked Half Moon, 108 W. State Street, Kennett Square, PA, 610-444-7232, although it can be loud I think at night. Did you see the recent Mexican in Kennett Square post? I liked the taco place mentioned, but it is small and I don't think there is beer. Ice cream place is also good, but
          Great ice cream further away.
          Woodside Farm Creamery
          1310 Little Baltimore Road
          Hockessin, DE 19707
          I had lunch as Sovanna Bistro and it was nice, the food was just ok.

          Half Moon Cafe
          7 E Park Ave, Merchantville, NJ 08109

          Woodside Farm Creamery
          1310 Little Baltimore Rd, Hockessin, DE 19707

          1. I realize this is beyond the OP's dining date, but thought I'd pipe in for anyone who might be looking for a place near Longwood Gardens. We have friends who live in that area and they recommended The Orchard, which is about 1/2-3/4 of a mile south of LG. We tried it for dinner a few months ago and liked it very much. An added bonus is that it's a BYOB.