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Feb 25, 2014 09:33 AM

West Chester / Brandywine Recommendation?

Hello, we moved away from Philly about 10 years ago and are going back in a few months -- we loved Gilmore's and Simon Pearce in the West Chester / Brandywine area but both are now closed. Any recommendations on similarly unique/delicious restaurant on the high end in the area? Thanks!

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  1. Avalon in West Chester is a good place. BYOBs

    Dilworthtown Inn is better than when you were here and also has a sister restaurant next door, Blue Pear, which does small plates. Tasty.

    3 Replies
    1. re: sal_acid

      Thanks for the quick response! I remember visiting the Dilworthtown Inn and eventually going to Gilmore's. Thanks for the advice!

      1. re: sal_acid

        Sovana Bistro in Kennett is very good as is Byrsa Bistro which is in downtown Kennett Square.

        1. re: bluehensfan

          Thanks! I think the sous chef of Gilmores went to Sovana (Jason Curtis), so I was considering that one!

      2. The Birchrunville Store Cafe is a favorite of ours. There really aren't too many "high end" places around, but there are some pretty good casual spots to try, including the ones already mentioned. And to those I'd add Portobello's in Kennett Square.

        4 Replies
        1. re: CindyJ

          Thanks! Great choices. Avalon, Birchrunville, and Sovana all seem up our alley, so I'll take advice from all three of you and try to hit all of those!

          1. re: CindyJ

            I'm heading to Birchrunville Store Cafe beginning of April. Any recommendations?

            1. re: Misha

              Just get that butterscotch cake for dessert and think of me!

              1. re: Misha

                Everything! Enjoy! If you are going for the 6pm seating, you will also enjoy the scenery en route. Make sure to pet Lulu, the fat neighborhood cat, who is always hanging out on the porch.

            2. Pricey but very high end steaks and seafood in a nice atmosphere at the Mile High Steakhouse in Glens Mills, just off rte 1.

              Blue Pear is also good

              4 Replies
              1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                Hey FCF! Just wondering if you've been to Antica (in the former Bistro on the B'wine location) yet.

                1. re: CindyJ

                  Not wife tried the new Italian place across the street for lunch and was pleased. It's BYOB or a "complimentary" glass of wine

                    1. re: CindyJ

                      I assume so! she brought home a menu somewhere and I think I remember that that the selection was much broader

              2. Try Antica, Harvest in Glen Eagle Shopping Center, Limoncello in West Chester.

                7 Replies
                1. re: elmdt1229

                  Only go to Antica if you are willing to shout yourselves hoarse to have a conversation. We went before Christmas on a Thursday night, and though the food was fine -- not at all spectacular -- the ambience was just miserable. We may try it for lunch sometime, but it's off our radar for dinner. Just waaaaay too noisy to be enjoyable.

                  1. re: Red Oakley

                    Wow, we must have lucked out as we really enjoyed our lunch. I like the simple but attractive decor. I am sensitive to noise levels and yes even at lunch it was a bit loud. But we were seated next to a large group of "ladies who lunch" and with every effort to ignore them it was way "over-the-top loud, even before drinks were served, ugh. I would suppose that each lady was polite and lovely as an individual however in this group(mod mentality?) they were intrusive and had they seem themselves may have thought, OMG.

                    1. re: Red Oakley

                      I have to agree with you about the noise level. I've been there three times -- twice on a weekend and once mid-week -- and it was loud all three times. Interestingly enough, so is the owners' other restaurant (Il Granaio in Delaware County). But other area restaurants are loud, too. Have you ever been to Sovana Bistro when the place is full?

                      1. re: CindyJ

                        CindyJ, Funny you should ask. We had dinner at Sovana about three weeks ago, on a weeknight. Asked specifically for the back room because we always think of that as the "quiet area."

                        The place was jammed. We waited 15 minutes for our table even with a reservation. And once in the "quiet area," we could barely hear the waiter or one another. We have loved Sovana for years, but that night did it for us. It's just too noisy.

                        In addition, the food wasn't at all up to past standards. We decided the total cost was way more than the experience was worth!

                        1. re: Red Oakley

                          We tend to avoid Sovana when we cannot sit outside because of the noise. Food has generally been OK.

                          1. re: sal_acid

                            Sovana Bistro is my favorite "neighborhood" restaurant. It tends to get packed every night, and it's quite noisy. But somehow I don't mind the noise as much there as I do in some other places. At Sovana Bistro, it feels more like "energy" than noise -- a distinction I've created myself. Am I imagining things if I tell you that at Antica, the noise is, literally, ear-piercing, whereas at Sovana Bistro it's merely loud? At times, I can actually feel my eardrums vibrate at Antica; not so at SB. Go figure!

                    2. re: elmdt1229

                      I second Antica. Sorry, but I'll stop short of seconding the others. True that it is loud, but it and its sister restaurant Il Granaio are just plain competent Italian food. Antica has easier parking that Il Granaio (where parking can be a serious problem).

                    3. Thanks for all the recs!