Our editors and critics pick the 47 they can’t live without.
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Firecreek Restaurant + Bar
American, Latin, Asian and Italian flavors meld vibrantly at Firecreek, mirroring the lively atmosphere of the restaurant itself. The interior pairs the unrefined surfaces of this former paper mill with elegant colors and textures, and a fabulous al fresco bar and lounge offer panoramic views of the Brandywine River. If you’re lucky enough to come on a night when prime rib is available, take the plunge. 20 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown; (610) 269-6000, firecreek-restaurant.com.
Don’t let its small size fool you—seasoned chef Clark Gilbert’s labor of love packs a serious punch with its divine Italian fare and cozy, classy dining room. The service is seamless, and the seafood offerings and succulent pasta dishes are an omnivore’s delight, not to mention generous and affordable. We don’t mind the complimentary limoncello, either. 232 Woodbine Ave., Narberth; (610) 660-0160, gemellinarberth.com.
Georges Perrier offers a gentler, more dressed-down take on French and American cuisine here on the Main Line. Bouillabaisse and escargot share menu space with brick-oven pizza and Black Angus burgers; brunch features prime rib, in addition to the expected breakfast favorites; and the in-house bakery produces more than 15 varieties of artisan bread. We can’t get enough of the cheesesteak spring roll appetizer. Eagle Village Shops, 503 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; georgesonthemainline.com, (610) 964-2588.
There are no twists and turns to be found at Le Bec-Fin alum Peter Gilmore’s West Chester bastion of authentic French cuisine. Entrées like luscious galette de crabe with lemon buerre blanc and slow-braised lamb shank are the closest you’re likely to come to Parisian fine dining without a passport. And the pumpkin-spiced sticky bread pudding with Tahitian vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce is a flawless finish. 133 E. Gay St., West Chester; (610) 431-2800, gilmoresrestaurant.com.
High Street Caffe
The perfect place to satisfy that alligator craving, High Street Caffe plates everything from the exotic to the familiar in its New Orleans-inspired, Cajun-spiced kitchen. A spoonful of the andouille gumbo and a nibble on a firecracker crawfish tail will do more than just feed your appetite—it’ll raise your temperature and keep you coming back for more. 322 S. High St., West Chester; (610) 696-7435, highstreetcaffe.com.
Jake’s and Cooper’s Wine Bar
The focus of Jake’s and Cooper’s is twofold: Dish up all that is local and organic, and have fantastic wines at hand. Labels are hand-selected by general manager Cyril Addison and chef Bruce Cooper, and the menu stays true to its promise of sustainability without skimping on taste and texture. Need proof? Try the creamy butternut squash mac-and-cheese. 4365-67 Main St., Manayunk; (215) 483-0444, jakesrestaurant.com.
Kaya’s Fusion Cuisine
Michael and Jessica Hawthorne, the husband-and-wife team behind this eco-friendly BYO, define the “fusion” as “contemporary American with global influences.” On the menu, that’s translated to innovative starters like margarita mussels in tequila lime sauce and panko-crusted calamari, plus delectable entrées like edamame gnocchi and pan-seared duck breast with Gruyère polenta, caramelized onions and a pinot noir demi-glace. Be sure to leave room for a slice of Grandma’s award-winning chocolate-chip cheesecake. 5 Brookline Blvd., Havertown; (610) 446-2780, kayascuisine.com.
Spicy and almost sinful, the Indian fare at Khajuraho has been tempting Main Liners for 14 years. The sweat-inducing shrimp vindaloo, cinnamon-laced chai and savory lamb kebabs keep us coming back. Settle in amidst the (tastefully) erotic décor for an intimate dinner, or swing by for the lunch buffet—one of the yummiest deals in town. 12 Greenfield Ave., Ardmore; (610) 896-7200, khajurahoindia.com.
Lourdas Greek Taverna
Connoisseurs of Greek cuisine swear by the authentic food at this intimate BYO, whether it’s the savory spanakopitas (spinach and feta cheese wrapped in phyllo dough) or the heavenly baklava. More intricate flavors shine through in specialties like paidakia (grilled lamb chops) and the hearty moussaka (grilled eggplant baked with beef and béchamel sauce). 50 N. Bryn Mawr Ave., Bryn Mawr; (610) 520-0288, lourdasgreektaverna.com.
Majolica is a long-standing gem in Phoenixville’s evolving downtown dining scene. Oddly enough, Andrew Deery’s eclectic cuisine—with its inventive New American and European influences and emphasis on freshness—really hit its stride after the economy tanked. Majolica briefly closed, only to reopen as a more affordable eatery. Welcome changes included a $30 prix-fixe meal on select weeknights, no corkage fee, and cooking demonstrations with Deery. 258 Bridge St., Phoenixville, (610) 917-0962, majolicarestaurant.com.