Our editors and critics pick the 47 they can’t live without.
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Best of the Chains
The Capital Grille
Main Liners recently welcomed this venerable chain with open arms to KOP. It’s tough not to love the rich, mahogany paneling, art deco chandeliers and impeccable service (they didn’t win an Achievement of Excellence Award from the American Culinary Federation for nothing). Menu highlights include perfectly cooked dry-aged steaks, lobster-and-sherry bisque, and a massive wine list. 236 Mall Blvd., King of Prussia; (610) 265-1415, thecapitalgrille.com.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
If you like a little flash with your dinner, the 1,600-degree oven at Fleming’s puts on quite a performance, quickly sealing in the flavor of the restaurant’s signature dry-aged steaks. On the side, mashed potatoes are smothered in jalapeños and cheddar, and the mac-and-cheese is spiked with zesty chipotles. For an interactive element, go for a custom wine flight: 2-ounce pours of your choice, all perched on a display rack dubbed the Wine Vine. 555 E. Lancaster Ave., Radnor; (610) 688-9463, flemingssteakhouse.com.
Iron Hill Restaurant & Brewery
A chain with its heart—and headquarters—close to home, Delaware-based Iron Hill matches its award-winning handcrafted beers with consistently excellent casual cuisine. With one of the largest gluten-free menus in the area, a hefty selection of healthy entrées (don’t worry, they have chicken pot pie and meatloaf, too), plus a huge kids’ menu, you’ll never have to worry about someone not leaving full or happy. And be sure to check out the monthly microbrews and bottled reserve beers. Various locations, ironhillbrewery.com.
Legal Sea Foods
A family-owned seafood market-turned-chain, Legal Sea Foods feels more like a neighborhood spot than an East Coast powerhouse. It sources all fish from ecologically respectable fisheries; they banned trans fats before it was trendy to do so; and servers ask every diner about allergies and dietary restrictions before heading back to the kitchen—all practices that show a respect for customers and the food. And if their New England clam chowder is good enough for the presidential inauguration, then it’s good enough for us. 690 W. Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia; (610) 265-5566, legalseafoods.com.
Those still clinging to their New Year’s resolution to drop a few pounds will find a kindred spirit in Seasons 52 and its fresh-can-be-fabulous philosophy. Focusing on seasonal ingredients and an ever-changing menu, the chefs go light on the oil, opting for preparations that emphasize flavor over fat. Nothing on the menu is more than 475 calories—even dessert. And low-sodium, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options are the norm. 160 N. Gulph Road, King of Prussia; (610) 992-1152, seasons52.com.