Culinary Passport

The 2017 BYOB Guide

These 30 restaurants traverse the globe.



Terrain Garden Cafe

DOMESTIC BLISS

At the Table

Acclaimed chefs Tara Buzan and Alex Hardy helm this cozy 24-seater, where each dish is both an exploration of modern cuisine and a thoughtful piece of art. Exquisite plating highlights seasonal ingredients in a sleek atmosphere. You’ll fall in love with the ever-changing tasting menu.

BYOB TIP: Bring a merlot and a moscato to cover all the bases.

11 Louella Court, Wayne, (610) 964-9700.

House

Known for its inventive lunchtime panini, grilled-cheese sandwiches and soups, this quaint and homey gem now serves dinner Wednesday-Saturday. Standouts include seafood stew and cheddar-and-kale meatloaf.

BYOB TIP: Try Sunday brunch with champagne or Bloody Mary fixings.

110 S. Jackson St., Media, (610) 566-2505.

Terrain Garden Cafe

The rustic ambiance is one highlight, as is the sublime bread, served in a flowerpot with warm honey butter. Renowned chef Marc Vetri steers the restaurant, and his subtle influence pervades the menu.

BYOB TIP: Linger over a favorite glass of wine while sampling the fresh local flavors that comprise the cheese, charcuterie and whipped-ricotta board.

914 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills, (610) 459-6030.

The Tasting Room

This seasonal eatery owned by Jennifer McCafferty and husband Joe Petrucci is the Nantucket-inspired offshoot of their established Main Line catering company. The elevated menu items and tapas-like tastes make it a perfect go-to date spot and special-occasion destination.

BYOB TIP: The house-made spritzers are a must.

8 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, (610) 642-2670.

Wyebrook Farm

It doesn’t get more authentically farm-to-table than Wyebrook. Chef Andrew Wood took over the kitchen in 2015, upgrading the offerings to match the spectacular view of the surrounding Chester County countryside. All meat on the menu is raised on site, and vegetables are sourced locally.

BYOB TIP: Tote along a seasonal wine to pair with the on-point dishes.

150 Wyebrook Road, Honey Brook, (610) 942-7481.

 

ASIAN DELIGHTS

Chabaa Thai Bistro

The tenacious Moon Krapugthong’s fine-dining vision remains true to her heritage. Unmatched seasonal specials include the Chabaa Fall Roll, the Rad Nar Seafood, and the Jungle Garden Black Sea Bass.

BYOB TIP: Go with a sublime white to complete your meal.

4343 Main St., Manayunk, (215) 483-1979.

Mango Tree Bistro

The cozy dining room exudes intimacy, and chef Kannika Kim orchestrates exquisitely plated Thai dishes in the kitchen. The steaming tom yum is loaded with sliced mushrooms, plump shrimp, lemongrass, kaffir-lime leaves, and just enough chili to flush the cheeks.

BYOB TIP: A crisp sauvignon blanc should quell the fire.

3120 Ridge Pike, Eagleville, (610) 631-0969.

Murasaki

Spectacular raw options include the Love Season—spicy tuna wrapped in avocado and caviar with wasabi sauce.

BYOB TIP: Pick one of your best bottles, snag a spot at the 10-seat sushi bar, and let the talented chefs thoroughly entertain you.

475 E. Uwchlan Ave., Chester Springs, (484) 341-8362.

Thai Place

Don’t miss the tom yum soup or the Panang curry, and save room for the crispy tamarind duck. It can get busy on weekends, so make a reservation.

BYOB TIP: We recommend a favorite Riesling, Gewürztraminer or pinot gris.

700 Nutt Road, Phoenixville, (610) 917-9943.

Veekoo

The skilled chefs at Veekoo are adept at multiple Asian preparations. Aside from the outstanding sushi, the menu showcases Chinese favorites like spicy kung pao squid. Ornate plating and nice variety make for a perfect low-key date night.

BYOB TIP: A palate-cleansing and -pleasing white like Grüner Veltliner completes the meal.

564 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, (484) 318-7655.

 

EUROPEAN FLAIR

A la Maison

Goldenrod walls and handsome dark wood lend an inviting farmhouse ambiance that echoes the menu, with its simple but elegant French preparations.

BYOB TIP: Sip a white Burgundy, and start with the charcuterie and cheeses, before trying the crevette grillée and steak au poivre.

53 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, (484) 412-8009.

Malvern Buttery

Get comfortable with a friend on a cushy sofa, or make a new connection at the communal table, as you nibble on pastries, toasts, scones, granola, or a hunk of warm house-made bread topped with jam.

BYOB TIP: A bottle of prosecco makes for an indulgent afternoon.

233 E. King St., Malvern, (610) 296-2534.

Mica

Recently reopened under the creative eye of executive chef Yianni Arhontoulis, the modern American menu keeps it simple with a three-ingredient paradigm. Covering all the bases with snacks, appetizers and entrées—as well as a weekly changing six-course tasting menu—Arhontoulis promises playful plating and candlelit intimacy.

BYOB TIP: Grab a few seasonal brews or ciders for an unforgettable meal.

8609 Germantown Ave., Chestnut Hill, (267) 335-3912.

Restaurant Cerise

Chef Ben Thomas’ acclaimed menu boasts a selection of house-made pastas, along with modern twists on traditional flavors.

BYOB TIP: A brut pairs well with standouts like the Duroc pork loin with red cabbage, spaetzle and juniper cream.

1011 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 527-4400.

Spring Mill Café

Chef Michele Haines’ area mainstay continues to excel at quintessentially French dishes like escargot and braised rabbit with Madeira cream sauce. Seasonal specialties benefit from Lancaster County produce.

BYOB TIP: A Beaujolai- Villages bottle is an authentic accompaniment that won’t set you back.

164 Barren Hill Road, Conshohocken, (610) 828-2550.

Cotolette

Cotolette

LITTLE ITALY 

Alfredo Italian BYO

Under the Kincade family’s direction, Alfredo remains a go-to for hearty Italian fare. For something lighter, try the grilled whole fish. Hot homemade doughnuts are a mandatory sweet ending.

BYOB TIP: The house-made agnolotti, gnocchi and spinach-infused pappardelle beg for a bold red.

668 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, (610) 640-2962.

Cotoletta

Chef Beth Amadio deftly runs the show at this popular 90-seat neighborhood spot, highlighted by its authentic gravies and cheeses and its freshly chopped herbs. Reservations are a must.

BYOB TIP: Think outside the box with a mixed six-pack of craft beer to accompany the diverse menu.

201 Jefferson St., Belmont Hills, (610) 660-5224.

Gigi Italian Bistro

Chef Craig Wilson (also of Maya.J) and wife Jaqi Au have fashioned a rustic vibe that complements their antipasti, insalata, loaded flatbread pizzas and entrées, which include seafood, poultry and beef.

BYOB TIP: Any approachable red table wine is a great option.

4357 Main St., Manayunk, (267) 323-2899.

i-Pasta

The hearty create-your-own pastas and sauces are more than mere novelty, as are the decadent house-made desserts. Another location is due in the spring.

BYOB TIP: A Chianti lends itself well to both the meat and seafood combinations.

134 E. Gay St., West Chester, (484) 887-0760.

Portabello’s

This mushroom-inspired new-American gem has decidedly international overtones, thanks to highlights like mustard-crusted salmon, chicken Parmesan, steak au poivre and beef Stroganoff.

BYOB TIP: A dry hard cider is hardly out of place among such classic fare.

115 W. State St., Kennett Square, (610) 925-4984.

Hildago

Hildago

BORDER HOPPING

Buho’s Mexican Restaurant

The always-reliable Buho’s offers fresh, family-friendly fare. The tortilla chips come with a variety of house-made salsas and guacamole, or shrimp ceviche. New menu items include Mexican rotisserie chicken and Philly-style burritos.

BYOB TIP: The festive vibe begs for a margarita—or two.

115 E. Swedesford Road, Exton, (484) 872-8840. 

Dos Gringos Mexican Kitchen

Greg Quintiliano’s casual favorite is known for its consistency. Inspired specials often expand into Latin America, with delicacies like pernil al horno (roasted pork shoulder).

BYOB TIP: Margaritas come by the pitcher, so bring plenty of tequila.

113 S. Olive St., Media, (610) 565-7794.

El Limon

Playful primary colors and a wall-sized window make this a feel-good taqueria. Try the open-faced sope—tender morsels of marinated pork, beans, chunks of fresh tomato, and lettuce atop a house-made corn tortilla.

BYOB TIP: You’ll need mixers to go with your tequila.

103 Fayette St., Conshohocken, (610) 567-0120.

Hidalgo

At this Clifton Heights transplant, the portions are generous and the atmosphere is great for kids. Authentic dishes like the ensalada de nopalitos (cactus salad) and the cochinita pibil (Yucatán-style roast pork) are tough finds elsewhere.

BYOB TIP: Dive in with cerveza in hand.

30 W. State St., Media, (484) 443-8945.

Mi Cocina Mexicana

This colorful cantina might be one of the best-kept secrets in Chester County. Don’t miss the grilled vegetables and the Mexican home fries.

BYOB TIP: Go with a dry rosé for dinner, then finish off your meal with a refreshing horchata.

55 Jenners Pond Road, West Grove, (610) 450-6125.

 

BUDGET TRAVEL

Cedars Cafe

At this low-key Lebanese gem, standouts include hand-rolled grape leaves and house-made falafel—and the baklava melts in your mouth.

BYOB TIP: Try a smooth Cabernet Franc.

309 Lancaster Ave., Malvern, (610) 644-5551.

Cornerstone BYOB & Artisanal Market

Christine and Nick Kondra’s artisan market and eatery offers an elegant menu in an intimate setting. Happy hour features several varieties of raw oysters and cheeses. Light bites included Nantucket-style bluefish pâté and Meyer lemon scallop crudo.

BYOB TIP: Pack whatever wine, spirit or beer you like—the staff will match your selection.

1 West Ave., Wayne, (610) 688-1888.

Ravanesi Pizzeria Napoletana

Dave Ravanesi specializes in traditional artisanal pies made with house-made fior di latte and dough and finished in a wood-fired oven imported from Italy. Lines out the door are not uncommon. BYOB TIP: You can’t go wrong with a crisp pilsner or lager.

790 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills, (484) 840-8912.

Sabrina’s Cafe

Whether it’s brunch or dinner, Sabrina’s surprises the palate with inventive updates on classic American dishes. The stuffed meatloaf is a must, as are the polenta fries and the multitude of vegetarian dishes.

BYOB TIP: Opt for a spunky saison or a slightly spicy syrah.

50 E. Wynnewood Road, Wynnewood, (484) 412-8790.

The Couch Tomato

Among the artisanal pies, we recommend the short rib, with horseradish sauce, arugula and mozzarella. In the warmer months, grab a create-your-own salad or sandwich and enjoy the view from the second-story deck.

BYOB TIP: Stop in one of downtown West Chester’s microbreweries and fill a growler to take along.

31 W. Gay St., West Chester, (484) 887-0241.

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