Bala Cynwyd’s Dairy Café is the Latest Standout Six Points Restaurant Group
This kosher eatery will have you coming back for more.
Seasonal gelato made with Lancaster County milk//All photos by Steve Legato.
Leading Montgomery County’s kosher culinary empire is an unlikely role for David Magerman. A self-proclaimed non-foodie, the former hedge-fund software developer left his life in Long Island, N.Y., and moved to Gladwyne, where he adopted Modern Orthodox Judaism and devoted his fortune to boosting the growth of regional Jewish schools.
Once here, Magerman decided he’d dabble in restaurant ownership. His first idea, a kosher Subway franchise, was quickly supplanted by something a little more inventive: an original glatt kosher collaboration with Philly heavyweights Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook (Zahav, Federal Donuts). The trio’s gourmet kosher kitchen, Citron + Rose, underwent a series of changes in a few short years, from tweaks to its name and concept, to new chefs, to the departure of Solomonov and Cook.
From Left: a breakfast bowl with farro porridge, braised kale, roasted peppers, chick peas and a poached egg, served in an iron skillet; Asian salad topped with grilled salmon.
As it gained momentum, Magerman was developing a second concept for a more casual eatery. The bi-level Dairy Café opened its doors this past March. Evocative of a country home, with a wraparound porch and balconies, the eatery has an air of rustic whimsy that’s as appropriate for an afternoon business meeting as it is for a family dinner. Be prepared for counter-service only. After ordering, a hand-held buzzer alerts you when your meal is ready.
Like Magerman’s short-lived Six Points Bakery down the street, the Dairy Café takes great pride in its ultra-doughy house-made Jewish bagels. Available in seven flavors—including sesame, salted, cinnamon-raisin and everything—they boast an exceptional degree of chewiness. We suggest you start your morning with a sharable seven-pack—one of each, smeared with either veggie, salmon or scallion cream cheese. The bakery also has challah loaves, herb-infused scones and seasonal fruit turnovers.
From Left: The Dairy Café’s bucatini, with alfredo sauce, peas and chives; The Wynnewood pie.
The Dairy Cafe’s ever-evolving menu is the product of executive chef Joshua Hulford, who funnels his creative energy into making interesting certified-kosher sandwiches, pastas and salads with flavors that pop. On a recent visit, we nibbled on a hearty creation of roasted sweet potatoes and caramelized, pickled red onions on crusty sourdough bread, accompanied by a punchy arugula salad with pistachios and balsamic dressing.
The eatery’s wood-fired pizza oven was imported from Italy. A unique 800-degree, 90-second bake time results in a crust that’s crispy and slightly charred. It’s the ideal canvas for a variety of toppings, including braised kale, charred eggplant, pine nuts and toasted bread crumbs.
Another counter at the Dairy Café serves desserts and Rival Bros. coffee. The milk for its lattes and cappuccinos is sourced from Lancaster County, which also comes in handy for a gelato selection that includes peaches and cream, guava-watermelon, and peanut butter and jelly.
The cozy, contemporary interior.
The Skinny: Though it might seem ambitious to specialize in made-from-scratch staples three meals a day, the Dairy Café does it all remarkably well. Obviously, Magerman’s decision to err on the casual side of kosher was a good one. With a steady stream of customers as a testament to his success, it’s safe to say he knows a thing or two about addressing the needs in his community.
The Dairy Café
321 Montgomery Ave., Bala Cynwyd, (610) 808-9045.
Cuisine: Approachable certified-kosher cuisine (sandwiches, salads, pizzas).
Atmosphere: Farmhouse-inspired bi-level coffeehouse.
Hours: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday.
Extras: BYOB; Sunday brunch; Monday-Thursday delivery available.