Archive for August, 2011

Tiramisu Coming to Berwyn

Monday, August 29th, 2011


It’s been a strange couple of years for 720 Lancaster Ave. in Berwyn. For more than 10, the Berwyn Coffee Company lived here, casually and perhaps inconspicuously serving coffee and snacks to a small dining area. In 2010, however, after the departure of the coffee specialist, a tea specialist — Royal Tea House — moved in. Caffeine, in milder form.

Things started to get interesting in early 2011 with the introduction of La Petite Maison, a French bistro that opened in March, sharing the space with the tea house. Chef/Owner was Maurice deRamus, who’s worked at several area spots, including Meridith’s and A la Maison in Ardmore. Though we never made it there, the restaurant got wildly mixed reviews for both food and service, but universal confusion as to why there wasn’t a sign of any sort indicating that the restaurant even existed in the Tea Room space.

Fast forward a few months, and the Royal Tea House closes, announcing that they will be moving up the street to 682 Lancaster Ave. at the end of September (online ordering is still available). The space is vacated. Since La Petite Maison had no sign or no website, it merely disappears.

Then, all of a sudden, an onslaught of PR for the new, glitzy, high-end restaurant in the Wayne Hotel, Paramour, overtakes every food-related publication in the area. This is clearly a big-money opening — as big as we get in the ‘burbs, surely. The chef of this new venture? As if you had to guess – it’s Maurice deRamus! (Incidentally, the Paramour press release does not list La Petite Maison as part of deRamus’ experience.)

Which brings me to today. It looks like yet another restaurant is coming to this very same spot: Tiramisu, with a subhead of “Cucina Romana,” which is especially interesting when considering how close this spot is to Alfredo BYO, a popular neighborhood joint that specializes in Southern Italian cuisine (you could throw a rock), and Fellini Cafe, another popular red-sauce joint. I’ve always heard that McDonald’s and Burger King franchises actually do better when they are across the street from each other than when they are alone, so perhaps Berwyn is on its way to becoming an Italian mecca. And the idea of authentic Roman cuisine is certainly something I can get behind — especially if we can get Carbonara without cream, and guanciale instead of pancetta in both the Carbonara and the Amitriciana. How about some Fried Artichokes? Cacio e Pepe? Maybe even Coda alla Vaccinara? I’m getting excited just thinking about the possibilities.

Of course, I have no idea what Tiramisu will actually sell, or if it is even a sit-down restaurant (though I did see 7 tables through the window). All I do know is that they have a sign.

It’s a start.

Review: Rosewood Coffee Co., Berwyn

Monday, August 22nd, 2011
Read full review >>

Paramour Coming to Wayne Hotel

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011


Billed as “Sophisticated dining in the iconic Wayne Hotel,” Paramour will open this fall in the newly renovated space that once held Taquet. Though my first thought upon reading the headline was “Wow, this is going to be expensive,” an “affordable” menu is promised, especially in the more casual areas. Paramour will actually offer four areas for guests to dine, grab a light bite or have drinks: the outdoor veranda, with a garden-like setting and comfortable, mocha-colored rattan chairs and couches; a contemporary lobby lounge featuring high-backed cream leather chairs, ottomans and a working fireplace; a bistro bar with plush semi-circle banquettes; and a formal dining room with direct views of the chef’s bar and open kitchen.

“At Paramour, we’ve created an inviting, energetic restaurant that our guests will want to visit again. This will be the perfect place for a special-occasion meal, but also a fun spot for a cocktail or a glass of wine and a quick bite. Paramour is all about a great experience,” says Michael Giampa, Director of Restaurant Development for S.W. Bajus Ltd., owner of the Wayne Hotel since 1985 which recently completed an extensive two-year renovation to the property, including an expansion of the original restaurant space.

The menu at Paramour will feature cuisine from Chef Maurice Kim deRamus, who most recently appeared (and then quickly disappeared, apparently) at La Petite Maison in Berwyn.

In the main dining room, a black granite chef’s bar accented with nickel “penny” tiles will showcase the day’s raw bar and crudo offerings and will seat up to eight guests. Dinner items will include:  Crudo Sampler; Salt Cured Lancaster Beef; Pork Cheeks, with creamy grits and onion jam; Shaved Root Vegetable Salad, made with heirloom beets, water melon radish, bell carrots, parsnips, fennel and açai-guava dressing; Charred Himachi Collar, with young green beans, crispy rice and chili vinaigrette; and Chestnut Ravioli, filled with shredded Lola duck, chanterelles and brown butter. The dining room menu also offers a “Primal Cuts” section featuring local beef, Berkshire pork and Colorado lamb with steakhouse inspired side dishes and “Fresh Catch” a whole-baked fish, encrusted in salt, that will be filleted table-side. Menu prices will range from $9 to $38.

An all-day menu will be available in the bistro bar, lobby lounge and on the veranda. Guests may choose from a variety of dishes including shareable and small plates, entree salads, burgers and sandwiches like Kobe Beef Sliders; a large selection of made-to-order flatbreads including Salumi and Ricotta Salata; Lancaster Bacon and Truffle English Pea Pesto; Roasted Eggplant and Half Dried Tomatoes; and a selection of “Bar Bites” including Crispy Chicken Oysters with creamy cilantro dipping sauce; Devils on Horseback, Medjool dates stuffed with Gorgonzola and Lancaster bacon; and Lola Duck Meatballs with Korean Hot and Sour sauce. Prices will range from $5 to $18.

The bistro bar’s drink list will focus on wines and craft beers from the United States, as well as a list of handcrafted cocktails that will include: Lemon Basil Mojito, 10 Cane rum, mint, basil, agave nectar and limonata; Salted Plum Martini, white rum infused with Japanese salted plums, Dom de Canton Ginger Liqueur, fresh lemon sour and vanilla cotton candy garnish; and Pineapple Pisco Fizz, Capel Reservado, limoncello, egg white, pineapple and black peppercorn.

Paramour at The Wayne Hotel
139 East Lancaster Ave.
Wayne, PA
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Lunch: Monday – Friday, from 11:30am to 3pm
Dinner: Sunday – Thursday, from 5 to 10pm and Friday – Saturday until 11pm
An all-day dining menu will be available in the bistro bar, lobby lounge and on the veranda from 11:30 a.m. until midnight, seven days a week.
Sunday brunch will begin a few weeks after opening.

Above Image via Paramour’s Facebook Page

Wayne News – So Fun! Frozen Yogurt, Tredici move, and more

Friday, August 12th, 2011

A few weekend tidbits for you Wayniacs:

  • So Fun! Frozen Yogurt will be opening soon next to Five Guys in the shopping center formerly known as the ACME shopping center. There’s one So Fun! already in Nazereth, PA (which also happens to be next to a Five Guys) and their website claims more locations opening soon. (If I was opening a frozen yogurt shop, I would not do it in the Fall. But that’s just me.)
  • A restaurant called Paramour will fill The Wayne Hotel’s vacant space this fall. Details here.
  • Tredici Italian Market will be moving from Louella Court to 185 East Lancaster Ave., former home of the Women’s Exchange, in early September.
  • Jake’s Wayback Burgers will be moving into the old Strafford Radio Shack location soon as well. There are nearby locations of this mini-chain in Exton, Kennett Square and Springfield.

Review: A Taste of Olive, Ardmore

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
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Review: Sugartown Smoked Specialties, West Chester

Monday, August 8th, 2011
Read full review >>

Market Day Canelé

Monday, August 1st, 2011


I was walking through the East Goshen Farmers Market, trying to figure out what to make for dinner, when I came across a small stand selling pastries that looked a bit too serious to be displayed in such a casual setting. After ascertaining that they were canelé (ca-neuh-lay), a French pastry from Bordeaux, I recalled reading a short article in PhillyMag that gushed over the treats. At the time, I had made a note to get my hands on some, but I guess the mental post-it fell to the floor. Still, here I was, staring them in the face. Were they the same ones lauded by PhillyMag, or some imposter? I wanted my first canelé experience to be the real deal, but had no time to research. I took the plunge.