A la Maison Bistro News

January 24th, 2011

Darlene Moseng, the chef and owner at French BYO A La Maison in Ardmore, has recently left town for Seattle to develop a restaurant / catering biz at the Amazon Corporate Center. She’ll remain involved in the Ardmore restaurant, while everyday chef de cuisine Sean McMonagle will remain in the kitchen.

Interestingly, Mike Stollenwerk, the chef/owner Little Fish – who has been a busy bee lately with the opening of Fish and the soon-to-be Fathom Seafood Bar — will come on as a consultant. Expect to see his influence starting this Spring.

Here’s the description of a la Maison from OpenTable:

A la Maison is a casually elegant French inspired BYOB bistro located in the heart of Ardmore at 53 W. Lancaster Avenue.

A la Maison’s talented chef-owner Darlene Boline Moseng serves rustic French fare using fresh ingredients & classic recipes to create a comfortable atmosphere to suit any guests needs.

A la Maison’s menu features a traditional onion soup, steak frites, & coq au vin. Not to mention her famous crab fondue & one the best burgers in Ardmore.

Come & join us for a relaxing evening “at home” with your favorite friends & favorite bottle of wine.

11 Responses to “A la Maison Bistro News”

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  1. Susan Walker says:

    Anyone who doesn’t like Chef Sean McMonagle’s food must be crazy. He’s been cooking for me for years and it is always delicious no matter where he works. So if you got sick the first time why in God’s name would you go back again? Pretty stupid, or was the food pretty good?

  2. Steve says:

    4 of us ate there the same night and none of us got sick. The food was well prepared; no complaints. Maybe your 2 friends got sick because one of them had a bug and gave it to the other one.

    One more thing: The steak that cos82 mentioned was overcooked, not undercooked. I don’t think you’d get food poisoning from overcooked meat. Of course, it should not have been overcooked in the first place.

  3. rob says:

    I have to say cos, I agree with anne. You don’t reward a restaurant that makes two of your guests sick with more business the next week. You should write them a letter to inform them what happened and let them clean up their act. Making a patron ill is the cardinal sin of the restaurant business… it should not be treated as nothing!

  4. Anne says:

    It’s not about being perfect… it’s about not getting sick… By your own admission, two members of your party were ill the next day. You would really go back there again? Yes, that to me, is rediculous.

  5. cos82 says:

    To Anne: Because I like bistro fare, my dinner was fine, I wanted to try it on a week night with good friends and good wine, and you are given to hyperbole. Is it really that rediculous. It must be nice to be perfect.

  6. luvtoeat says:

    SKIP IT!! The only thing French about this rest. is the name. Had dinner here last night, found the service to be inexperienced, slow, and unknowledgeable about the limited menu. And tactless, bordering on rude. As is the manager/owner. Seating is hard, little (very little-some may not fit) uncomfortable, bistro seating. The noise level, even with the rest. far from full, makes it impossible to have a relaxing evening out. Now on to the food- the news does not get better here. The food is bland, totally unseasoned, with no salt on the table to help it along. Even a basic salad nicoise was lacking anchovy, eggs, tarragon, and the luttuce was chopped up romaine (not the usual boston or bibb). Dressing was not flavored correctly- no herbs and too sweet. When we asked the waitress for a few extra olives (to hopefully add flavor to the tasteless salad) she came out of the kitchen and said, “the chef does not want to give you any”. By the way, the chef is the owner so it makes one wonder- what could she be thinking?? This is not the way to stay in business for the long term, by insulting your customers…. We eat out often, and have lived in Europe for 5 years, have never had a more unpleasant experience in terms of flavors, service etc. Chicken was tough and again no seasoning, served with just a couple of asparagus thrown on top. Was supposed to come with a salad, when we mentioned this to the waitress she returned with an undressed small plate of chopped romaine(again) and nothing else. Side order of mashed potatos was inedible (who could ruin mashed potatoes?) Someone needs to go back to culinary school. When we moved on to dessert, we were looking forward to the crepes (this is supposed to be a “FRENCH” rest. after all) We were told they came with berries and ice cream. We asked for a plain crepe with just butter/sugar (as my fellow diner is allergic to berries) and were told, in these words, ” No, the chef does not want to make them that way”. So diner beware- one chef offering on dessert crepes and if you can’t eat it, or don’t care for it, you are out of luck! There are so many delicious, warm, and friendly rests. on the main line, and in Philly, if you would like to enjoy yourself, SKIP THIS!! By the way, prices are higher (expensive for this area) then any other rest. around the suburbs. Neither the food, nor the service warrants such prices…

  7. Anne says:

    Why on earth would you ever go back to a restaurant that served your wife undercooked chicken, your friend undercooked steak and caused them both to be ill…? That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

  8. cos82 says:

    Came here recently on a Sat. night with 4 couples. A foody friend whose opinion I respect rated it highly for bistro fare, but said never go on Fri. or Sat. He was right. The noisiest restaurant I have ever been in, and terrible overcrowded seating until we were moved. Mixed reviews on the food. Mine was good, although mussel appetizer (chorizo and fennel in the broth a nice touch) was lukewarm. I think the kitchen was overwhelmed. My wife, who said her chicken was undercooked, was sick the next day, as was a friend, who sent his steak back and said it was grossly overcooked. Returned the following Thursday with 3 wine buddies. Still noisy(not as bad), but nice friendly service, good glassware, and good simple bistro fare. There is hope for this place as a decent neighborhood byob. Nice pate, good confit, but please add some boiled potatoes to the otherwise very good choucroute. As to Steve above, take it from an experienced wine guy, in most local byobs, it pays to pour it yourself. Waitstaff know little or nothing about wine.

  9. Steve says:

    Our first trip here was very pleasant. All of the food (lamb, snapper, skate, duck) was prepared well and was quite tasty. Good deserts.

    Service was also good but with a couple of minor rough edges. For instance, no water till we asked for it, the entrees took quite a long time to be served, and then a bigger faux pas: when one guest finished off some white wine, the waiter initially picked up the white wine bottle. When the guest said “no, I’m switching to red,” the waiter then picked up the red bottle and dumped it into the glass which he knew previously had held white wine. That shouldn’t happen at any restaurant, let alone a French one.

    All in all a very nice restaurant and we will return.

  10. Jay says:

    Dined there on Friday. Had a wonderful time and enjoyed the Chicken Liver Pate, among other things.

    We had a look at their Sunday brunch menu. Looks fantastic!

  11. Faye says:

    We had an early dinner here on Saturday night and while there were a few minor service glitches, everything else was very good. We enjoyed the onion soup, which according to one of the managers, has a vegetable broth. If true that is great for vegetarians that consume cheese. The mussels, which were in the appetizer section, were a real bargain and enough to be a full entree. They came with a side of fries as is the case in Belguim. I had a steak diane special and my husband had a bouillabaisse also a special. Both were very good and decent size portions for the money. This is in contrast to one of the newer restaurants we went to in Berwyn where the portions were unbelieveably small for the price. The desserts were very nice also. The menu will be expanding next week, but even with the small number of entries, this is an excellent addition to Main Line dining and we will definitely be back.

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