Posts within the 'News' Category

Citron and Rose Coming to Merion

Thursday, March 15th, 2012



Read our review here

First, the good news: big time Philly restauranteurs Mike Solomonov and Steve Cook, most famous for modern Israeli cuisine at Zahav (but also for Percy Street BBQ, Federal Donuts and the original Marigold Kitchen), are opening a spot on the Main Line. It’ll be in the same strip mall as Hymie’s Deli and Town Hall Coffee in Merion Station, where Shalom Catering currently lives.

The bad news? It’s not open on Friday or Saturday nights. Whaaaaa? That’s because the restaurant will strictly follow glatt kosher guidelines, part of which includes being closed in observance of Shabbat. Though I obviously don’t know as much about the restaurant business (or being kosher) as Mike Solo, I can’t help but think that Main Liners who don’t observe these guidelines would still want to visit the restaurant on a weekend night.

Citron and Rose’s décor will feature an open kitchen with a chefs counter, a dining room for up to 60 guests, and a dark wood-marble topped bar featuring an all-kosher cocktail, wine and beer list.  Chef Solomonov’s menu will feature meat cooked over a charcoal rotisserie grill, house-made Jewish charcuterie, an assortment of traditional pickles, vegetable dishes and salads, and freshly baked breads and desserts.

There will also be a full-service catering company for on and off-site events.

Citron and Rose
368-370 Montgomery Avenue
Merion Station, PA

Local Cheese: Spatola’s Pizza, Melt Down

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

The Peace a Pizza in Wayne has been replaced by Melt Down Grilled Cheese, a chain concept opened by the owners of… wait for it… Peace a Pizza. There’s already a location in North Wales, and they sold sandwiches at some Eagles games this past season. Check out their menu and more info on their website.

Missing your chain pizza? Well, Spatola’s Pizza, another mini-chain that got its start in Bucks County, is coming to Paoli. There’s a sign up in the shopping center that houses Radio Shack and the original Dunkin Donuts (you know, the one you never go in), but no date is specified. The same family also owns Spizzico Pizza in Wayne. Though they have several locations going, the Spatola’s website is still “under construction”… but if you’re dying for a preview, the Landsdale store does have one.

Garrett Hill Ale House, Rosemont

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012



Update 2.13: As commenter CJ notes below, Garrett Hill Ale House is now under new management, and the menus are very different than originally reported. Great tap list includes a wide variety of local and national craft beers, plus some interesting sample flights and an impressive bottle list. Food is upscale and innovative pub grub such as duck confit sliders and braised rabbit cavatelli. Sounds delicious!


The Kebob Factory in Garrett Hill is no longer, and will be replaced by Garrett Hill Ale House starting Friday, March 23rd, 2012.

Readers may recall the 2011 controversy surrounding Factory owner Bharat Luthra, who supposedly cut down as many as 45 trees on the former Villa Strafford property without permission or a replacement plan for the sound buffer and runoff aid they provided.

One wonders if the potential fine of $2K per tree might have had any influence on the closing of Kebob Factory, though reports that it was always empty probably have more to do with it. While we never would root against the success of an independent business, we won’t be shedding any tears for a man with such disregard for the community he serves.

[outdated info] As for the Ale House,  they’ll offer straightforward American bar food, including “tot”chos (yep, tater tot nachos), sandwiches mostly made of hand-carved meats, and “house specialty” ribs… nothing too exciting. For booze, their all-American list includes 20 taps (with a disappointing half being macros – do you really need Bud Light, Coors Light AND Miller Lite on draft?). Full menu, including a decent list of hard liquors and an awful wine selection. [end outdated info]

Garrett Hill Ale House
157 Garrett Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
MONDAY THRU SATURDAY 11:30a.m.-2a.m.
SUNDAY Brunch @ the Alehouse 10a.m.-3p.m. BEGINS APRIL 1ST!

Restaurant News Roundup

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Wow… lots of restaurant news as the year comes to an end. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Ella’s American Bistro has opened in Devon Square (Acme Shopping Center in Strafford)
  • McKenzie’s Brew Pub is now open in Berwyn (where Charlie Brown’s used to be, near Barnes & Noble)
  • Jake’s Wayback Burgers is open in Strafford (near the Farmers Market), and 5 Guys Wayne (in the old Acme shopping center) should be opening shortly
  • So Fun! Frozen Yogurt has also opened next to 5 Guys in Wayne
  • The bar at Restaurant Alba is now fully operational
  • Pattymac’s in Berwyn is now EmJ’s (under new ownership), and is also serving dinner on Thu and Fri.
  • Saxby’s in Paoli is closing this week.
  • Flavor in Wayne closed this fall.

St. James Place coming to Ardmore

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

This April, restaurateurs Rob Wassermann (of Philly’s Rouge) and Michael Schulson (of Philly’s Sampan) will be opening St James Place in Ardmore (on the road of the same name), an American grill offering “familiar but sophisticated fare”.

The restaurant is part of a larger renovation that will remake the courtyard near St James Place, which will include a new traffic pattern, and allow for valet parking and outdoor dining.

The menu will include steaks, burgers, fried chicken, roasted chicken, salmon, and other American favorites. Entrées will top out around $26, appetizers at $12.

For more info, check out this story from the Main Line Times.

East Goshen Winter Market

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Farmers Market season is over, but fans of the East Goshen market can now participate in the “Winter Market”, to be held twice a month – on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays from 3-5pm – at the East Goshen Township Building (1580 Paoli Pike).

Each week (well, the weeks of the market), an email will go out Monday with the participating vendors that week. Customers can order directly from the vendors and pick up their orders anytime from 3-5pm.

Officially, the market is only for those who have pre-ordered, but I did overhear some vendors talking about how they would be bringing a limited selection of other merchandise for any “walk ins” as well.

To sign up for the email list, email Or, follow them on Facebook (newsletters are posted).

Pescatore Now Open in Bala

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Pescatore BYOB, the latest project from Thomas Anastasi of the Italian Market’s Anastasi Seafood, is now open (since August – apparently we’re a little slow around here) in Bala, in the former Avril space.

Pescatore focuses on Italian Cuisine “with a rustic, Mediterranean flair.” The menu features (unsurprisingly) an ever-changing array of seafood based on what is freshly caught, as well as a nice variety of homemade pastas and (surprisingly, for a place unironically named Pescatore – which means fisherman in Italian) a wide variety of non-fish dishes that are mostly standard Italian fare made from chicken or veal.

For more, check out their website or Facebook page. Have you been? Leave a comment below.

134 Bala Ave.
Bala Cynwyd, PA

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 5:00pm to 10:00pm., Sunday from 5:00pm to 9:00pm

Online Wine Shopping in PA

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Though many proponents of privatizing liquor sales in PA thought that 2011 was the best opportunity for this to happen in some time, Harrisburg insiders are now saying that talks on the issue have cooled and is unlikely to happen in the near future. To quickly summarize, there are more important issues on the state docket for the rest of this year, and many feel that 2012 will be an unlikely year for the bill due to re-election for all house members. (For more info on this developing news, go here). On the other hand, Governor Corbett has finally gone public with a report on the issue (story).

Fear not, lover of wine who happens to live in this state. Many online wine shops have quietly begun shipping to Pennsylvania addresses (likely based on the 2005 Supreme Court ruling that our state’s law is illegal, even though it has never been officially changed). Though this was an absolute anomaly a few years ago, it is now somewhat easy to find wine online that can be shipped to your door.

There are drawbacks, of course. Firstly, there is no brick & mortar presence. If you need a last minute bottle, you’re certainly out of luck. If you want to have a conversation with a wine expert (not that you can currently do that in our state stores), you’re also out of luck (though some may offer it via email).

The second major issue is shipping. Shipping wine is not like shipping DVDs. It is expensive. Many sites offer shipping sales or free shipping with a large purchase (i.e. 6 bottles, $200, etc.), but that often revolves around buying the wine that is on sale or featured. If you want to seek out a specific wine, expect to pay high S&H prices or wait around and hope you catch a shipping deal.

The other problem with shipping is exposure to the elements. Wines, especially ones meant to age, do not respond well to extreme heat or cold. Though most reputable wine merchants attempt to avoid shipping during these times, UPS and/or FedEx are not as careful, so almost all wine shipments have some risk of poor handling. Your best bet is to order during the Spring and Fall when temperatures are mild, though this too requires some advance planning.

ProTip 1: Ship directly to UPS Store or FedEx/Kinkos – this way the package will not spend a lot of time in a residential truck. Especially helpful if you aren’t home to sign for it during the day.

ProTip 2: Order from East Coast vendors when you can – less time in transit.

Read on to find out where to shop…

Flash Sale Sites:

Flash sales are websites that sell a single item (or small selection of items) at a time, for a discounted price, until they sell out. These are all the rage online right now (see also), and wine has carved out a nice little niche. Sign up for emails or follow these sites on Twitter or Facebook to find out when the offers change. Most offer free shipping with a minimum purchase (2-6 bottles, depending on price).

Regular Sites:

These are your typical online shops that specialize in Wine. It’s harder to come by shipping deals, although most usually have a sale of some kind at any given moment.

  • Zachys
  • Wine Library
  • Wine Access (headquarters are in Narberth, interestingly. This is actually an umbrella site that manages inventory for many smaller wine shops. Not all ship to PA, but some do. They also have an email deals newsletter that does always ship to PA)
  • Pop’s Wine & Spirits ($1/bottle shipping to PA!)

Know of others? Let us know in the comments.

Note: We cannot confirm with absolute certainty that all of these vendors will ship to PA or, even if they do, that it is legal to do so (or to receive the shipment). This is merely a list that we’ve compiled through internet research (mostly by looking up the shipping policy on each site). Shop at your own risk.

Mixx Restaurant in Villanova Gets New Concept

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Villanova’s Mixx, part of the WIN Signature Restaurant group and located in the downstairs portion of everyone’s favorite recent restaurant disaster Maia, is getting a new concept (“global small plates”), chef (Aniwat “Chay” Vadhanacha) and menu (menu available here).

For more details, check out The Latest Dish (WIN’s PR firm), Main Line Today or

New PLCB Store Coming to Paoli

Monday, October 10th, 2011
plcb paoli

Landor Associates image of new PLCB store in South Philly

As part of his campaign, new PA governor Tom Corbett promised to privatize liquor sales in Pennsylvania, but we’ve seen little action on this issue so far. It appears, however that this is about to change.  Last week, the movement gained a key ally when Senate Majority Whip Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) announced his support for the bill (House Bill 11) originally proposed by House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, which proposes to close 625 state liquor stores and sell 1200 licenses to the highest bidder. In addition, according to the PA Independent, Corbett has just recently received a report from a Philly-based business research firm detailing the potential revenue gains from selling off the state stores (this report has yet to be made public). Lastly, the Pennsylvania think tank Commonwealth Foundation has recently launched to bring more exposure to the issue.

The debate is far from over, of course. Over the summer, Senate President Joseph Scarnati, R-Jefferson, spoke out against the bill, showing support instead for removing “handcuffs” to allow PLCB to operate more like a private business. Other state senators, including John Blake, D-Lackawanna, also remain skeptical.

So, from that standpoint, I must say that I’m quite looking forward to checking out the swank (for PLCB standards, at least) new Paoli digs, which are planned for the ACME shopping center, in the space where Blockbuster used to be. The store, which will dwarf the current cubicle that hides behind BK, will feature more than 3000 additional products. It will also have a 8-seat bar for tastings, a plethora of Chairman’s Selections (including high-end choices), a temperature-controlled room, and even a wine chiller that’ll cool any shelved bottle of wine in less than 15 minutes. And – gasp – it’ll be open on Sundays!

When will this store open? Well, that’s just the thing. Apparently it was planned for July, but is held up in Harrisburg. Shocking.