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Sola, Bryn Mawr -- Main Line Restaurant Guide

Sola, Bryn Mawr

January 13th, 2005

614 Lancaster Ave.
Bryn Mawr, PA
610.526.0123

Rating: 4 silver spoons out of 5

Overview: A casually elegant neighborhood BYOB that focuses on seasonal menus and impeccable service.

Food: Contemporary American with European influences, the regular menu ranges from appetizers to mid-sized plates to regular entrée portions. The meal began with an amuse bouche of smoked eel paired with soy sauce and a cucumber and tomato relish.  While I found the eel a bit fishy and overpowering, my dining partner found that its smokiness paired nicely with the fresh crunch of the relish. For our appetizers, we chose the Spot Prawns with gold and purple fingerling potato salad and grilled scallion aioli, and the white corn and lobster bisque with poached lobster, radish, and lemon oil.  The prawns, one of the evening’s specials, were perfectly cooked with a subtle smoky flavor which was offset nicely by the light and flavorful potato salad.  However, it was the scallion aioli that was the real star of the dish; it’s charred, mild onion flavor complimented each bite. The corn and lobster bisque, poured tableside, was wonderful – I practically licked the bowl!  The bisque was silky and well spiced, with large chunks of lobster and a few whole baby radishes.  It was also deceptively light, due in large part to the lemon oil that cut through the richness of the other ingredients.

My entrée was a grilled veal loin with Italian eggplant caponata, fregola sarda, chanterelle mushrooms, rosemary salt, and sherry jus.  The veal was pink and moist, and well-seasoned.  However, the charring on a few of the bites was a bit overpowering.  Though my first bite of caponata seemed too sweet, subsequent bites were wonderful and earthy.  The fregola with chanterelles was my favorite part of the dish – nutty and perfectly cooked.  My dining partner had the grilled Australian Rack of Lamb (a staple of Sola’s menu), served with braised fennel puree, ratatouille vegetables, and mango chutney. Luckily, I managed to taste a bit everything before the plate was scraped clean: the lamb was cooked to a perfect medium rare; the fennel puree was smooth and delicately flavored; the ratatouille was rich and buttery.

We finished with dessert and cappuccino/espresso. I had the white chocolate hazelnut mousse with dark chocolate cake and valrhona chocolate ganache.  Though absolutely delicious, the portion was huge and I was only able to eat half.  My dining partner ordered a fruity and refreshing mango sorbet which was served with fresh raspberries and raspberry syrup. Additionally, the often overlooked art of espresso making is obviously not lost to Sola, as the espresso and cappuccino were strong, flavorful, and most importantly, not bitter.

Service: The service was top-notch, the waiters neither absent nor overbearing.  It’s always nice to go to a restaurant where the staff appears truly comfortable, is knowledgeable about the food, and isn’t afraid to get to know and joke with the customers.

Ambiance: Warm and cozy, Sola can accommodate larger groups (a birthday party of 8 was just leaving when we arrived) and is the perfect spot for an intimate dinner for two.

Value: Mid-sized plates and entrees range from $18 – $32, a pretty standard range for BYOs on the Mainline.  However, the caliber of food makes this a great value.  There is also a $35 prix fixe menu, served Tuesday – Thursday. The one small inconvenience is that there is a $2 corkage fee.

Details:
# of times we’ve eaten there: 5+
Reservations: By telephone or online via OpenTable
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 5:30pm – 10:00pm
Bar: BYOB
Cards: Yes
Website: http://www.solabyob.com


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74 Responses to “Sola, Bryn Mawr”

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  1. robert says:

    The food is of the absolutely highest quality, the side dishes are different, varied and creative, and the presentation is beautiful. I ordered Venison, and it was positiviely the best I have ever had.

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  2. Thomas says:

    Dave was a most gracious host/owner in making this birthday treat work for me and my wife. The complimentary bubbly at the outset was an unexpected treat but, by far and away, Dave excelled in the kitchen beyond our wildest expectations. The veal tenderloin and lamb chop entres were simply the best–and we tend to eat out a lot. And it was heartening to see that even on a Wednesday evening the place was jumpin’. Keep up the good work Dave and we’ll be back soon. Tom

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  3. Austin j Themens says:

    This restaurant has made me appreciate well prepared food.We had so many new and exciting things .my hat is off to the chef.

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  4. JB says:

    I have never written a review after a dining experience but Sola was truly one of the most memorable meals we’ve had in a REALLY long time. We enjoy really good food, and every bite here was delicious. I had the tuna tartare and the lamb chops, both were exceptional. My husband had the gnocchi and the Cioppino (seafood stew) special and it was so tasty. Dessert was also wonderful – we shared the trio of creme brulee and the banana and brown sugar gelato, amazing. To top everything off, they even gave us a toast of Champagne as it was my husband’s birthday weekend. The staff was very friendly, from the hostess to our waiter, Tom. We will definitely be back, and feel so lucky to have this phenomenal restaurant in the neighborhood.

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  5. beth says:

    We found this beauty of a restaurant through Open Table. The food was extraordinary, from appetizer through dessert, including an amazing pear and celery root soup, gnocchi with tiny shrimp, a veal tenderloin that my wife called, “the best piece of meat I have ever had in a restaurant”, a perfectly done rack of lamb. the first ricotta cheese cake (with orange) I have ever truly loved, and a delicious almond financier with pear.
    Service was attentive and well paced, ambience was fine, and the price for a five star meal for two was actually on the low side for comparable restaurants!
    Highly recommended!!

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  6. bobbie says:

    Absolutely the best fine dining on the Main Line. All the dishes had a creative edge reflecting a very talented chef. The menu was small, but I wanted to order everything. The price was right for this level of food and decor.

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  7. Shin Il says:

    5 of us went to Sola on Saturday night. It was my 3rd trip and there will be more. Sola, in a word, is wonderful; the best restaurant in the area. We ordered the pork (x2), salmon, striped bass, and scallops and all were well prepared. The salmon was the hit of the table. We expected the usual filet with some kind of sauce. I can’t explain what the chef created and presented on the plate. It was original, creative, and delicious. Appetetizers and desserts had the same high quality. And the service was perfect; no one hovered annoyingly over our shoulders, nor did we have to go looking for anyone. Sola is it!

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  8. robert says:

    We had an absolutely wonderful time at Sola. This was our first time there, but we went with friends who have been many times and rate it as one of their favorites. I brought a sparkling wine, a couple of bottles of red, and a dessert wine and the restaurant had all the appropriate glassware and even a filter for my old corks! We will definitely return.

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  9. Michael F says:

    Sola was in one word “amazing”. Chef David’s Lobster Soup , Wagyu Beef, and the short ribs were delicious. It was our second wedding anniversary and chef david and his staff made it so memorable. This is a MUST For all foodies. Thank You Sola

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  10. CBW says:

    As usual – great meal and great service including wine service. Very busy for a Tuesday evening in the summer. Highly recommend Sola to everyone. Why look elsewhere???

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  11. amanda m. says:

    My boyfriend and I went into Sola not knowing too much about it. This restaurant is tucked away on Lancaster Ave in Bryn Mawr, but we read good reviews. It is BYOB and it is a tiny, elegant restaurant. The food was amazing – started with an amuse bouche. We got an amazing octopus appetizer that we still talk about, and our whole experience was really enjoyable. Highly recommended!!

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  12. christopher Murray says:

    This was my wife and my first time at Sola. It is a small place – however, this made it intimate, not crowded. The food was outstanding in both quality and presentation. It is the finest restaurant that we have eaten at in the United States in years. I also like the BYOB, as we prefer to drink wine from our own wine cellar. Finally, the prices reflected a good value, given the excellence of the food and the pleasant ambiance.

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  13. Michel says:

    We ate at Sola on 2/13/09 and overall really enjoyed our experience there. Our waitress was knowledgeable and attentive throughout our meal. We shared the lobster appetizer, which was a touch overcooked and with a bit too much black pepper, the corn and sauce that came with it were fresh and delicious. I had the scallop entree for my dinner, which was very good overall, it came with a butternut squash risotto, and some of the squash was a bit undercooked. My husband ordered the espresso braised short rib which was surely the highlight of the meal. I normally do not eat red meat because I do not typically care for the taste of it, however when he offered for me to try a small bite, it tasted so good I asked for more! The dessert was somewhat unremarkable, we ordered the ricotta cheesecake and one of the chocolate desserts to split and while they were good, were nothing too special. The wait staff mixed up my latte order with my husband’s cappuccino order when serving us our drinks after dinner. My first impression of the restaurant was that it was rather small and crowded, and i wish they would do something with the acoustics to make it easier to hear your own conversation. We were seated next to a louder, larger party and there didn’t appear to be any other open tables to ask to move to. The decorations are pretty and the color scheme makes the restaurant feel warm and intimate. We would go back.

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  14. JoAnn says:

    On Tuesday, Jan 20th, a group of 40 had a “mini” inaugural celebration in honor of President Obama. We all had a wonderful time, good food, great service and a general feeling of contentment. As always Chef Dave went out of his way to make sure people enjoyed their means. He provided us with great food while the staff provided great service. Everyone enjoyed themselves and all said they will return to Sola for dinner. Thanks Dave. XOXO

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  15. Chad T. says:

    In the five months since my wife and I moved from Philadelphia to the ‘burbs we haven’t found any restaurants in our new neighborhood that could stand up to comparison with old-favorite BYOBs like Melograno or Matyson.

    Bottom-line: Sola’s chef uses top-quality ingredients to put together innovative dishes that taste every bit as good as they look.
    _______________

    First-off, any restaurant that surprises me with an amuse bouche is going to put a smile on my face. Sola served a smoked mussel that a friend of mine described as “covered with goodness, with a little more goodness on top.” It woke up my mouth and provided an interesting contrast to the syrah we were drinking.

    I started with the oyster sampler (four oysters paired with complimentary flavors– a Cape May Salt with a fresh diced tomatoes and salsa, a Oregon Kumamoto with sweet uni and blood orange juice, a Connecticut oyster with caviar and a foie gras reduction, and one more that escapes me). While the pairings somewhat overpowered the oysters’ individual characters, the flavor experiment was a lot of fun and each preparation came together nicely. The oysters were each presented on a bed of seaweed salad– nice touch.

    My entree was roast New Zealand rack of lamb served over pureed, stewed fennel (mashed potato-like) edged with a diced tomato salsa. The cut was generous with the extraneous fat trimmed so only the moist, tender medallions remained. There was a bed of what appeared to be an apricot preparation that served as an occasionally sweet change from the comfort-food paring of lamb and fennel.

    For dessert we shared a mini homemade pumpkin cheesecake that was creamy and perfectly spiced.

    Entrees at Sola are priced from the low $20s to the mid $30s, but the quality merits or exceeds the price. Corkage is $2 per bottle and is justified by the restaurant’s nice stemware.

    Having already over-indulged in my description, I might as well mention the tableware– it is all beautiful. Whoever is buying the utensils (the butter knives!), the dishware, the wine glasses and even the sugar vessels is spending a lot of money to establish Sola’s ambiance. They’ve done a great job and it really adds to the experience.

    I’ve taken a star away because my wife’s duck entree– which was, again, a great cut beautifully presented– was far, far too rare. I would have sent it back, but my wife chose not to. That aside, our weekend house-guests really enjoy their meals, and Sola left us all with full bellies and big smiles on our faces.

    We’ll be back!

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  16. alen says:

    An excellent, beautifully presented dinner – excellent ingredients-on each dish the vegetables matched the chosen entrees, with de luxe stemware to augment the byob wines. Have been there before and plan to return often.

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  17. Bev says:

    This over the top is not only the best food available on the Main Line (It’s BYOB) but the chef/owner Dave is one of the most gracious people you’ll ever want to meet. The food each visit surpasses the previous. Be sure to make a reservation as Sola is no longer a secret. Highly recommend it for choices and price. Try it and you’ll return again and again.

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  18. Bev says:

    This over the top is not only the best food available on the Main Line (It’s BYOB) but the chef/owner Dave is one of the most gracious people you’ll ever want to meet. The food each visit surpasses the previous. Be sure to make a reservation as Sola is no longer a secret. Highly recommend it for choices and price. Try it and you’ll return again and again.

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  19. Bev says:

    This over the top is not only the best food available on the Main Line (It’s BYOB) but the chef/owner Dave is one of the most gracious people you’ll ever want to meet. The food each visit surpasses the previous. Be sure to make a reservation as Sola is no longer a secret. Highly recommend it for choices and price. Try it and you’ll return again and again.

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  20. JoAnn says:

    Dave – Congrats on the Zagat 27. Bravo to you. It’s well deserved.

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  21. Pat & Ed says:

    Chaine – I love your review.
    My husband and I celebrated our 26th anniversary @ Sola.

    First, we parked legally, as was recommended when we telephoned for our reservation. (You whiners out there — have you never walked a block or two to dine out? Do you eat in Center City? Get over it!)

    What a memorable treat! Each year, it is our rule to select a restaurant new to us. Sola ranks as one if not the best! We were immediately impressed with the attention to detail with the place settings, the bindery work and “slam” of the menu, the lighting, wait staff, and warmth of the restaurant. Our champagne was corked, and a corking fee was no surprise to us. It’s a BYOB. We were served the complementary petite stuffed fig that was an awesome combination of flavors. My husband and I shared an incredible salad appetizer (I cannot remember all of the ingredients – it took us so long to decide between 2, I’m confused!), followed by the Halibut w/swiss chard, pine nuts & lobster & mascarpone polente for me, and a cooked-to-perfection pink rack of lamb for my husband. The presentation of each was a true art masterpiece — my oblong plate, my husband’s square with a hint of mint smeared beautifully. Next we were delivered another beautifully put-together desert menu. We chose the warm chocolate filled cake. To our surprise, Chef Dave delivered it himself, candlelit. Aaaah? Not only is he a talented chef and artist, but he is a very personable, accommodating host! Cheers to Sola. We are spreading the word like craaaaaazzzzzzy! Thank you for having the passion for excellence with food and detail.

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  22. Chaine philadelphia says:

    I’m a member of the Philadelphia chapter of the chaine des rotisseurs. I eat at restaurants all over the region both with the organization and on my own personally. The Chaine is dedicated to great food in all forms, at all venues from chinatown to BYOB’s to La Croix & Le Bec Fin. I’m not usually compelled to write on line reviews…(I have occasionally written a few on zagat), but my recent meal at Sola has prompted me to post this. IMHO Sola is one of the top 3 restaurants in the Philadelphia suburbs. Each and every time I have been there I find something new and unexpected… creative and unusual combinations that are thoughtfully presented. The meal this evening; first course grouper cheeks with a curried tomato jam and pickled onions, crispy softshell crab, kobe beef with yuzu and oysters and hamachi crudo with grapefruit. Entrees; pheasant breast with black lentils and foie gras, provencal style rack of lamb, halibut with lobster and mascarpone polenta, and scallops with very tender calamari stuffed with scallop mousse over black isreali couscous. Dessert; cherry strudel with creme fraiche icecream, pineapple-basil sorbet, passionfruit carmel and a cheese plate with great fruit-nut bread. Everything was just outstanding and cooked to perfection. Service is always seamless… just the right amount of attention without being overbearing. I’ve only had one service issue about a year ago. I was served the wrong entree and it was quickly corrected. I guess my only complaint during this last visit was that the room was a little warm. It was a very hot day and the restaurant was packed. I’ve never had that problem in the past, but I honestly can’t recall if I’ve been there before in July. Even though it’s usually busy when I’ve eaten there, I can’t help but feel that Sola passes under the radar of the general public. I never see any mention of them in local publications or media. I think they’re one of the most underrated restaurants in the area. Just .02 cents.

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  23. dick grossman says:

    finally made it to sola last night…been meaning to for a while but so many other fine places around so it took a while [routines are hard to break, especially with choices like teresa's in wayne [noisy as heck but good quality at fair price] and cassis [lovely sunday night on terrace - byob then], etc. boy, am i mad at myself for the delay! 5 of us had a wonderful dinner..passesd around 4 different apps, 3 different dinners [3 of us couldn't resist getting the lamb rack] and 4 different desserts and a cheese plate among us -and not a disappointment in the lot. prices are quite fair for the quality and the presentation. service was fine…one bus boy and one waitress handled the fairly full room very well – none of the “who gets the pork” annoyance. good linens and glassware -pretty dishes and silverware. all in all a fine quality experience and it has moved to the top of our list.
    by the way, any of you fans tried mimosa yet? – on baltimore pike about 2 miles east of route 202 . byob and open sunday night also – french chef [gilles moret] and varied menu…..

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  24. Andy Mark says:

    There is no restaurant on the Main Line that even comes CLOSE to Sola. Picture Manhattan calibre dining in a funky little space on the main drag, Lancaster Ave., and that is Sola (and I own part of one of the Main Line’s more popular restaurants!).

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  25. charlesS2029 says:

    Small, BYOB main line restaurant. Reservations are a must. All entrees were outstanding, including rack of lamb, fish, and buffalo steak. Service was very good and the food was beautifully presented.

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  26. johnZ2453 says:

    Excellent, creative, well presented food in a mainline BYOB. Had Gnocchi with lamb bolognese, tuna tartar, escargot, tilefish, pork & buffalo two ways, gelato and blueberry cake. All really well done, beautifully presented and creative. On Iron Chef, they would score well. There is a $2/bottle corkage fee, but they provide excellent stemware and swap the glasses between bottles. Tight seating, but overall excellent and highly recommended

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  27. Donna ( from Boston) says:

    Dave, I am so happy to see you are getting the praise you deserve! I have been in a number of times on the spur of the moment so did not make a reservation. Yes, I ate anonymously!! Everything was awesome! Everytime we come in my table tries to name their favorite….Lamb, always at the top, your risotto’s, your creme brule, soft shell crab, …the entire menu is excellent! I’m stuck here in Boston for now….can’t wait to come back to SOLA!

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  28. JoAnn says:

    I guess I’m one of those “regulars” at Sola that you talk about. I’ve eaten there many times since they opened – the food has always been wonderful, the service attentive without being grating and the price well within the the range of this type of restaurant. Just because the outside is unassuming, the inside produces fabulous meals and, I think, delivers a bang for the buck. Ok, that said. Maybe you didn’t have a great experience. It happens. I went to lunch at LeBec Fin and believe me THAT was an expensive meal. It was all right and an experience but frankly, there are a lot of other places I would rather have been. Lucky for us, we knew one of the sous chefs so we got an extra course because frankly, there wasn’t much for the money $120+/person – except for the desserts which were fabulous.
    As far as using the coupons. There was an error in judgement there. They should have given you $10 credit – the $10 you paid for the coupons. They said, I gather it was before you ordered, that they no longer took the coupons. Frankly, you could have left. Its been know for years that those kind of “deals” never are. You have to read the fine print. I think if you don’t go back to Sola you’re spiting yourself, but that’s why there are so many other places for you to go. I suggest you go somewhere else and please be sure to keep knitpicking – this way I can take your reservation at Sola.

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  29. nevets says:

    My wife and I had an early dinner at Sola on Saturday night. The restaurant was full by the time we left. The food was tasty as usual (this was our 5th time there) but it is not keeping up with the price. We shared a seafood special appetizer that included four small plates: an oyster in a vinagrette, sea urchin in blood orange sauce, hamachi with kumquat, and peeky crab salad/cake. While visually pretty, the urchin sauce was bitter and the oyster was tasteless. The crab and hamachi were tasty. Not a good value for $16. My wife had the striped bass and I had the monkfish. The striped bass was good and the risotto it sat on was very good (full of shrimp and peas). My monkfish was okay. However, I must note that for $28 and $26 dollars respectively, the fish portions were very small. I maybe had 4 to 5 bites of monkfish attached to a large center bone.

    Service was spotty. Once the restaurant got busy, our waitress pretty much ignored us. We had to ask the busboy to take our payment for the check (credit card). We also had to ask the busboy to return our remaining wine which was in an ice bucket a few tables away against the wall.

    Here is the rub…several months ago we purchased a restaurant.com certificate for Sola. This gives you $25 towards food for a $10 purchase price. The certificates are good for 12 months after purchase and if you want to use it on a Saturday you must be at Sola before 6:30 PM. We made an early reservation in order to use the certificate. After we ordered and told the server we had the certificate, she told us that they no longer accept them and to take it up with restaurant.com. She said that they lose money on these and walked away. I also asked the hostess about this and said that they should honor existing certificates but she just said that they stopped taking them at the end of 2007. No apologies were offered and no other offers (even a modest one) were made. On principle, we should have left at this point (and yes we can afford full prices, but that is not the point). Personally, this is bad business. When Sola agreed to participate in restaurant.com, I’m sure they were told that the certificates were valid for 12 months after purchase. It is fine for Sola to decide not to offer more certificates through restaurant.com, but they should honor the ones out there. Sola was essentially saying, we’re busy enough now that we don’t have to honor these. Restaurant.com keeps track of who purchases certificates and we could have been informed prior to using it that they were no longer accepted. We felt like Sola snubbed us, offered no apology and no compensation of any kind. Also, we felt like the hostess ignored us on the way out, she was at the hostess stand while we got our coats and did not say goodbye or ask us how our dinner was (and no, she was not on the phone at the time).

    Bottom line…we will not be going back to Sola.

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  30. scubaguy says:

    Dined on 10/19 and can’t believe we haven’t dined there before. The outside is unassuming, and across from Acme. Goes to show you shouldn’t judge anything by it’s cover. Food was superb, as was the attentive and personal service. Would highly recommend it to anyone. Tuna tartar appetizer was inventive. The gnocci w/ duck confit sublime. Scallop entree was full of flavors. Dessert selection could be expanded.

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  31. Andy Mark says:

    Sola is without question the best restaurant on the Main Line. We went twice in one week it was so good. All BYOB’s or any restaurant for that matter on the Main Line should be this great! Tastefully decorated, fantastic service and food that is off the hook….obviously prepared by someone who really knows their way around the kitchen.Recommended very highly, but call in advance.Once you go, you’ll see why their “regulars” list is growing quickly!

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  32. Skip Dechert says:

    Four of us had dinner at Sola on the last Thursday in August, and it was unbelievable. To find this level of fine dining at a moderately priced suburban BYOB is amazing. My wife said the Fillet of Alaskan Halibut, served with English Pea and rock shrimp risotto, summer baby carrots and a pinot noir reduction, was “fabulous.” My Wolfe Neck Farms NY Strip Steak with truffled potato croquettes, morel mushrooms, pearl onion confit, pea tops and a sauce Bordelaise, was “to die for.” Kudos also for the Seared “Dry” Diver Sea Scallops, the Jersey White Corn & Clam Chowder, and the Warm Chocolate Gateau. One of us had the current weekday three-course prix-fixe menu, and loved it. Actually everything we had was top notch. Service was exceptional: our waiter was Genti, but others pitched in making it a team effort. Presentation was exceptional, and the ambiance was just right. Chef/Owner Dave Clouser is on his way to culinary stardom, so while he’s still close by in Bryn Mawr, we’ll be going back often, I’m sure. Actually, I think we’d follow him anywhere, come to think about it.

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  33. barry says:

    This was our first time at Sola, but it will certainly not be our last. Friday evening of Labor Day weekend, we had one of the most delightful dining experiences that we have ever had. What a treat! Great food, congenial ambiance, attentive service. We now have a new favorite restaurant!

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  34. cookingwithideasblog says:

    Another meal in the Bryn Mawr area — and finally a restaurant I can recommend wholeheartedly. The restaurant: Sola. The meal — quite wonderful (though I admit I wish I had had dessert). I did have a fresh corn soup to start which was garnished with just the right amount of lobster meat. I followed the soup with duck two ways — a confit (which had been removed from the bone) and a nicely cooked and sliced duck breast. The duck came with a foia gras flan. Absolutely swell. I had a taste of another person’s calamari starter, not usually something I like, and it was both tasty and the right texture (aka NOT a disguised rubber band). The amusee bouche was a salmon tartare — and I give it an A+. The other entrees I saw were plated well and served in appropriate portions. The service was just the right balance of attentive and non-intrusive. And the parking goddess was with us — we got a spot right in front of the restaurant on Lancaster Avenue with 15 minutes left on the meter so we didn’t spend a cent to park.

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  35. christopher says:

    My wife and I have dined at Sola many times, with parties ranging from just us (2) to parties of 10. The food is always extremely fresh, seasonal and cutting edge – forward thinking. The chef tells me they have local organic farmers who grow some of their produce just for them. The food is always very polished and beautifully presented. For my money, this is the best restaurant outside of Philly. The service is top notch as well. It is a small room, and it does get busy and crowded, but I think that adds to the overall experience. You get to make friends with the people next to you. The last time we ate there we chatted with the couple next to us. They were amazed at how great everything tasted and made ohh and ahh noises with every bite.

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  36. Dina Goldstein says:

    We ate at Sola the other weekend, and it was a wonderful dining experience. The restaurant is cozy and beautifully decorated in a style that evokes the 1930′s, and the wait staff is extremely prompt and professional. Dave, the chef, served a tantalizing array of Continental fusion cuisine that combined the complexity of French flavors and textures with the lightness of the Mediterrenean. The vegetables (all locally grown) were fresh and flavorful. I was torn between my favorite appetizers – grilled squid (succulent and juicy) or sushi-grade tuna tartare (tender and spicy.) The enree of grilled scallops in white truffle oil, served on a bed of Israeli couscous was scrumptuous, perfectly cooked and melting in my mouth. My boyfriend enjoyed the duck – it is served in an intricate sauce atop fig preserves, and the combination of sweet, sour and earthy notes was mind-blowing. I recommend the blueberry cake for a light dessert, while Ben preferred the chocolate cake (with warm creamy ganache.) The food was beautifully presented, perfectly apportioned and delicious, and most importantly (particularly for French-inspired cuisine,) the sauces did not detract from the freshness and texture of the food. We will definitely return to Sola for romantic dinners a deux and special occasions!

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  37. Amanda A says:

    We dined there this week for the first time. The menu was limited, but the food was quite flavorful and the portions generous. We were disappointed in the service – was less than expected. They had good attitudes but only 2 staff in the dining room which was almost full, they were clearly overextended.

    We enjoyed this dinner and will probably return.

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  38. Robert Baccalieri, Jr. says:

    Once again our experience at Sola was outstanding. From our pleasant and professional hostess to the beautifully presented dishes, Sola is truly unique. Chef Clouser really has taken this restaurant to new heights. Could be the only restaurant I know of that has exactly what is offered on the menu and is rarely, if ever, out of any offerings. That says volumes to the kitchen’s preparation. Thanks again Sola for another exceptional experience.

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  39. Michael C. says:

    I am a relatively new resident of Pennsylvania and have had extreme difficulty securing a job in the restaurant industy since my move. Along my travels I met Chef Dave of Sola. When I had just about given up on my profession of 20 years Chef Dave offered me the opportunity to help out in his kitchen on a part time basis. I have to say, from a behind the scenes point of view, this is one of the most professionally run kitchens I have ever had the pleasure of working in. I have been doing this most of my life and until I walked in his door I hadn’t learned a thing in many years. His kitchen is run with such an exact science I was amazed. The cleanliness was something that far surpassed any kitchen I have ever been in. I was also afforded the pleasure of tasting many of his signature dishes, which as a chef and also a lover of food I must say where out of this world! I can’t imagine that there is much out there that will even come close to the professionalism, care, and exquisite taste that flow out of his kitchen. I have to say; thanks to Chef Dave and his staff for reminding an old kitchen veteran the reason I chose this occupation and bringing back the love I thought I lost for food. Thanks!!!!

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  40. Jen M. says:

    My husband and I, along with my best friend and her fiance, had the pleasure of dining at Sola this past weekend to celebrate their recent engagement. We had a wonderful time. The staff was warm,friendly,and very helpful and the atmosphere was lovely. I felt very comfortable and welcomed by everyone there. The food was creative, delicious, and had a wonderful presentation. We all shared each others appetizers and entrees and there wasn’t anything we didn’t like. I can’t say enough about our experience at Sola, this is a wonderful restaurant and I highly recommend it to everyone.

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  41. Silvia says:

    My fiancé and I had a wonderful experience at Sola this weekend. The food was innovative and spectacular, and with 4 of us dining and selecting various items off of the menu, we still have not determined who ordered the best item. The service was gracious and attentive, and we thoroughly enjoyed Sola’s artistic and warm ambiance. The restaurant came highly recommended by friends, who joined us for a lovely dining experience, and have thankfully introduced us to one of our newest “favorite” restaurants. Chef David is truly gifted. We were impressed all around, and will certainly be dining there again.

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  42. Heather P. says:

    My husband and I chose Sola as the place to celebrate our first wedding anniversary after reading reviews on this page (the main line dining guide). I have always been a person who loves trying new restaurants, particularly BYOBs and wanted to surprise my husband with a fabulous meal.

    After dining at Sola my husband I were both in agreement that it was by far the best meal we have ever had. From the first bite to the last – we didn’t want the meal to end. We couldn’t stop talking about the food for weeks after and have recommended Sola to all of our family and friends. We have even agreed to make Sola “our restaurant” and to go back every year for our anniversary.

    As someone who has eaten at fine dining establishments all over the world, I can honestly say that this ranks as one of my top choices. I highly recommend it for anyone celebrating a special occasion with the one you love – or if you just want a fabulous meal!

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  43. Donna Goldstein says:

    I had the extreme pleasure of dining with 2 friends at Sola in April. It was one of the most enjoyable evenings I have spent at any reataurant. The food was so perfectly prepared and presented, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. The service was impeccable! I’m from Boston, but will be back in Bryn Mawr on the 18th of May and can’t wait to dine at Sola again ( I made the reservations 2 months ago!.

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  44. Cory says:

    My husband and I ate dinner at Sola on February 17 with his brother and our sister-in-law as a celebration for their birthdays. We have eaten there several times previously by ourselves since Chef David Clouser opened. Our food was absolutely wonderful, as we have come to expect each and every time we dine there, and perfect for the special occasion. We tried the foie gras and seafood sampler appetizer, both new to my husband and myself. For entrees, we had the halibut, the tuna, the blue marlin special, and the rack of lamb. Every plate was perfectly prepared. My husband’s brother and our sister-in-law were blown away by the quality and integrity of the food and presentation. We ended our evening with lite desserts, the sorbet (my husband had the creme brulee which is his favorite, but perhaps not that lite), and coffee. Our server was friendly, knowledgable, and very prompt to fulfill any needs we had, as is customary of all 3 servers working in the restaurant (we have now had each of them several times).

    I would have to disagree with many of the negative reviews that have preceeded this entry. There were no issues with parking, as we decided to abide by the large, well-lit sign indicating that we were not to park in the adjacent lot. It amazes me that, given the sign and the reminder when we made the reservation, as we were leaving, I saw the hostess ask a gentleman to move his car out of the parking lot because he would be towed. If you choose not to abide by the clear signs, then certainly you should expect to pay a hefty fine to retrieve your car from impound at the end of your evening. It seems very obvious to me that this is a choice the patron makes and not the responsibility of the restaurant.

    More importantly, the food and the service have always been equitable to that of any fine-dining restaurant in the city of Philadelphia and New York. It is truly a treat to experience the same level of quality in the suburbs (where parking can always be found on the streets surrounding the restaurant) as that which you might only expect to find in the city!

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  45. Gina says:

    My husband and I dined at Sola on Saturday night for his birthday and we had an extremely delicious meal. I had the striped sea bass with a creamy risotto…it was out of this world! My husband had the surf and turf special which was also cooked to perfection and had a beautiful presentation. We also squeezed in our reservation at the last minute and spoke to Chef Dave directly who was so pleasant and very accomodating. We will definitely be back again!

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  46. Kathy McCauley says:

    My husband and I had a lovely dinner at Sola on February 10 to celebrate the 29th anniversary of the day we met. The restaurant, the service and the food were completely up to the importance of this event in our lives. The decor is lovely, the waiter was knowledgeable and the service attentive yet not intrusive. The food was superb. My husband is still raving about the escargot. We highly recommend this excellent local BYOB gem. It is so terrific to be able to experience food like this without going into the city and also getting the bargain of bringing our own wine. We totally agree with the 4 spoons rating and we’ll be back soon.

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  47. Barbara Shoulson says:

    Having had an excellent meal at Sola about a month earlier, I made a reservation for two for 6:30 pm on Feb.8th. When we arrived, the restaurant was 3/4 empty with three groups od two sitting at tables for four people and one woman awaiting a party of six or eight. We were seated at the only table for two,which was ok, except that the table was very wobbly. We asked the waiter if he could fix it. After three or four completely unsuccessful attempts ,each one accompanied by grunts and unpleasant faces, we requested another table. Given that the restaurant was so empty and it was so early, we thought this was a reasonable request. The waiter sai, in a singularly ungracious way, that everything was booked. I said that I didn’t want to spoil a delicious dinner dealing with the table and that we would have to leave at which point the waiter said “Go ahead, leave!” – and so we did. On the way out my husband asked the hostess for another table and shee seemed about to accommodate us, but I was too angry to stay. I will not be dining at Sola again.

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  48. JB says:

    Well, This Fine dining experience was well, thinking of a fancy word, Repugnant! The Fois Gras, the whole reason we went, was the worst thing I ever tasted. There were chunks of salt on it, on the snowy night it was it could have been used on the icy sidewalks, and lacked any clue that it was the delicacy that Fois Gras is. My lovely girlfriend ordered the Halibut. It was dried out and the garnish for the plate scared her, seriously she couldnt stop talking about it all night. I ordered the Strip steak. It was cooked perfect, but again the presentation was terrible. I felt like I was at Outback with onion straws topping my $30 steak. The potatoes were cold and still had that lovely taste of dirt that any professional Chef would not like in his food.

    Well i don’t want to trash the place too hard. They did offer us a complementary glass of wine that was really good. The atmosphere was nice and pleasant and our waiter was good.

    Would only recommend this place to people I work with!!!

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  49. Elizabeth says:

    I have eaten at Sola at least four times, including New Year’s Eve and have always enjoyed the food. As far as the parking situation I have never had any trouble finding parking on the street near the restaurant and I have had both early and later reservations. I really find it hard to understand why people complain about the parking so much. I guess they don’t eat out in Philadelphia or are used to valet parking.
    Everything I have tried at Sola is delicious. Of particular note is the striped bass with a risotto with tender rock shrimp as well as the scallop entree served beautifully with an israeli couscous. The escargot are some of the best I have had anywhere. The seafood sampler appetizer is a wonderful presentation and one of the best appetizers on the menu which includes crab, an oyster, tuna and hamachi.
    The room is warm and inviting and cozy. I always have a wonderful evening when I come to Sola with my friends. I would highly recommend this lovely BYOB to anyone. The chef is doing a great job. Keep up the good work!

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  50. hc says:

    We dined at Sola on Feb 2 and were not impressed. Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t horrible. But we hit a byo every weekend and this just isn’t nearly on the same level as other places like Majolica and Alison’s.

    My biggest gripe is the chef must have a sugar obsession. The bread basket was filled with sweet raisin rolls only — not really something we wanted before dinner. And the odd lemon/sugar butter didn’t help. At least offer a choice with some fresh Italian or French bread mixed in. The salads were good, but again — both were overpowered by a cloyingly sweet flavor. At least for the main entree, the lamb was outstanding. My boyfriend had the beef short ribs and, while the meat was moist, flavorful and tasty, we couldn’t figure out why it sat on a puff of sickeningly sweet pureed parsnips we tried to avoid at all costs. We stuck around for dessert, figuring all this sweetness in the appetizers and dinner must mean a grand finale on deck to finish. But the poached pear wasn’t anything memorable.

    The ambience at this place was total old school snotty Main Line. Not the lively, sophisticated little byo bistros we gravitate towards. Average age of diners the night we went: 55 and over (nothing against older folks, but we are in our 30s and the atmosphere seemed very stiff to us).

    And as for this whole parking issue, it’s pretty evident where you can and cannot park. Not to mention, the restaurant warns you about it when you call. But we had a later reservation and found off-street parking very difficult to find. Walking a few blocks in snow and freezing temperatures (and stilettos, no less!) wasn’t much fun. I’d be willing to do it for a superior dining experience. But Sola wasn’t worth the trouble…

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  51. JoAnn says:

    You know that Sola has made it when the nitpickers start bickering. I love the place and continue to go there about once every six weeks. I too have been there for a wine dinner and everyone was totally impressed. Stop fighting, forget the past, and enjoy this little bit of culinary joy that we’ve been blessed with. Rock on Dave!

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  52. kevin says:

    This is the chef of Spezia “weighing in” again. The only reason I chose to comment on the parking situation was my disbelief that after all this time consumers continue to get towed out of this lot even when there is a gigantic sign on the side of the building that is obviously a bit of advice that people continue to ignore.

    C wagner whoever you are. It appears you are accusing me of ghostwriting as “a fan” standing up for dear old Spezia. My wife and I were the chefs, not the owners, we quit, the business was sold, end of story!! You couldn’t be more wrong about my ego. As chefs we put stuff behind us. You deal with people and customers who don’t like you or your food on a daily basis. Its part of the job. You need thick skin. By the way, it’s not the first time I’ve been compared to Thomas Keller!!!

    I miss the customers who loved the concept. We considered them friends of the house. Spezia is long gone, THANK GOD!!!
    We were young, ambitious, pretentious and overinflated and learned a very valuable lesson in business—-Don’t operate a restaurant on the main line.

    Good luck to Sola!!! No matter who owns it.

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  53. c wagner says:

    I’ve lived on the main line for about 15 years now, and have eaten at just about every place along lancaster ave, including Sola under both ownerships, Spezia and before that Saranac (which maybe a lot of people don’t even remember). I must say, the “new Sola” is by far the best restaurant to occupy that space. I’ve eaten there about once a month for the last 7 months with parties ranging from two people to wine dinners for 16. I’m not even sure what the debate is about at this point. Sola under new ownership has been open longer now than it was under the original, and Spezia has long since closed. After reading the postings on this site I think it’s funny that on January 27th. the former chef of Spezia decided to weigh in on the parking situation, then coincidentally five days later “a fan” writes in with all sorts of intimate knowldge about Spezia. Young and ambitious partners, byo groupies, seasonal wine dinners and I’m sure they are on to sucessful endeavors… to me this sounds like a chef’s ego not a lamenting customer. I bet the former chef of Spezia found this web site, read the old review and couldn’t stand to see others succeed where he failed. Spezia was ok, but way too pretentious and overinflated. They actually had a $7.00 upcharge per person if you wanted to use their Riedel stemware. I think if you want to do things right and serve wine in great glasses, then suck up the cost and offer it to everyone. Maybe I could understand a $2 or $3 charge… something nominal. I’m a member of several wine clubs in the area and frequently have tasting dinners at byob’s all over the city and suburbs (including the new Sola). The only thing I ever hear people say about Spezia is that they don’t miss getting ripped off for the glasses. Thomas Keller of the French Laundry had a vision, Spezia was a blip. Things change, lets move on.

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  54. ???? says:

    who cares about Spezia… if they were doing such a great job they would still be in business. I ate there twice and found it to be way overrated and not at good. I actually saw an employee berated and yelled at on the floor of the dining room in front of guests… there is a reason why they closed. By the way, it’s easy to be in the news when you pay a PR firm lots of money… sometimes you even begin to believe your own propaganda. If you are such a big fan, go eat at the new successful “endeavors” which you speak of… The new sola has gotten many more positive comments on this site than spezia ever did. You can still read the review under the RIP section…

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  55. a Fan says:

    I must defend Spezia against the remarks in the original review of SOLA in this site. Yes, the partner were young, but ambitious and talented. I strongly disagree that Sola is an improvment to Spezia. Not only was the food far superior, but the management and staff was highly professional. Stuffy is hardly a word to describe that dining experience. They had a great following of “byo groupies” and were always in the news. Their seasonal wine dinners were fabulous! Kudos to them for seeing a vision and meking it happen. I am sure the Dining Room Manager and the Chefs have continued their success in other endeavors. I am not a fan of the 2nd Sola. The original owner did some great physical improvements to the site. Spezia is missed. Thank you, a Fan.

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  56. Ann says:

    We had the pleasure of dining at Sola last Saturday evening. It’s a lovely place and the food was absolutely phenomenal!! The service was extremely attentive despite the fact that the place was packed! There were four in our party and we made it a point to sample each other’s selections….there wasn’t a single dish that wasn’t exceptional! We will most definitely be returning to Sola in the future. I only wish it was in OUR neighborhood!! That being said, it was well worth the drive!

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  57. kevin says:

    As the former Chef and manager of Spezia, the previous tenant of this property, I can verify from my experience that if you park in the Food Source lot adjacent to the restaurant, you will be towed 100% of the time. Food Source for various reasons will not negotiate on any terms to allow parking in this lot. consider this, unless the metered spaces are free there is no free parking in Bryn Mawr.

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  58. David G says:

    How do you get reservations at this establishment? Phone message is chopped.

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  59. you says:

    that parking lot is the employee parking lot. without the signs (and sometimes with) we are blocked in, all hours of the day. If there was free parking there, no employee would have a spot to park in (its hard enough, with not enough space already), and those who have apartments in the area would park thier cars ovenight. Calls come in multiple times a day. This will not change.

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  60. Marian Matez says:

    We have eaten at Sola’s several times and found it to be a dining delight. Dave, the chef, is talented and so the food is creative and delicious. In addition, the staff is warm and friendly.
    As for the parking…and the complaints… not only are signs posted warning you not to park in the adjoining lot, but you are also so instructed when making reservations. Parking is available on the street. If you make an early reservation parking is a snap…even on Lancaster by the restaurant’s front door.

    How about this for an idea…for those of us who care about keeping this “neat” little restaurant thriving in our community? Let’s all call the management of Food Source to ask why they would be so unneighborly as to not allow the restaurant patrons to park in their lot when the food store is closed. Talk about lack of community spirit!

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  61. Richard Aprile says:

    My wife and I have eaten at Sola probably two to three times since the ownership change in April and each time was a very unique time. I also entertained some business associates there as well, and no suprise to me, it was a hit all around.

    The new chef, and I believe co-owner too, David Clouser, puts out a very well thought out menu that’s good all around but definetely has some stand out items. His Duck, along with the Lamb, are probably two of the best overall dishes I’ve eaten in recent memory. His combination of flavors and componets are exceptional and really turn into dishes that not only are delicious, but very eye appealing as well.

    As far as a couple recent posts concerning the parking, I know it’s somewhat tight in that area. However, seeing an empty lot next door with maybe four to five signs forbidding parking, including a huge green one, was enough for me to use a little deductive reasoning and figure this spot was too good to be true. I would be hard pressed to label it a “scam”. I know a few friends who frequent the Pub next door and they, and friends of theirs, have unfortunately been towed too.

    Anyway, best of luck to Sola and we will continue to enjoy it very much!

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  62. Dave says:

    We had read the recent reviews on Sola and decided to make reservations with another couple for a Saturday evening. Upon arrival, we noticed that Sola does not have a parking lot and there was no street parking available. After circling the block and adjacent neighborhoods for 15 minutes, we decided to park nearby in a vacant lot where the business had already closed for the day.

    When we finally got to the restaurants entryway, we were greeted after a few minutes and told to wait while they cleared a table for us. After waiting patiently, another group of four came up behind us. The receptionist came by and seated the new arrivals, leaving us standing at the doorway. We almost left immediately, but decided to stick it our after having such a nightmare trying to park in the area.

    We were seated soon after and only two of us were given menus. A few moments later, I made a request for two more menus. The waiter replied that they did not have enough menus to go around. Can you believe it?

    As it turns out, the food was good. However, Sola is very small place and the noise level was so high it impossible to hear conversation across our table. The tables are very close together, so plan on having a few other guests brush by while your eating.

    We went outside after dinner only to discover that our car had been towed along with several others. After another hour wait and an expensive cab ride, we arrived at the impound lot where we were forced to pay $200 cash per vehicle to release our ride home.

    Needless to say, we won’t be back due to the lack of parking, poor service and neighborhood car towing scam.

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  63. Margaux says:

    Great meal. For a small menu there was much variety. The chef combined textures and flavors artfully.

    The service was very good and being able to bring exactly the wine we wanted put this meal over the top.

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  64. Blanche says:

    I recently had the pleasure of dining at Sola. Upon entering the restaurant my senses were immediately heightened by the subtle aromas wafting in from the kitchen, the elegant furnishings, interesting accent pieces, and fine table settings.

    The meal itself gave true meaning to the phrase “fine gourmet dining”. I was particularly impressed with the use of seasonal offerings.

    It is quite evident that Chef/Owner Dave Clouser has put his heart and soul into this establishment.

    If one is looking for the total dining experience, then I would highly recommend Sola.

    As an aside, after reading the other comments on this site, I feel compelled to comment on the reviewer whose car was towed. Perhaps all the members of her party failed to see the two signs designating the next door parking lot as private property. Or maybe they missed the sign stating that unauthorized vehicles would be towed. It is truly a shame!

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  65. From my Food Blog at ReluctantGourmet.com

    Friday night our neighbor offered to watch our two young daughters so my wife and I could go out for an impromptu dinner. I said yes before she could even finish her offer. We decided to try a new (new to us) restaurant called Sola in Bryn Mawr, a suburb of Philadelphia and near where we live. This blog entry is to pay tribute to one fine meal.

    Spezia was the previous establishment at this location but Chef/owner (David Clouser) did a great job redecorating the space giving it a much more comfortable feel. The lighting is better and the overall feel of the room seems better.

    Another reason we chose Sola; it is a BYOB restaurant and since I collect wines, it’s great to go out to dinner with a wine I’ve been holding a few years waiting for the right occasion to uncork it.

    Sola’s serves modern-American cuisine and are serving using local farm fresh ingredients this time of year. Much of his menu and specials featured fresh seasonal produce and cheeses.

    What We Were Served

    After they opened our bottle of 1999 Chateau Meyney, our waitress brought us the “teaser” or tasting to stimulate our appetite. She called it some fancy French name that I can’t remember but it was a small slice of fig, topped with a small piece of Maytag Blue cheese and finished with a few drops of what I think was Pomegranate molasses. There was a lot of flavor packed into that little bite.

    We then shared an Heirloom tomato salad with three or four different types of tomatoes with one of them being sliced and fried.

    For entrees my wife had Steak Frite served with asparagus and fingerling potatoes that were halved, fried and built into what we called “little log cabin”. The sauce was demi-glace based and had a tartness flavor to it I could not figure out from what.

    I ordered braised short ribs that were incredible. They started with a mound of sautéed spinach in the center of the plate, placed mashed potato around the spinach, a rich veal demi glace sauce around the potatoes and the braised short rib on top of the spinach. It looked great and was one of the best meals I’ve had in a restaurant in a long time.

    For desert we shared warm, liquid filled chocolate cake that was rich and tasty.

    On the way out I just had to take a peak in the kitchen and say hello to the chef. He stopped what he was doing, came over and introduced himself and appreciated my comments. You could see he was proud of the food he was putting out.

    All in all, a great night out with my wife on short notice.

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  66. Kevin Strauss says:

    I’m delighted to say that I’ve been a guest at Sola several times, and each meal is a wonderful experience. I’m more than happy to add my endorsement to the other persons who have submitted their reviews. I’ve followed David Clouser’s career for several years, and have watched his culinary palette express itself in interesting ways. The duo of duck–a pekin duck breast combined with duck confit is a delightful study in taste, texture and color. Some items will be leaving the menu as the seasons change, I’m sure. But I can’t wait to see what suprises Autumn will bring to this loyal repeat customer. In short, Chef David’s cuisine is top of the line–sophisticated in taste and presentation, but not “in your face”. In other words,a le Bec Fin quality experience without having to pay a fortune for the valet parking.

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  67. Idia says:

    We have been to Sola 3 times so far since it opened and have enjoyed it each and every time.
    The food, atmosphere and consistency make it a return place for me.
    My only request would be to deep-six the music. It competes badly when it becomes busy and noisy and the bass portion of the stereo is faulty and sounds more like a boat foghorn or something.
    Other than that, a total winner!

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  68. John says:

    Before posting this comment, I was reading what Max Buten said about his experience on july 13th. I actually ate at Sola this evening (July 14th.) and had a wonderful meal my self. When I called to make my reservation, the chef answered the phone. I had many questions about the menu and he was very helpful in describing all the elements of many dishes. In the course of the conversation he told me about the 3 course prix fixe that is offered during the week. At $32 for app., entree and dessert it’s the best deal on the main line. I ordered it this evening. First was a salad Lyonnasse (frisee letuce with lardons, haricot vert and a sunny side up quail egg served with crisp duck confit), second was a seared skate wing served over juline veggies and a chive sauce. I’m not sure what Max is talking about when he says “pickled stems”. It had caper berries, but no pickled anything. Last was a really nice fresh cherry cake of sorts which had a French name that I don’t remember. The portion size was well worth the price and the flavors and presentation were top notch. I felt like I was dining in center city philadelphia. If you enjoy great food, check out Sola.

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  69. Max Buten says:

    Early dinner last night was excellent! I had 3 appetizers (and no main), my wife had the prix fixe. Appetizers were $11 or $12, the 3-course menu was $32. Corkage $2. Very high quality table: tablecloth, linen napkins, good wine glasses, china plates, fancy salt & pepper. Service was very good; noise level was quiet to fairly noisy as it filled up.

    Most interesting dish was nicely panko-crusted calimari in an overly hot sauce with salad. Also sliced tuna filet with thin crisp slices of lotus root, soft shell crab with a timbale of potato salad topped with avocado, duck leg confit with salad and quail egg, skate with pickled stems.

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  70. ted says:

    Last night I hosted an off-line wine dinner at Sola. We had one of the finest meals I’ve ever had the privilege of eating. There were 7 courses, from a half-dollar size piece of fois gras, to a seafood sample, halibut, lamb chops over pureed fennel, blackberry-cabernet sorbet, and of course, molten chocolate cake. Every one of the people at the table loved every course – there wasn’t a dud in the whole meal. Chef Dave came out for a round of applause, our server was excellent and the food not only tasted good but the presentation was beautiful. I highly recommend Sola and would actually plan another wine dinner there.

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  71. Steve says:

    I recently dined at Sola on a Saturday evening and found it very enjoyable. The service was attentive and professional in all respects. The food was excellent – many interesting offerings with outstanding presentation and taste. The atmosphere is that of a fine BYOB with elegant furnishings and decor, fine china and glassware. It is a great value.

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  72. JoAnn Erfer says:

    I must respond to Chip’s review of Sola. I’ve been to Sola and have enjoyed it very much. The food is excellent, the service is very good and the menu offered a wide variety of food. All of my friends who’ve tried Sola have loved it – and they’re fussy Main Liners. As far as your being asked to leave, while it may seem offensive to you, I believe that most restaurants allocate 2 hours per table and that, if you had a 6:30 reservation, two hours would be more than ample for a relaxed and excellent meal.
    As far as there being no specials – since this is a new restaurant (new owners and chef) it is my belief that everything on the menu would qualify as a special since I’ve never had it before. Sometimes restaurants make changes to menues depending of the freshness and availability of product. It seems that you walked in with a chip (no pun intended) on your shoulder. I think that my experience was extremely positive with the staff bending over backwards to be accommodating. I enjoyed the food, the atmosphere and felt that I received a lot of bang for my buck. I’m sure that while you were enjoying your coffee and conversation, the party scheduled for 8:30 was outside waiting to get in. Its really quite small and I think its very self-centered not to realize that the world wasn’t revolving around you and your party. They’re trying to make a go of it, and to do so they have to turn the table twice a night – anyone with the slightest business sense would recognize this fact. I’m guessing that since you were given your check at 8:45 that you hadn’t arrived until 6:45. This is just a guess of course, but every restaurant really has this same game plan. Sorry you were offended. I’m sure that your tip reflected your offense.

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  73. Chip says:

    My friends from out of town and I had dinner at SOLA last weekend and were very disappointed. Not only were there NO specials on the menu, but some items listed on the menu were not even available. It was embarrassing as I wanted my friends to enjoy a nice evening in a nice restaurant. After dinner, the check was delivered. While we were still enjoying coffee and conversation, the hostess came over and asked that we settle up and leave as this table was needed for another reservation! The time was 8:45 pm. and no one was waiting to be seated that we could see. I feel this was poor business practice and just plain RUDE. This comment was heard by a party seated behind us as well and they were shocked by the comment of the hostess. I have NEVER been asked to leave a restaurant before. This was the first AND LAST time I will ever step foot into this establishment.

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  74. Beth Downey says:

    We had a wonderful meal with warm ambience and helpful wait staff. One major problem was that no one at the restaurant (nor was there any paper posting on the door) that said to not park in the adjacent lot after a certain time of the evening. Out of 3 cars in our party we had two towed and one lucky couple not yet towed, but soon to be. It would have been extremely helpful if anyone in the staff mentioned to move our cars if we were in the lot. With the cost of the dinner and towing, it was a way too expensive evening.

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