Nectar, Berwyn

1091 Lancaster Ave.
Berwyn, PA

Rating: 4 Silver Spoons out of 5

Overview: Big, bold, (think Philadelphia’s Steven Starr) Asian Fusion comes to the Main Line. Nectar, a large, stone, $5 million dollar palace, rises out of nowhere just after passing through Berwyn (traveling West) on Lancaster Ave. Chef Patrick Feury (who opened the spot with Michael Wei of Yang Ming and Scott Morrison of Basil/Tango) succeeds in providing a quality, city-style fine-dining experience to the area with creative, delicious cuisine.

Food: Although Nectar features a traditional sushi bar, the rest of the menu is far more creative. Lamb skewers sit atop a fried goat cheese salad, providing a nice contrast. Spring rolls come filled with duck and mushrooms with a sweet, flavorful sauce. While somewhat ordinary in style, the pork dumplings are top notch, crispy on the outside and succulent within.

Feury’s entrees take the cuisine to the next level. A venison tenderloin was expertly charred on the outside and a perfect medium rare within. The plate was completed with a variety of complimentary flavors — grilled winter vegetables, chestnut puree and a mustard and beet salad. Poached lobster and grilled scallops served together were delicate but tasty. The only slight of the evening was the arctic char — tea smoked before being grilled — which was a bit too smoky for my taste. However, the plate again dazzled, featuring a parsnip puree and a pinot noir sage sauce.

The stars of the dessert menu — warm mini donuts — make a trip to Nectar worthwhile all on their own. A dozen tiny, warm cinnamon-sugar coated beignets come with three stellar dipping sauces: chipolte-chocolate, espresso anglaise and apple cider caramel. (Chipolte-chocolate wins the prize, although it would be even better if served warm.)

Ambiance: Nectar features one of the more grandiose designs ever seen on the Main Line. It is amazingly large and stylish — a 200 seat room features huge ceilings, dark, colorful light and a giant silkscreen Buddha tapestry as a centerpiece. This restaurant recalls the center city experience of a Buddakan or Pod more than any other venue the ‘burbs has to offer.

Service: Although the service was generally agreeable, several inconsistencies marred the overall experience. Firstly, when I originally called to make a reservation, I was bounced to three people and eventually a line that was never answered. When we arrived, although the room was 2/3 empty, we were placed at the table nearest the kitchen door and had to request a less busy location. Lastly, the waiters were a bit overzealous about clearing completed plates — several times they attempted to remove dishes that we were not quite ready to part with. Their intentions were likely honorable, but there is a fine line between being helpful and being too aggressive.

Wine List: The wine list is separated into several quirky but helpful categories — with cutesy names like “sweet nectar” and “bold nectar” that offer some help in navigating the medium-sized list. The prices, however, are outlandish, even for a restaurant of this quality. Less than a handful of bottles come in under $50, with many more available for $100 and above. Perhaps Feury and co. know something that I don’t about the clientele, but I find it baffling that many people would be shelling out three figures for a bottle of wine all that often. Offering a better selection in the $30-$50 range would make the overall experience much more enjoyable and complete. House wine is available for $6.50 a glass, a flat out deal compared to the bottles.

Value: Make no mistake about it — Nectar is fine dining and is priced accordingly. Entrees tend to run in the $20s, with a few available in the teens. The top dishes like the aforementioned lobster/scallop combo and venison were each $29, which is a reasonable price considering the quality of each dish. Appetizers tend to be around $8, and if combined with some sushi would probably make a pretty nice, reasonably priced meal. As mentioned above, the wine list is offensively overpriced, and as such brings down the value of Nectar as a whole.

# of times we’ve eaten there: 1
Reservations: Yes
Cards: Yes
Bar: Full

29 thoughts on “Nectar, Berwyn”

  1. My husband proposed to me on Feb 12 many years ago and each year we celebrate with a meal at a nice restaurant. We decided to try Nectar this year…. what a mistake. Ugh! We walked in and there was a mild line. The music was so loud you could not hear each other (so much for a romantic evening). Well, we had reservations at 6:30 and it was after 7:30 when we were seated. My rack of lamb was ordered medium rare and served beyond well done. The pad thai was great, but give me a break, I can get as good or better elsewhere. The staff was rushed because it was so crowded, and when it came time to leave we had to crawl through the crowded foyer only to open the door to another crowd. We were 15th in line for our car! OMG! One of the people I was waiting with was told by their wait staff that they added a bunch more tables and totally messed up the wait staff because they couldn’t even find all the tables. What a bunch of greedy shysters. I will never go back. Not only that, I am boycotting their other place, Yang Ming, because I’m so mad. WHAT A RIP OFF.

    1. To start off you have to realize that every restaurant on valentine’s day weekend (or week) yet every every holiday weekend at any nice restaurant will be absurd and unreasonably packed. Anyone who dines out frequently knows NOT to dine out on these holidays because of everything that comes along with it ,plain and simple.

      1. Good restaurants overcome typical holiday pitfalls by bringing in more staff and anticipating crouds and not overbooking to the point of pissing guests off. Nectar is a bad immatation of a serious fine dining restaurant that cares only about money and nothing about the customer.

  2. I ate at Nectar a couple weeks ago and had a great food experience but there is a glaring issue at this place that really needs correction. Let me start by saying I am a bar mgr for a philly gastro pub that has a very good cocktail and wine list, so I do know this part of the biz very well.
    My friend who know I’m into wine, asked me to order a bottle for the table, no too expensive they said. What I saw was truely an awful list that cleary takes adavantage of the consumer here. Everything was marked up 3 to 4 times, and the wine selection was really lousy and not creative like the food. To prove the point, they had BV Pinot Noir by the glass, and charged around 8.50 per glass and 41 per bottle. Not terrible unless you know from dealing with vendors that this wine cost $6.99 per bottle. Worse was Redwood creek Chardonnay, same price as above but this wine is sold in 1.5 liter jugs at the plcb store, and is not a wine of quality. The worst offense came in the bottle selection however. They had William Hill Cab 05 Napa Valley for $79 per bottle. The company that sells this is Cpital Wine and Spirits, and was closing out this wine for 9.99 per bottle. Thats almost an 8 time markup!!! I know this, because I bought some in February, and sold it for 7 per glass and 30 per bottle. While the food was really good here, whoever is in charge of the wines is a criminal who has no palate, and no snense of fairness. Do youself a favor when eating here, eat well and drink cocktails or beer…or just elsewhere.

  3. I love Nectar, but the lack of bar space while waiting to be seated is so annoying. It’s too bad they can’t turn a portion of the upstairs dining tables that overlook the bar/dining area into an upstairs bar. That would be perfect!

  4. I took my mother for her birthday lunch at Nectar, because I thought it would be a special place for her. Thelobster fried rice (a $6.00 surcharge over the fixed price lunch)–was very dry and disappointing. The nice mushroom soup had a goat cheese “crouton” –which was about the size of a large pea. Service was spotty, although the place was only moderately full…initially we got our water and ordered, but after that, it was a parade of different servers, one who never picked up the appetizer dishes before the main course was brought, and after delivering the check,no one even picked it up after quite a wait. I would never spend the money to go here for dinner, although I give it points for atmosphere. Pretty place with innovative menu, but over-rated for quality of food and service and over-priced.

  5. So LT, as put out as you are by Beverly’s review…are you an employee of Nectar?? I like a review that is no holds barred
    (how do you know shots were involved anyway???)

  6. Wow it sounds like someone needs to chill. Ok, you had a bad experience at Nectar and I get that but relax. By the way, maybe a couple less shots after dinner and you would not have been sick. p.s. “no one puts baby in the corner”

  7. Wow it sounds like someone needs to chill. Ok you had a bad experience at Nectar and I get that but relax. By the way maybe a couple less shots after dinner and you would have not been sick. Please Chill.

  8. I give Nectar a 0/5. Thank you, staff, for the WORST dining experience I have ever had! Here’s what happened:

    1) They have mandatory valet–the restaurant is on ROUTE 30!!! Not the city.
    2) We arrived at 6:00 when the restaurant was still fairly empty, yet we were seated in the BACK CORNER, away from windows, and right next to the server’s station. My back was literally leaning against curtains the whole time, which smelled bad.
    3) My 2 friends ordered the filet mignon and the salmon filet, both of which were $24, but the smallest pieces of meat I have ever seen! They were quite literally half of the size of a normal portion of meat. Also, they came with NO sides/vegetables of any kind
    4) My friend who ordered the salmon was not happy with her dish, because it was served to her VERY rare (this is usually fine for me, but she likes it cooked all the way). So after 5 minutes of trying to get the server’s attention, she asked her to take it back and “cook it all the way through, please”. The waitress returned 3 minutes later with the fish still very red and raw in the middle. It took another 10 minutes to summon her attention, and my friend showed her very specifically that she wanted the middle of the fish to match the color on the outside of the fish. The server said “ok”, and brought it back 5 minutes later, with it looking just the same. My friend cut it open and said, “I’m sorry, this just isn’t what I wanted.” Then, the server stood there and stared at her, DIDN’T apologize, and DIDN’T offer to get the manager! Finally my friend ordered something else–the spring rolls, which were not very good.
    5) I had ordered sushi for my dinner–the yellowtail scallion roll, and the nectar roll, both of which were very good. However, 2 hours later when I was out with friends, I came down with the most violent case of food poisoning I have ever had. I had not eaten anything unusual prior to the sushi, or anything at all afterwards, so I am very certain that I got the food poisoning from the food at Nectar.

    In conclusion: PLEASE don’t go there!!! It is a pretentious, overpriced, unfriendly, uncooperative restaurant that gave me food poisoning!

  9. Nectar, or “Mini Buddakan”, alike most of the restaurants in the main line that attempt to transport the “city” dining experience to the comforts of our safe main line streets, fails miserably.

    It may seem like a gastronomic heaven to the immobile or those who go to “LA” Bec Fin all the time (it’s Le Bec Fin, my friend). However, from it’s pretentious decor to the supermarket sushi, Nectar misses every step.

    It’s like the movie, “The Field of Dreams” – “…if you build it, then they will come”. Well, let’s build another one. A better one.

  10. Ah the Nectar. Went to Nectar for the first time on New Year’s Eve. Oops. Service was not so great. Valet parking service was good though. The high noise level was terrible. Sushi that we got for 1st course was great. Wok jasmine tea smoked duck, sundried tomato, chinese eggplant and leeks was an overpriced moo shu pork style dish, just no pancakes. Very oily, yukky. The other entrees were okay. The “spicy” shrimp, scallop, beef dish had zero for spice and I mean zero heat. Desserts were cute.

    On the way out, we had to squeeze through person upon person. I felt bad for those seated in the bar unless they wanted tons of action and backsides.

    I would try it again on a less busy night and keep it to sushi.

  11. Nectar is like a present that has a beautiful wrapping but dissapoints you when you open it. The place an the atmosphere are great, the presentation of the dishes is good, but the food is not worth even half of it’s prize. We tried several dishes and none of them satisfied us in terms of taste or texture, and some dishes, like the duck, were re-heated. The one thing I would recommend this place would be for a drink, these were good and quite creative.

  12. I have ate at Nectar several times (and La Bec Fin several times). Nectar is great! Martinis – top notch. Entrees – very good, but kinda limited if you don’t eat anything that swims voluntarily. I have never brought a date, business colleague, friend, or group and had complaints. Ambiance – – great, noise level – so so, staff – very good, food – excellent. I have brought dates, dates and their moms, business colleagues, and MY MOM. No complaints!

  13. To Harry C. –Advice about eating out on Mother’s Day-DON’T. You can usually subtract at least two stars from a restaurants normal rating.
    In the situation you were in you would have been better off going to Boston Market–your expectations would have been much lower. Their chicken pot pie is quite good.
    By the way, try a weekday lunch at Nectar some time you won’t be disappointed.

    We were new to the Main Line and were in the process of moving here, looking for a home in the area and were visiting from out-of town. We went to Nectar for my wife’s first Mother’s Day.

    The restaurant was not very busy that Sunday afternoon.
    We placed our order. After waiting about 35 minutes and receiving nothing we flagged down a waitress (someone other than the person who took our order – they were nowhere to be seen). She came over and asked us if we would like to order. We advised her that we had already placed our order.
    She came back and advised us that they could not find our order (they had lost it.)
    At the point we had been waiting over 40 minutes. I got agitated, my wife got very agitated and our 6-month old daughter – whose emotions/reactions mirror ours – got upset.
    We placed our order a second time.
    Our meals finally came.
    My meal was excellent. My wife’s was rather mundane and uninspired.

    We never heard a word of apology from anyone in the restaurant that day for the poor service.

    We left as an agitated family – without leaving a tip for anyone.

    Where we have moved from if anything remotely like this ever happened to us – someone – usually the manager or owner would come over to apologize.

    We have since bought a home in the area but we will never, ever go to Nectar again. A disastrous Mother’s day.

    Every time we drive by there we don’t remember the food – we just remeber the terrible Mother’s Day experience.

    Someone from the restaurant did call us and leave a message for us a few weeks later when we were out-of-town moving – but too late for us.

    I have just found your website and will be using it often to locate restaurants.

  15. We have eaten at Nectar a number of times and is has one of the best decors and ambiance on the Main Line.
    On 2/7, we had 7:30 reservations and were seated immediately. The server was friendly & knowledgeable, but not always available – they would be gone for 15 minutes at time. The busboys seemed to be the ones who were really attentive and working.

    The sushi was excellent and a great presentation. The Moo Shoo Chicken was bland and very disappointing. The rest of the party enjoyed their meals, but the portion sizes were on the smaller size. The prices were reasonable for a more upscale restuarant. We had an automatic 20% added to our check because we were over 6 people. This is what I usually leave, however I felt the staff did not feel like they had to work for this tip and to allow the customer to walk out the door with a mediocre experience was acceptable to them. Lastly, three people in the party shared how the valet service was rude to them.

  16. October 2006: A Sat. night. Agree with the the writer about the fab cars in the parking lot; reminded me of Aventura Resort & Club in FLA. Martini’s at $11.+ were not chilled nor garnished. The 20-something bartender was a leche; deafening noise level; the bar was so crowded with patrons waiting for tables that I was pushed and shoved constantly when they walked to & from the restrooms in the back. Appetizers at the bar were okay, nothing special; overpriced. Minimal, boring dessert menu. The mid-aged women were polite, their older men, lechers; the men with the cars: cigar sucking snobs looking for big boobs for same. Recommendation: go to Buddakahn in Phila.

  17. 6/05
    Glad I found this site so I can add my opinion.
    We live in Bucks Co. and after a 50 min drive the only thing nice I can say about this restaurant is that the parking lot had the nicest array of cars I’ve seen in a long time.
    The food was so poorly prepared that I asked the Mgr. if Chef Fleurie was in the kitchen and was told he was.
    Well that excuse for the lackluster food was gone.The plates were left half eatten and all four of us were thoroughly dissenchanten.All four meals lacked character and flavor.
    It was particularly uncomfortable for me as I was the one who had made the reservation.
    I can have dealt with excessive noise,the average service,but the food just didn’t live up to the hype.
    It was so bad I paid for my friend’s meal.
    I hope if you go ,you’ll be luckier than I was.
    Good luck

  18. Small portions…HUGE prices! Yes, the food was delicious but the portions are very tiny and way too small for the price. I left feeling still somewhat hungry and I’m not a particularly “big” eater. I frequent Stephen Starr’s Buddakan and Nectar is a “Buddakan wanna be” that can’t even compare. At least at Buddakan, you get portions large enough to fill you and maybe even have some to take home. I should’ve listened to the above reviewers who cautioned of this place. The sushi appetizer for $14 came with 6 small pieces of fish with about a half teaspoon of rice. The eel roll for $13 had only 5 small pieces and was worth about $5 at any other Japanese restaurant. Neither was anything special. I’m also a regular at Margaret Kuo’s restaurants (I eat there about twice a month) and her rolls for $13 fill you up! The same for Mikimoto’s in Wilmington, DE. Nectar’s $29 filet dish was a fair portion and very good as was the $24 snapper; however, there were very little vegetables served with the fish: half a grape tomato, a baby carrot, and a small piece of fennel. It wasn’t served with a starch either (unlike the filet) was so you can imagine how unfilling this was. The mango ginger nectar martini ($10) was very good and fairly potent (warning: they ask you for a vodka preference and try to get you to upgrade so they can charge you more without telling you) and the mini donuts with three dipping sauces at $8 was worth the trip. However, the seating was cramped and the music too loud–so much so the table next to us complained to the manager. I’m in my late twenties but prefer the loud music to the clubs. I’d actually like to hear my date speak, thank you! Also, many of the servers failed to meet the standards of their tables. It took ten minutes for us to be greeted and forty minutes just to get our appetizers! The table next to us was greeted fairly quickly but after they received their drinks, were totally ignored and forgotten. They had to ask our waitress to take their order. Again, something you’d rarely find in a Stephen Starr restaurant.

    Something that was nice (but also a bit annoying) was the complimentary valet. I say it’s annoying because the parking lot isn’t that big and they don’t even give you the option to park your own car. Therefore, you have to fork out more money to tip the valet at a place where parking isn’t even an issue like in the city. They should at least give guests a parking option.

    I do give the hosts/hostesses two thumbs up, however. We were greeted promptly and seated immediately. They were unable to honor my request of a preferential seating but remembered my husband’s birthday with a candle in his dessert and “Happy Birthday” written in chocolate on the plate.

    The bottom line? If you’re hungry, stay away from Nectar! Or, at least, eat before you go, be prepared to pay more than what you get and bring your earplugs. This is one “foodie” who won’t return!

  19. Re:DaddyWarbucks Says -July 2 2006. Your idea of having a statue of Jesus in a Western fusion restaurant is interesting–maybe we can work out something with the fishes and sushi–KEEP THINKING– or what ever it is you call it.

  20. Yes, the food is very good. No question about that, but why does the music have to be so loud? Bad acoustics in this place makes it difficult to hear when the place fills up. Can’t they hang some sound absorbing curtains or something? It ruined a first date for me. I’ll never go back unless/until they find a way to lower the volume.

  21. We went June 30th. As mentioned previously, $5 million was spent to provide a desired ambiance. I am not positively taken in by the large Buddha. I wonder how it would go over in the far east with a Western fusion restaurant with a large statue of Jesus? I can do without religious icons in a dining establishment.

    The food was well prepared and imaginatively served. As one who watches what he eats, I can say that the dishes ordered were low in fat and the carbs were low glycemic.

    Objectionable, was the music. I was inappropriate for dining and much too loud. this causes everyone to talk louder which produces a background noise that took away from the dining experience.

    Initially, the service was good, they took our order promptly and the food arrived in good order. Getting the waiter’s attention later proved almost impossible. He was busy at his computer station facing the wall where he could not see his tables. It would help if there were a mirror on the wall where he was working so that he could keep an eye on his customers.

    All in all a reasonable experience. They have work to do in enhancing the dining experience by lowering the ambient noise level., and perhaps supplementing the wait staff.

  22. We had a business lunch at Nectar and were served by Larry. We were impressed by the beauty of the restaurant, and the small touches that made our lunch unforgetable. We loved the crab fritters with heavenly saffron/butter sauce. Larry was very professional and knowledgable about the menu, navigating us towards wonderful entrees which were unforgetable. The highlight of our experience was dessert, in which Larry suggested the mini-donuts with dipping sauces and chocolate raspberry torte complimented by a variety of teas including a fragrant orchid tea. For myself, Larry warmed the cream for my coffee which was very delicious.
    Thanks to Larry for making a drab business lunch an adventure!

  23. I suggest uou try Nectar for lunch. They are not as crowded, it is not noisy and the lunch menu is about half the price of the dinner menu. They offer a wonderful $9.95 lunch. At lunch time everyone seems to be in a good mood.

  24. Nectar is by far right up there as one of the best restuarants I have been to in this area. The food and presentation are excellent and the prices are resonable for what you get. I highly suggest visiting during lunch. They have a wonderful lunch menu that ranges from $10-$15 and if you add the mini donuts you are in for a great treat.

  25. From Ron (11/05): My wife and I celebrated her birthday at Nectar-it was our first visit. We both agree it was one the best dining experiences we can remember. Reservations for were made on Wed.for 5:30 Sat.night. We arrived right on time and were seated immediately. Entering through large wooden doors you’re immediately struck by the large space that is the main room. The modern Asian inspired decor with its use of stone and glass, warm gold and red tones accented by many candles, creates an ambiance that sets the mood for a food event uncommon outside the city. For starters we had chicken curry pot sticker dumplings and roasted chicken consumme soup. Our entrees were filet mignon and a chicken, shrimp and asparagus stir fry. Both beautifully and imaginatively prepared. For dessert we tried the mini donuts with 3 dipping sauces and a Autumn torte. Service was impeccable- we were tended to by at least 4 different attentive staffers. I’m a tough critic and my wife,the gourmet, is even tougher. We agree our meals were flawless. Delicious, fresh, beautiful and different. We are planning our return visit. Prices are moderate to high but not outrageous, about $90 for dinner for 2 with appetizers,desserts and drinks. For us, a restaurant that merits a 5/5 score is easily worth it.

    From Bill (06/05): I love Nectar – best Asian Fusion on the Main Line, the Sushi is awesome. Ambience very nice too. A couple of times my wife and I have gone in just for the Sushi bar and its great. The other dishes are wonderful too. Highly recommended! Not overpriced for what you get.

    From Fernando (04/05): This restaurant is nothing but hype! My wife and I ate there this past weekend. It all started with the noise and the wine list. When I opened it, there was nothing under $45! What a bad joke. The food was ok but nothing special. I have eaten at PF Chang’s, a chain restaurant, and found their food to be more imaginative and tastier. The only thing that I thought was interesting was the squid stuffed with chorizo. Quite good. The mini dounuts were also tasty but overall there was not enough in my opinion to remotely justify all the good reviews for this restaurant. It does not come close to Morimoto’s and it has not one tenth of the imagination, sophistication and ambience of Restaurant 821 in Wilmington. Yes, a place to be seen, but not a place to enjoy a decent meal.

    From Karen (02/05): Don’t go! You are better off going into the city. The service was awful and the host staff rude! We had scheduled a 9:00 reservation and when they got there they told us it was for 8:30, which was so not true. My husband and I had both written the time down after we made the reservation, and we both had 9:00. So we had to wait due to their mistake, then they sat us in the bar which was way way too lound we couldnt even hear the wait staff without yelling and our table was constanly being pushed with other people’s butts in our face! If a restaurant is going to charge as much as they do the seating should be enjoablle and the service should be at the least great. If I wanted attitude, I would go to NYC or L.A., not Berwyn! Oh, and the food is just OK.

    From Maria (1/05): My husband and I went to Nectar on 1/8/05 -a Saturday night around 10:00. We were seated immediately even though it was late and the place was packed. The service was perfect, as was every course. We had sushi, apps., etc… right down to coffee and dessert, and it was to die for. My husband, who always has a criticism at most places we eat, especially here on the main line, thought that it was excellent. The atmosphere was nice, although the music was a bit out there, and as far as wine prices go, we both just ordered the house cab. which was quite good. I would definitely recommend this place.

    From Arkadi (1/05): We had a dinner on New Years Eve, around 9PM. We waited for about 5 minutes. We were placed on the mezzanine level. Tables were very close to each other, very crowded and very noisy with just OK service – understaffed that evening!? Food on that day (they do change menu) was too expensive with starters mostly about $14 and main course above $30. We shared one starter that included one medium size prawn, a one-to-two-bites small piece of salmon, a very small sliced piece of tuna and a two-bite size one crabcake – all had an excellent taste but for $24 – way too much!! Wine list was small and way overpriced. What about main course? The striped bass was superb. ON the other hand, Moo Shoo Duck with tortilla bread on side (so you could roll your own stuffed tortilla – though not very stylish!) was overpowered with scallions and tasted at the level of Applebees (I have no issues with Applebees) but for a price…$29. You could not taste what meat – duck, pork or beef- was in there. Dessert: $9.5 for a trio of some dry difficult-to-swallow chocolate cake, some kind of hard “candy” with nuts in it and some other third thing – this was really a surprise how bad a dessert could be – I am glad we had ordered just one dessert to share. IN conslusion: ambience desired to be better (too noisy and too crowded), service needs to be more attentive for the money you spent there, and the wine list has to be more diverse in selection by adding moderately priced enjoyable wines. The food (with one exception) was excellent, indeed. And as for dessert, find another place.

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