As previously reported, we took this past week off to celebrate our 25th anniversary by driving straight up the Delmarva Peninsula, through Delaware and just into Pennsylvania. To read about the awesome B&B, read this post. That said, now it is time to review the local, non-chain restaurants that simply wowed us! And there were many.
Loosen your belt; here we go:
Stop one was at the Yellow Duck Cafe, in Exmore, Virginia. You cannot drive by without stopping in. Just go in and order anything. You will like it! I had the 4 inch by 4 inch chocolate brownie. Paired well with coffee.
A few hours later, we arrived in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, checked into the Kennett House B&B, then went walking though town. This is a small historic district and most everything you need to experience is right there. Dinner on the first evening was at a fine dining establishment, La Verona. I was famished so I ordered the Lasagna al Forno and my wife, nowhere near the glutton as I, ordered the Mellanzane ala Parmigiana. The lasagna was excellent. The pasta seemed homemade and soft from boiling then baking. The cheeses were artisan, locally made, as was the tomato sauce. The sausage filling? Incredible. This was the best lasagna I had ever eaten. High praise, maybe, but try it and see! The Mallanzane was a baked eggplant dish, covered in fantastic cheese as well. Afterward, all my lovely wife could say was “Fantastic!” She is a vegetarian, so it is nice to find places where a vegetarian, including vegans, can get something besides “salad.” We finished the meal with a slice of lemoncello cake to share. I
waddled out on my own power, walked back to the B&B, glad for the exercise.
The next evening we ventured out into West Chester, Pennsylvania, about 20 minutes by car. Our destination: The Four Dogs Tavern. This local restaurant, attached to the Marshalton Inn, had a formal dining room, a bar area with seating, and an outdoor patio where diners could enjoy the ambiance of running fountains. Well-behaved canines were also welcome, and many were there, getting along famously. The place was very well attended, on a Tuesday evening no less, certainly a testament to the great service and excellent food. I ordered the Reuben sandwich, which to my surprise, was actually three “regular-sized” sandwiches. On fresh bread, the highlight was the grand slathering of locally made cheeses, all melting in your mouth as you took each bite. My wife ordered the Margherita flatbread, a local favorite. Somewhat of a pizza, this was grilled flatbread, rectangular in shape, about 25 inches long and 5 inches wide. The toppings were more of the fine cheese, smatterings of fresh tomato, and all drizzled with a basil sauce. There were just crumbs left when we were done.
The next day we had to take a break. My shirt buttons were screaming for help!
So instead of a large dinner, we chose Talula’s Table. This is a combination bakery, coffee shop, market and exclusive dining establishment. How exclusive? Reservations are needed one year in advance. Yes. One year. Or more. You see, there is just one table and it only seats 8 patrons. Using a fix prixe arrangement, perhaps a nod to the Quaker roots of the area, diners get a fabulous multi-course meal, complete with the chef’s personal attention and remarks about the food and preparations. Having not planned ahead, we choose to get scones and fruit tarts from the bakery. At a follow-on visit, I purchased a large Greek salad to go. It was enough for two. If we lived in Kennett Square, we would be regulars!
There was one restaurant we intended to try, Portabello’s, but we could never get there at the right time. Lunch ended at 2:30 PM, and with our large breakfasts, we were never hungry until later. Dinner started at 5 PM; usually after we had stopped somewhere else for sustenance. Regardless, reading the personal reviews in the B&B’s guest logbook, Portabello’s seems to be a great place. Next time!
Two to go. Loosen that belt! You can do it!!
We had an early dinner one day, at the Half Moon Saloon. This is a neat little place that serves the usual bar fare, along with 27 beers on tap plus a huge selection of Belgian beer in bottles, as well as a decent wine selection. Food-wise, there were more than a few unexpected items like bison burgers and other wild game specials. I chose the “Billy Bob”, a brie-stuffed smoked chicken with avocado salsa, served on a fresh English muffin. Phenomenal! What made the difference was the use of both white and dark meat. Many people (Americans) do not appreciate dark poultry meat, but let me tell you, this is where the flavor is!
Our last formal diner was at an informal place called Lily Sushi and Grill. We ordered Bento boxes, thinking these would be typical of those found in Japan. However, these were huge. No complaints, though, since the food was awesome. I had the Kung Pao chicken. Very spicy, as I expected. An unexpected treat was the sweat potato rolls. Now remember, I live in an area where sweet potato rolls are actually rolls, as in dinner rolls. These, however, were savory baked sweet potato bits, rolled in rice, much like sushi. Tasty, tasty, tasty!
Finally, every town has a local ice cream shop and Kennett Square is no exception. Conveniently across the street from a fitness center, we found La Michoacana Ice Cream. I checked out the reviews on-line and found that everyone raved about the corn ice cream. Really? Corn?
I tried the corn ice cream, with a healthy dusting of hot chili powder (not the same powder you put in your chili, however. Better!) The reviews were correct. Corn ice cream is a vanilla ice cream with a good hint of corn flavor. Unbelievable! A definite must-see and definite must-try!
So ended our week of culinary madness. No calorie counting, no points to calculate, no measuring percentages of proteins to carbohydrates. Just plain fun while eating locally made, low carbon footprint food, supporting family businesses. And that, dear readers, is what it is all about!
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Try it – you’ll love it! And bring stretchy pants.
- Great time with Great friends at “The Half Moon” (bethpalserstudio.wordpress.com)