Beware - New Chef. We tried the Orchard on Friday evening based on the recommendation of a friend who works in the food industry and whose taste in food we respect. Our interest was piqued further by Craig LaBan's favorable review (from 2004), highlighting the chef's Basque heritage, and his skill with both salads and desserts. We were frankly mystified by the lousy (and VERY expensive) meal that we had until we learned that the restaurant changed hands in June. If you go, don't expect creative, Basque-influenced food -- that ship has sailed. If our experience is any indication, the new chef and menu are uninspired, and the food is disappointing from starters through dessert. Only one dish rose to the level of acceptable, but even it was far from memorable. I expect far more at these prices.
Upscale Chic OUTSIDE of Philly!.
To be honest, i heard about this restaurant because the new owner was my instructor when i went to the Restaurant School. (Hint: i graduated years ago, so i'm not writing a good review for a good grade... :) )
Okay, first thing is that I am an avid BYOer and when i heard about this place, i searched and found their website The website doesn't really do this place justice. They need more pictures of the food. Because the food was awesome! i had the loin of lamb and it was awesome.
This place catered really well to the BYOers of the world. The server told me that upstairs hosts a club where you can store your wine or spirits. Very cool.
Loved the lighting; it was done perfect; not too dark (i hate it when you strain to read the menu or see the food) or not too light. Loved the linen towels; nice touch.
There was a Chef's tasting going on, when we visited. Now i didn't really get this, since we essentially walked right by the Chef's table before we went into the main dining room. But when i asked the server about it; it sounded pretty interesting. Evidently the Chef prepares a specialized tasting menu for the table. i can't say about how good it was but it sure sounded interesting (but pricey).
For me, I had the Quail and my old instructor did it perfect. It was tender and served at the correct temperature (a pet peeve of mine).
Overall, i haven't had a dining experience like this outside of Philly. It has all of the unstated chic that upscale Philly restaurants have, except it's in Chester County.
Wow - What a nice surprise!. Travelling in the Brandywine Valley and this spot was recommeded from the clerk at the front desk of the B&B. Wow, not what we expected but is was the highlight of our trip. We never knew customer service was making such a come back as these folks know how to treat someone from out of town! It was just a great time from the time we walked into the door ...the excellent food ( we had Rabbit which I never had and a remarkable Talapia Milanese) Its a BYOB but they even made that seem effortless. The waitstaff was professional but not over fussy. I would reccomend this to any traveler in the area.
Romantic. This is the place for impressing your date !!!. Brought my wife here for our 20th anniversary. Fantastic. The service was impeccable, and the food was equally impressive. Try the Duck Confit Spring rolls for an appetizer. My better half chose one of the several gourmet salads. The entree's are varied seasonally and prepared from local ingredients. From the presentation to the flavor - it's all excellent. We had the Paella and a specially prepared Filet Mignon with a side of polenta. Leave room for dessert... From the cheese platter to the chef's home made ice creams, all A-1 in my book. This place is a well kept secret (although on our Friday visit it was pretty busy ). On an aside, the staff was amazing. They are obviously customer oriented and very well trained as the service was impeccable.
Best Bet!. We went to The Orchard 4 years ago when it first opened and it was nice, but they have come leaps and bounds to be one of the best of the best! We were seated within 5 minutes on a crazy Satuday night and didn't even have to carry our own wine into the dining room. They decanted our red for us and I was suprised to see such nice glassware for a BYOB. The waitress was pleasant, fun and personable...but never got in the way of our dinner. And, the food was spectacular! We started with a beet salad and lentil soup and our main course was an amazing Lamb and Duck. Desserts were also not a dissapointment. We had the croissant bread pudding and the home made ice creams. Our coats and unfinished wines were waiting for us at the front door when we got up to leave. First Class all the way!!!
Perfect Night Out. There are vey few times when we dine out and things are seamless. The Orchard is our new favorite restaurant in the area. The service, food and ambiance made for perfect anniversary celebration. We had the Sea Bass (delightful) and the Grilled Filet ( done exactly as ordered) Our server was friendly and there was nothing she could have done to make the night go better. It's nice to see people take pride in their work. One doesn't come across this often
Expensive. The food was plain in concept and the room was drab in decor. The flower arangement looked like a hat Cher would place on her head for some music award. We were the only people in the restaurant on a Friday night at 7:30 pm so I guess the price is much to much for what this hole in the wall has to offer. Not sure how the doors stay open unless they are charging private club rates and hand writing the checks seemed odd for tax reporting. Servers seemed nice enough.
Not good at all. If you try to avoid pretense as I do, give this place a miss. Not five minutes after paying, we decided to wait out a storm, and order coffee/dessert. The manager proceeded to argue: "I have a party of 6 I need to seat, and you've already paid. I can't tell them now they have to wait an hour. Is this your first time here? Maybe you don't know how we do things here." We explained that we changed our minds, despite the fact that we already paid, and wanted to order coffee after all. He walked away in a huff, and had the Hostess pass on the same message: you can't order coffee because you've already paid (have these people never heard of someone changing their mind? We were flabbergasted.) Since we had no desire to stay then, we left: taking more than half our original tip with us.
Great Date Venue. The service was attentive without being intrusive. The lamb entree was exceptionally good and my partner loved her scallops. The romantic lighting and good music plus the quiet, but jovial crowd made our evening a very delightful one. Proximity to Longwood Gardens is a plus.
Traffic Traffic Traffic. Been to the best of the best and don't understand all the hype. The Chef and his companion are charming...the food is okay...yep okay... there is no cutting edge and that goes for the atmosphere also.. Service did not live up to the expectations and I guess after all we read ...we expected something more for the long drive.
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