Afternoon Diversions

by artfuldiner on March 19, 2015

in Artful Diner Mini Review, Opinion, Pennsylvania, Review, Wining and Dining

Let’s say it’s been a busy day – appointments, shopping, antiquing, visiting, who knows what – it’s already midafternoon, you’ve managed to miss lunch, and hunger pangs are now yapping at your delicate innards.

It’s obviously too late for lunch (without spoiling dinner), but you do want a little something to keep your ravenous appetite assuaged until your evening meal… So allow me to suggest several restaurants that are just perfect for a pleasant afternoon snack and/or libation…

Estia Radnor - Estia ChipsESTIA GREEK TAVERNA, 222 North Radnor-Chester Road, Radnor, Pennsylvania, (484) 581-7124, – Tucked away in a small strip mall behind the Radnor Hotel, Estia is a casually sophisticated restaurant boasting whitewashed stone arches, bamboo ceilings, and repurposed wood plank floors & tabletops. If you’re stopping by between lunch and dinner, forget the dining areas, the light and airy bar is definitely the best seat in the house. The kitchen does many things well; but when it comes to a suitable companion for an afternoon libation, nothing quite does the trick like the irresistible Estia chips. Wafer-thin slices of eggplant and zucchini are lightly fried and artfully arranged in the shape of a miniature tower. The accompanying dollop of tzatziki – a blend of plain yogurt, cucumbers, olive oil and garlic – is perfect for dipping. The restaurant also serves up a first-rate lineup of designer cocktails and wines by the glass.

McCloskey's Tavern - ExteriorMcCLOSKEY’S TAVERN, 17 Cricket Avenue, Ardmore, Pennsylvania, (610) 642-9280, – A family affair, McCloskey’s, the Main Line’s oldest Irish pub, has been setting ‘em up for over three-quarters of a century. If you’re anywhere in the vicinity, either picking up goodies at nearby Carlino’s Specialty Foods or browsing the stores and Farmers Market of Suburban Square, McCloskey’s is worth a visit. Everybody comes to McCloskey’s; and whether you’re a regular or a first-timer, you’re bound to feel right at home here… And the food isn’t bad either. Nearly everything is made in-house, so that should give you some inkling as to what this place is all about. The Mediterranean hummus, for example, is homemade, overflowing with an addictive garlicky flavor, bathed in extra virgin olive oil, and accompanied by freshly grilled pita triangles. Absolutely delicious as a starter or lively afternoon snack. The quesadilla of the day, washed down with one of the craft beers on tap, is also a solid choice.

Ron's Original - Thin Crust PizzaRON’S ORIGINAL BAR & GRILLE, 74 East Uwchlan Avenue (Route 113), Heritage Center, Lionville, Pennsylvania, (610) 594-9900, www.ronsoriginal.comRon’s, which looks like just another local happy-tappy, is really quite unique. Everything is made from scratch utilizing top-notch ingredients that are locally sourced and prepared sans additives and preservatives. But not only is the food kind to the body, it’s also pleasing to the eye and the palate as well. No matter what time you stop in, Ron’s will be jumping – yes, it’s that popular. The restaurant contains several dining areas, but the bar, bustling yet ever inviting, is the most comfortable seat in the house. Snack-wise, if you’re a pizza fanatic, I’ll wager you will find the kitchen’s thin-crust version impossible to resist. For a real treat, try the deliciously decadent double pepperoni. The golden brown crust is wafer thin and the pepperoni & cheese generous to a fault. But if you long for a thick crust, you might want to give an “Oval” a try. A concept unique to Ron’s, the “Oval” is a kind of free-form pizza with a variety of totally different toppings and diverse seasonings. The “BLT, for example, is comprised of bacon, cheddar & mozzarella. After baking, it is topped with lettuce and chunks of tomato. And, yes… it tastes just like a bacon, lettuce & tomato sandwich.

Seasons 52 - Hummus DuoSEASONS 52 FRESH GRILL & WINE BAR, 160 North Gulph Road, King of Prussian, Pennsylvania, (610) 992-1152, – Seasons 52 is a chain restaurant… but it doesn’t feel like one. And if you’re anywhere in the vicinity of the King of Prussia Mall, it is surely worth a visit. The place jumps at lunch, happy-hour and dinner… but if you’re stopping by for a bit of mid-afternoon sustenance, you’ll find the restaurant comparatively quiet (except on weekends). And by all means, head straight for the bar/lounge. The large circular bar is tastefully appointed and exceedingly comfortable, as are the colorful booths that surround it. If you’re looking for the perfect afternoon pick-me-up, the flatbreads – blackened steak & blue cheese… roasted Roma tomato… and grilled garlic pesto chicken – have a good deal to recommend them. But even better, in my opinion, is the hummus duo (minted edamame & roasted red pepper) served with a paper cone of crisp Hawaiian lavosh spiked with sea salt. And don’t forget to check out the first-class wine list, as there are a hundred vintages available by the bottle and sixty by the glass.

Trappe Tavern - InteriorTRAPPE TAVERN, 416 West Main Street, Trappe, Pennsylvania, (610) 489-8686, – Every town needs one. You know, a local happy-tappy-cum sports bar. And Trappe Tavern surely fills the bill. The restaurant boasts 38 television screens, allowing sports addicts to keep abreast of their favorite team/event/news happenings, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. And – sooner or later, or so it seems – everybody comes to the Tavern. You see families arrive en masse, happy-hour hangers-on, and locals slugging down brewskies with spirited impunity. Even though the menu isn’t about to set off seismic waves on the culinary Richter scale, this is a fun, friendly place serving up generous portions of good casual fare at more than reasonable prices. If you’re looking for an afternoon snack, I’d suggest the chips & salsa or variations on the theme like the nachos supreme. Not off the charts but certainly satisfying. On the other hand, if you really want to blow the diet, try the decadently gooey French fries smothered in cheese.

White Dog - Bar LoungeWHITE DOG CAFÉ, 200 West Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, Pennsylvania, (610) 225-3700, – Younger sibling of the long-running original outpost on the Penn campus, the White Dog Wayne made its debut in 2010. Unlike its slightly Bohemian elder brother, however, the Main Line’s interior is sleek & modern, sporting three distinct venues – garden room, den, and sunny “kitchen” room – plus a spacious bar/lounge. Needless to say, the restaurant became an immediate (and ongoing) hit – I mean, just try landing a table for lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch without benefit of reservation. Fortunately, should you stop by for afternoon fortification, you can count on a modicum of peace and quiet. And the White Dog does sport a separate “Mid-Day Menu,” specifically aimed at patrons who pay a call between lunch and dinner services. Highlights include fried Lancaster dill pickles with red chili aioli and garlic breadcrumbs, truffle parmesan fries, hummus trio with lemon olive oil, and local artisan cheese plate with seasonal fruit and accompaniments. The White Dog also boasts a libationary menu that includes designer cocktails, local craft beers, and a first-rate selection of wines by the glass.

Bon Appétit!


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