The Choice, Bryn Mawr, PA – A Review

by artfuldiner on February 4, 2023

in Artful Diner Review, Breaking News, Opinion, Pennsylvania, Review, Wining and Dining

The Choice

845 Lancaster Avenue

Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

(484) 383-3230

Choice, The - InteriorThe Choice is one of those restaurants that appears to be hiding in plain sight. When we first considered dining there – noting that it had received very positive reviews on Social-Media – we were surprised to find that no one of our acquaintance had even heard of the place, let alone dined there. And yet… when our party of three arrived for a recent Wednesday evening reservation, we found the 50-seat dining room full and joyously overflowing.

… And, given the fact that the menu is awash with a host of French and Asian fusion innuendos, you would probably never suspect that the restaurant is owned by two Ukrainian families. But, since the well-traveled co-proprietor Volodymyr “Vlad” Hyvel served as sous-chef in London’s Nobu and also put in time at Le Cirque, Alain Ducasse and Jean-Georges, his diverse culinary inclinations make impeccably perfect sense.

Choice, The - Scallops in Shredded Filo DoughMatters piscatorial – both preludes and main courses – play a major role in Mr. Hyvel’s repertoire. His starters, for instance, range from cold items such as Yellowtail Sashimi, Tuna Tartare, and Lobster Ceviche to a comforting tomato-y Fish Soup awash with shrimp & scallops. Among his starters, however, the chef’s magnum opus proved to be his extraordinary Scallops in Shredded Filo (pictured). The rich & meaty deep-fried bivalves arrived at table accompanied by a zippy wasabi cream sauce… and were simply irresistible.

Entrées are pretty evenly divided between “Meat” and “Fish and Seafood.” In addition to Filet Mignon, Short Ribs, and Grilled New Zealand Lamb Chops with a spicy Peruvian sauce, the former category also included Chicken Teriyaki and Duck Canton splashed with a seductive caramel-coffee-orange sauce. Once again, however, for our party at least, seafood took center stage.

Choice, The - Striped BassMy dining partners decided upon the Halibut and Branzino, respectively. The former was companioned by mushrooms and finished with a green pepper dressing; the latter was presented with creamy mushrooms, crisp potato balls, and a side of fennel dressing. My Wild Caught Striped Bass (pictured) was a particular treat, as the filet was wrapped in a crispy potato crust, served on a bed of creamy leeks, and splashed with a delicate red wine sauce.

If The Choice has a weakness, it is their desserts. As noted above, appetizers & entrées are both delightfully innovative and cosmopolitan in scope. When it comes to sweet endings, however, options are exceedingly limited and creativity is conspicuous by its absence – Chocolate Meltdown with Vanilla Ice Cream… Pecan Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream… Warm Apple Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream… Ice Cream. You get the picture. Given the quality of all that has gone before, you expect more… and it simply isn’t forthcoming.

Choice, The - ExteriorJust be prepared… Dinner at The Choice is not a cheap date. Those aforementioned highly-touted Scallops in Shredded Filo, for instance, will set you back $18.00. Lobster Ceviche goes for $28.00; with appetizers topping out at $32.00 for the Pan-Seared Foie Gras. Entrée-wise, that Butter-Poached Lobster will put a sizeable $60.00 dent in your wallet, while all finny fare goes for either $35.00 or $40.00. Meats are $35.00 per, with Chicken Teriyaki occupying the menu’s bottom rung at $28.00. Even those rather nondescript downhome desserts will set you back $12.00 per.

Given the current state of economic affairs, I am not suggesting that these prices are outrageous by any means. However, given the restaurant’s location – the western ‘burbs – and the laidback atmosphere and service, they are a bit on the heady side. Not exactly a likely candidate for a last-minute inexpensive casual evening out… Fortunately, the fact that you may BYOB helps to soften the blow somewhat.

Bon Appétit!

Be Safe & Stay Well


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