A guest post from one of our Suburban contributors, my sister Julie...
The city of Philadelphia isn’t the only place in the tri-state area where you can get a nice diversity of culinary delights. For the past decade, I have made the Borough of Media, Delaware County, my home and go-to place for dining out. Media is the county seat which makes it not just a dinner community but a lunch one as well – a place for county workers, lawyers, and jurors to appease any craving during the work week.
If you like a good brew with your meal, Iron Hill Brewery, which has about 8-9 locations around the Philly area now, is the place to start. Great seasonal brews and seasonal menu items. I’m a fry hound and these are some of my favorite - regular fries dipped in garlic-rosemary mayo and the sweet potato fries dipped in vanilla bourbon cream. The menu at Iron Hill has grown considerably since it opened and the specials list is usually very long and seasonally chosen.
Across the street from Iron Hill is Quotations, a brew pub/beer bar offering an array of brews from local to international. I’m not big on the food here and typically stick to the bar seating, but they have very tasty homemade wine vinaigrettes for their generous salads.
If you like to bring your own booze, Media has you covered. My all-time favorite is Fellini Café. The chef here is very attentive and the specials are always to die for. My favorite thing about Fellini is that there is nothing not on the menu – if you have a creation of pasta/meat/sauce in mind, they can and will make it for you. Monday is Opera Night which is pretty impressive, however I always feel like I can’t be eating while they sing and I am definitely there for the food!
Around the corner, the same owner has recently opened Ariano, a Napolitano, BYOB pizzeria. Ariano offers all kinds of individual pizzas made on the spot, such as the Angelo with chicken and fresh mozzarella topped with tomato sauce. Ariano also offers a great atmosphere with a second level where the doors move back and provide outside seating. Come Spring, you can enjoy Ariano's homemade gelato there (which I’ve heard the owner went all the way to Italy to learn how to make).
If you are craving Thai or Indian cuisine, La Na and Shere-e-Punjab both welcome BYOB goers and offer great lunch specials.
The new foodie concept sprouting up everywhere is the farm-to-table restaurant, and Media caters to those folks as well now with the opening of Lotus in 2010. Lotus doesn’t have regular hours so you need to call ahead for times and reservations. Even though it’s locally grown food, I’ve found the prices to be a little exorbitant.
If you need to impress a client or want to take your significant other out and for a special date, check out Le Belle Epoch - a french bistro, Azie Restaurant - Asian fusion, or Picasso Restaurant and Bar - Spanish-Italian fusion. The menus are a bit pricier but they offer fun cocktails, happy hours, and an elegant dining experience.
Need an excuse to give Media a try? Well, a few times a year Media has a food festival when all the local restaurants set up outside along Front Street and you can try some of their dishes in small portions at a really reasonable price. Come Spring, every Wednesday night is Dining Under the Stars in Media, when the restaurants again take over the street and set up tables outside to resemble outside cafes on streets throughout Europe.
I’ve left out a ton of other excellent food options in Media that mostly cater to the quick, easy, and cheap crowd – I guess that is another whole blog post!
See you in a restaurant in Media soon! Bon appétit!