Valentine’s Day, dedicated to love and romance, is typically celebrated with dinner and drinks at a special restaurant. Many in the Philadelphia region would assume that means driving into the city, where, I can tell you from firsth and experience, the traffic can be a nightmare. But the fact is, you can get the same high-quality diningexperience in the surrounding suburbs. Here are several standout choices, county by county, each with an outstanding selection of craft beer
The Washington House Restaurant in Sellersville provides a very unique experience. It was constructed in the early 1800s and for many years was an old Victorian hotel. Over the years it fell into disrepair and was almost demolished in the 1980s. Thankfully, that did not happen. Today it is a historic restaurant with a charming hotel right on the premises and a theatre next door. Their menu features tasty American cuisine and carefully chosen wine and beer lists. For Valentine’s Day, they are offering a special 4-course meal, which includes champagne.
Other places to consider in Bucks Country are the King George II Inn in Bristol and the Black Bass Hotel in Lumberville. The King George II Inn is located on the site of a 17th century inn on the Delaware River. It features traditional American cuisine and a historic tavern, plus the Bristol Riverside Theater is just one door down. The Black Bass Hotel is located further north on the Delaware, just above New Hope. The menu includes a wide range of favorites that one would find in a true British tavern, along with a good selection of draught and bottle beers. Nearby attractions include Peddler’s Village and Doylestown museums.
The Gypsy Saloon in Conshohocken is a neighborhood bar with a cozy feel, where “everyone is a friend,” said owner Marianne Gere. Their specialty is American cuisine, with favorites that include lobster, macaroni and cheese, mussels, flat breads, pastas, burgers and seafood. Special items will be added during Valentine’s Day week. The Gypsy Saloon features several beers on tap, with a rotating selection of craft beers. There’s also a full list of reasonably priced wine and seasonal cocktails, plus live music on weekends.
Other great choices in Montco include Bar Luca and The StoneRose Restaurant, both in Conshy as well. Named for Lucca, Italy in northwest Tuscany, Bar Luca features rustic Italian cuisine made with authentic Italian ingredients, much of it served tapas style. They also offer an extended list of wine, cocktails and bottled beer. The StoneRose Restaurant is an American dining establishment, which boasts its use of fresh, seasonal ingredients and impressive offerings of local craft beers, global wine and creative cocktails.
Paramour in Wayne is the perfect place for a special occasion. It features seasonally-inspired, modern, American cuisine in a setting that combines classic architecture with elegant, contemporary furnishings. On Valentine’s Day they are offering a delectable, multi-course, prix fixe dinner menu in addition to a la carte fare. The special menu features an optional wine pairing, poured tableside, or your meal can be paired with a craft beer, if preferred. According to Steven Gullo, Sommelier and Beverage Director at Paramour, the restaurant’s beer selection has a clear focus on domestic microbrews, especially local PA breweries. “Our frequently rotating draughts cover a wide range of styles,” said Gullo. “We offer everything from West Coast IPAs to domestic Tripels, dark lagers and more.”
Another great place in Delaware County is the Glenmorgan Bar & Grill at The Radnor Hotel. Tucked away from traffic, this hidden gem offers American cuisine, craft beer and handcrafted cocktails. You can enjoy your dinner in the dining room, where tables and cozy booths offer privacy or dine at a high-top table in the bar and lounge area amongst several big screen TVs.
For a warm, friendly atmosphere in Chester County, a great choice is Four Dogs Tavern in West Chester, an American brasserie featuring menu items prepared with the freshest, and often local, ingredients. Live music is available Thursday through Sunday. And, you can complete your Valentine’s Day date with a visit to beautiful Longwood Gardens, which is just minutes away in Kennett Square.
I also suggest the Whip Tavern in Coatesville, located in the heart of beautiful horse country. When you arrive, you’ll find yourself in the warm atmosphere of a traditional English pub, where the menu features classic British fare and a fine selection of beers.
There are so many great choices for a date night in the ‘burbs, your romantic dinner on Valentine’s Day could become a more frequent event. You may even consider crossing county lines occasionally, because every one of these establishments is worth the trip.