Eagle Village Shops
503 West Lancaster Avenue
Sequestered away behind georges’ restaurant in Wayne’s Eagle Village Shops, the Silverspoon Café may appear to be just another one of those hidden gastronomic gems waiting to be discovered. But – and trust me on this – the Silverspoon is no secret to knowledgeable Main Line foodies. They know a good thing when they taste it; and they are, from what I’ve observed during several recent visits, joyfully ebullient culinary recidivists. They continue to pack the place at breakfast, lunch and dinner, bearing a variety of oenological treasures (the restaurant is BYOB).
The Silverspoon is a casually welcoming space. Large windows flood the restaurant with sunlight by day, while evenings are transformed into a relaxed candle-lit dining experience. And service is as laid-back and relaxed as the ambiance, yet always professional as well as personable. It’s obvious that servers work closely with members of the kitchen staff, thoroughly understand the restaurant’s culinary focus, and are right on target with their menu suggestions.
Which, quite naturally, brings us to the food. Seasonal American menu descriptions, especially at dinner, may strike one as a bit on the esoteric side… but don’t be put off. Executive chef Ron Silverberg has a talent for melding a variety of complementary & contrasting ingredients into incredibly exciting gastronomic gestalts. In addition, portion sizes – not so small as to leave you famishing, not so large as to barf a starving yak – are just right; and presentations, while not self-consciously artsy-fartsy, are as pleasurable to the eye as they are to the palate.
Take the starter of steamed mussels, for example. Bathed in a seductive tomato-fennel broth, they normally arrive at table piled willy-nilly in a mound as mountainous as the north face of the Eiger. Here, however, the kitchen takes the time & trouble to adroitly arrange the plump bivalves around an epicenter of oven-roasted tomatoes & sautéed fennel strips, and then throws in a crisp garlic toast for good measure.
The spinach salad is another highly recommended dinner appetizer. The fresh greenery is embellished with creamy goat cheese, quarters of roasted red beets, chopped walnuts, crumbled bacon, and finished with just the proper dousing of subtle red wine vinaigrette. Once again, the apportionment is just right; the constituents perfectly complementary.
Other interesting evening preludes include: an artisanal cheese plate with appropriate accoutrements; wild boar sausage with braised cabbage and mustard vinaigrette; spinach risotto with mozzarella and roasted peppers; wild mushroom bisque with fennel croutons and chili oil; and a traditional Caesar salad.
As satisfying as the appetizers may be, it is the entrées that truly demonstrate Mr. Silverberg’s culinary versatility. The grilled swordfish, a special “Catch of the Day,” comes perfectly grilled and set on a seabed of roasted red bliss potatoes and sautéed peppers; the real kicker, however, is provided by highly-seasoned chunks of spicy chorizo sausage. Continuing the piscatorial theme… The crispy salmon, a menu mainstay, is a bit more laid back, but it still manages to tantalize the taste buds with a provocative combo of celery root & apple purée, farro (an ancient cereal grain with a rich, nutty flavor), Brussels sprouts, and a zesty fall relish.
Confirmed carnivores, on the other hand, are certainly not shortchanged. The grilled petite filet, for instance, reaps the considerable benefits of a pungent parsnip purée, sautéed broccoli rabe, and an assertive port wine reduction.
But even better, in my opinion, is the “other” white meat, the pork osso buco. Presented on a pillow of pumpkin grits, the flesh is fall-off-the-bone tender. “Grits,” the coarsely ground grain of whatever ilk, generally tastes like the-bland-leading-the-bland unless adequately spruced up to arouse the palate out of its inevitably deep slumber. And, in this case, the pumpkin grits are aided & abetted by braised cipollini onions, natural pork jus, and a marvelous truffle duxelles. This latter ingredient is a mixture of minced mushrooms, shallots, and herbs that have been cooked in butter until the constituents form a thick paste. Duxelles is used to add extra zip to sauces, soups, and other concoctions… in this case, the extraordinarily flavorful pork jus.
Among the sides available at dinner, the creamed spinach is simply incredible. Topped with melted cheese it is creamy, creamy, creamy… and exceedingly rich. But not to be missed… Just be sure to postpone your next cholesterol test.
The Silverspoon also serves breakfast and lunch Monday – Friday and brunch on Saturday & Sunday. Possibilities range from a diverse variety of egg dishes to crème brûlée French toast to pristinely fresh salads to innovative takes on sandwich favorites to the establishment’s signature “Silverberger,” a combo of grass-fed beef & bison, heirloom tomato, Lancaster Gouda, Bibb lettuce, and aioli… all tucked into a soft & sensuous brioche bun.
Particularly recommended is the top-notch roasted BLT with caramelized pepper bacon, spring lettuces, local tomatoes, and house-made aïoli. And don’t forget to upgrade to the optional freshly-roasted turkey slices, which definitely provide an appetizingly flavorful added dimension.
All sandwiches are accompanied by excellent house-made baked potato chips, which are also available as a side. Even better, though are the absolutely fabulous truffle fries. Tinged with just a hint of truffle oil and dusted with cheese, this is one diversion that is simply not to be missed.
In several visits, the only dish that didn’t quite make it was the flatbread of the day, roasted red peppers and feta cheese on a slathering of baba ghanoush (puréed eggplant commingled with olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic). There was plenty of smoky flavor here, but a sorely needed healthy dose of garlic was conspicuous by its absence, afflicting the presentation with a terminal case of the blahs.
Everything at the Silverspoon Café is homemade, including the desserts. The cuisine, which is of impeccable quality, of course, does not come cheaply. But the fact that you may BYOB certainly helps to mitigate the upscale prices.
Highly recommended on all counts.
The Artful Diner
Diner is an independent, freelance food writer. His latest review and an archive of past reviews for restaurants around the country and the world can be found on this site on the REVIEWS page.
Want to receive e-mail notification when a new review or article is posted? E-mail Artful Diner!