Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Stone Barn, Kennett, PA

On a beautiful Sunday morning August 29, three of the four Divas once again ventured out for brunch at The Stone Barn. It was a gorgeous day for a ride and The Stone Barn being out in the middle of horse country, made for a lovely way to start the day. One Diva, who is a city gal, got a little lost and after stopping several times to ask for directions finally found the restaurant. The Stone Barn setting is on rolling hills with beautiful landscaping … a perfect place for a wedding or special occasion. As the name states, it is in fact a stone barn which once was a horse stable, now converted into a restaurant. It is charming, with nicely appointed tables with white table clothes, beautiful views out of all of the windows and plenty of natural sunlight in the room where we were seated. There is also an interior room which was darker with a warm and cozy feel. The brunch was served buffet style and a very attractive spread of breakfast and lunch foods. The one other item which is always important to the Divas is the room’s acoustics. How wonderful it was that we could easily carry on a conversation and not notice the conversations of those around you. The Stone Barn gets an A+ in this area.
A spread of fresh fruit was welcoming, the waffles nice and light. Two of the Divas went for these and we both chose blueberry topping which was nice, not too sweet. The breakfast foods were traditional, I always try the eggs benedict and similar to any other brunch buffet, I was disappointed. You can never cut them with a knife because the muffin gets so hard on the bottom from setting in the warming tray. The place that figures out how to solve this problem will get this diner coming back often. The coffee was not to our liking; in fact none of us finished our first cup. On to the next course, the luncheon spread. The hit here was the mussels with the pineapple salsa. Both Nancy and Nanzie really enjoyed them. I, as usual always have a good appetite, and sampled just about everything, from soup to salad and some of the entrees. The other two Divas sampled just a few of items. We agreed that the free range chicken was very good, and I raved about the salmon with crab as being cooked perfectly, and was moist and succulent. However, overall we rated the food good, but not outstanding. The ambiance is outstanding and with the right company, a wonderful experience.

Visit the Stone barn's website at: http://www.thestonebarn.com/

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Six Paupers Restaurant

On Thursday, August 12, 2010, three of the four divas went to Six Paupers, located on Lancaster Pike in Hockessin. As you enter Six Paupers, you are in the large and comfortably decorated bar/lounge. The main dining room is beyond the bar and is separated from it by a half partition. Although near the bar, the dining room is quiet; a good job has been done with the acoustics. The d├ęcor is warm and cozy with low lighting, but not so low that you cannot read the menu.

We chose to go on a Thursday, which is the night that they have a special of 50% off a bottle of wine. So to start off our meal we selected a bottle of Sterling “Meritage”, a wine that none of us have had before. It was delightful -- a pleasant blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Malbac and Petit Verdot. We all agreed that it was a nice blend and great choice.

We chose for appetizers:

Ahi Tuna Bites Wasabi-panko crusted ahi tuna with soy-ginger dipping sauce.
Steamed Clams In a Chili Tomato Broth. Served with Focaccia Parmesan Crostini.

Both were wonderful and the servings plentiful. The broth of the clams was so delicious that we asked for more bread to sop up the juices. The Ahi Tuna bites were interesting and very tender; but we had ordered them rare and they were served cooked through.

Our entrees were:

Pan Seared Scallops Sherry brown butter, fried leaks & white truffle oil. Served with mashed potatoes & asparagus. Scallops were so nice and tender and how can anything go wrong with mashed potatoes? Asparagus were for the most part tender. I did get one that was rather tough, not bad considering asparagus are a spring vegetable.

Cajun Cornmeal Crusted Chicken Topped with Andouille Sausage, Bell Pepper & Onion in a Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce. Served with Mexican Rice & Broccoli. The sauce is what enhanced the taste of this dish, which was not too spicy.

Pan Seared Salmon Topped with a wasabi coating and roasted vegetables in a balsamic dressing. As always, one Diva is very health conscience, (shouldn’t we all be?) and orders healthy. The salmon was a little dry but the coating seemed to down play that fact. The vegetables were indistinguishable from each other since the balsamic dressing painted everything one color and gave them all the same taste.

We all had coffee and for dessert we chose to share a Chocolate Lava Cake. This was disappointing, it had no taste and we did not finish it.

All in all, Six Paupers is a nice neighborhood place and we agreed that we would come back again. The atmosphere is inviting and the food good.

Website: http://www.sixpaupers.com/

PS - This was written by Nanzie S, but she is on vacation, so I offered to edit and post it for her.