Bryn Mawr Home Includes Art Deco-Style Theater and Wine Room

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Inspired by the 19th-century Arts & Crafts architecture movement, this modern Bryn Mawr home has inherited a few high points from the period, including an open floor plan, built-in furniture, and exposures.

The open floor plan encompasses the living room, where you’ll find coffered ceilings, custom cabinetry, and a fireplace; as well as the dining room and kitchen, which has an unexpected perk in the form of a sizable pantry that opens into a temperature-controlled wine room via a glass door.

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Philadelphia Metro Has 27 of 1,000 Richest U.S. Neighborhoods

vintage villanova ad

Image from a home builders catalog via Flickr user MidCentArc.

The Higley 1,000 — the list of America’s 1,000 wealthiest neighborhoods — has just been released by by geographer Stephen Higley. For those of us on the East Coast, there aren’t too many surprises: We can shrug our collective shoulders at the news that New York and Connecticut are full of moneyed white people. But it’s interesting to see the results for the Philadelphia metro area.

First, let’s listen to Higley talk about how tough it is to define “neighborhood”:

The concept of “neighborhood” in America is to say the least, amorphous. Realtors are notorious at “stretching” ill-defined neighborhood boundaries of wealthy places in the interest of generating higher prices through a halo effect.

Mapping companies vary from identifying virtually every sub-division (ADC Maps) to the grudging vagueness of a few well known neighborhoods (eg. Thomas Brothers Guides, Rand McNally). Google Maps, my main source for updating the Higley 1000 for 2010, has done an excellent job of adding neighborhoods in recent years. Still, there are many areas that are difficult to name as a “neighborhood”. I have used a variety of resources in trying to identify individual neighborhoods including extensive use of the internet.

(That’s cute — “extensive use of the internet.” Well, yes, we all use that thing from time to time.)

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A Railroad Baron’s Home Fit for Only One Man: Joe Biden

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Dear Vice President Biden,

Is it OK if we call you Joe? God love ya, we feel like we know you with the Pennsylvania connection and all. Really sorry we missed you at 30th Street yesterday. We know how you feel about trains, though, so we thought this humongous estate in Bryn Mawr might pique your interest. It was built for the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1896. We think it’s perfect for you.

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Mom’s Organic Market Owner Explains Why He Chose Bryn Mawr

MOM's Rockville, Maryland store.

MOM’s Rockville, Maryland store.

Not long ago we told you that Mom’s Organic was going to open in Bryn Mawr’s Rosemont Square Shopping Center in a former Borders (from books to bok choy). Yesterday, Be Well Philly spoke with the Maryland-based chain’s owner, Scott Nash, and asked why he chose Bryn Mawr for his new store — the chain’s largest store to date:

“Our other stores in Maryland and Baltimore are in the big retail areas,” he said. “So I asked a lot of people in Philly, ‘Where is your retail equivalent?’ They all said the Main Line.”

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Bryn Mawr’s New Isabella Sparrow Is a Clover Market Spin-Off

isabella sparrow

Photo of the Bryn Mawr store from Isabella Sparrow Facebook page.


Ardmore’s outdoor Clover Market is a home decor mecca for enthusiasts of the vintage farmhouse/warehouse/industrial aesthetic. Want an old tin sign with rusty edges? An antique watering can that doubles as a planter? Some bowling pins with flaking paint? The Clover Market is the place to go.

Vendor Hillary O’Carroll has been so successful with that kind of merchandise at the Market, she’s now opened a store — the first Clover Market bricks-and-mortar spin-off in Lower Merion Township, according to the Main Line Times.

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Where We’re Eating: Cerise in Bryn Mawr

spaghetti clams guanciale cerise

Chef Ben Thomas and his wife, Elena, have taken a big risk opening Cerise, a BYOB in Bryn Mawr. If you want to have dinner here, you have to buy into a $47 four-course prix-fixe menu (a $39 three-course is available Wednesday and Sunday), and at that price, proper Main Liners are going to balk at the lax (though very friendly) service, the too-bright room and the lack of table linens. And though the menu can be a little hit-or-miss, the French-trained Thomas, who has worked at Lacroix and Sycamore, does have some real skills, which he best shows off with his perfect chicken liver mousse and house-made pastas. It’s just too bad you can’t order them à la carte.

Cerise [Foobooz]

First appeared in the December, 2013 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

Where We’re Eating: Fraschetta

If I were opening an Italian restaurant, I probably wouldn’t give it a name that’s one letter away from a mid-range frozen pizza brand. But that’s not the real problem at Fraschetta, a Main Line newcomer that debuted a few months back. And the problem isn’t bad service or food, either (though we did have to send back the “special” steak for being ridiculously undercooked and terribly underseasoned). The problem, simply, is noise. Some restaurants are loud. Some restaurants are so unbelievably effing loud that the loudness almost ruins the evening by turning every conversation into a shouting match. Such is the case at this spot from the owners of Center City’s Melograno. After my friends and I yelled at each other across our plates of generally good food, and then paid the sizable check (more than $200 for four of us, BYO) with cash, since Fraschetta annoyingly doesn’t take plastic, we all just decided never to go back.

Fraschetta
816 West Lancaster Avenue
Bryn Mawr
610-525-1007

First appeared in the October, 2013 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

Bryn Mawr’s Jaw-Dropping Versailles

bryn-mawr-versailles

This estate is based on La Lanterne, the presidential retreat at Versailles, which is still in use today. The chateau has been on and off the market since 2011, but the price has remained the same: $7.9 million.

Extravagant features include a formal knot garden, orchard stone floors, a wood bar room, a media and gaming room, a tennis pavilion, and a stream-fed pond. Personally, I like the room with the groin vault. I’d rather relax and read a book in there than play tennis.

Must-see gallery, below.

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Three Bells for Main Line’s Fraschetta

Fraschetta, the Bryn Mawr BYOB from Rosemarie Tran and chef/husband Gianluca Demontis who gave us Melograno gets plenty of praise from Craig LaBan.

Delicate house-spun fettuccine arrives in a soulful ragu alla Romana that tastes like familiar ground beef Bolognese at first, until it turns exotic with clovey Medici spice, earthy with porcini, and richly gamey with fine bits of chicken liver and gizzard. The mezzi-rigatoni carbonara, glazed ideally in a not-too-heavy shine of egg and Pecorino, draws a musky savor from pancetta housemade from lamb belly instead of pork.

Three Bells – Very Good

Authentic Roman-style cuisine on the Main Line [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Zoë’s Opens Four More Suburban Philadelphia Locations

zoes kitchenZoë’s Kitchen — the Mediterranean-inspired chain restaurant where most of the food is grilled — already had three local spots (Collegeville, Marlton and Newtown) when it opened yet another outpost in the Greater Philadelphia market in May of this year in Bryn Mawr. That must have worked out because there are now four more to come: Malvern, Willow Grove, Cherry Hill and Wayne. It seems people like grilled food — especially when someone else is manning the grill.

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