The National Park Service has expanded a local national landmark to include the longtime studio of one of the best-known artists of the mid-20th century, Andrew Wyeth. Wyeth, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 91, is known for his realist paintings. The son of famous illustrator N. C. Wyeth, Andrew spent many years studying and painting his hometown of Chadds Ford. Some of his favorite subjects included his neighbors, Anna and Karl Kuerner, and their farm. The farm was also where Wyeth met Helga Testorf, a caregiver who became the subject of many of his paintings in the 70s and 80s.
Craig LaBan is full of praise for MacGregor Mann’s Junto in Chadds Ford, calling it the best suburban dinner he’s had in a long time.
But there were so many highlights, especially with seafood, that my quibbles were minor. Huge scallops were perfectly fried in a sheer tempura crust made from sweet corn, amped by an intense brown chip of dehydrated scallop and a creamy remoulade of pureed mussels and lovage. Tart sorrel granita and shavings of fresh horseradish enlivened briny raw Cape May Salt oysters. Beautifully steamed black bass fillets basked in anise-scented froth over poached fennel. A lemon verbena white wine butter glaze added a subtle herbaceousness to that juicy fillet of smoked sturgeon.
Three Bells – Excellent
Read Trey Popp’s similarly positive review of Junto from the September issue of Philadelphia magazine.
“Do you know of any deserving young beginner lately set up,” members of Ben Franklin’s mutual aid society would ask one another, “whom it lies in the power of the Junto any way to encourage?”
They’d ask the same thing about “deserving stranger[s] arrived in town since last meeting.” And while neither description exactly matches MacGregor Mann, who’s cooked in Philadelphia for more than a decade, they’re close enough. Before naming his solo debut after Franklin’s eclectic club, the Garces vet went on a culinary walkabout ranging from an Idaho fly-fishing lodge to a stage at Denmark’s Noma—often named as the best restaurant in the world. And when he returned, he was bent on digging deeper into his home turf.
Vincent van Gogh once wrote to his brother that he was struck “dumb with admiration” by Howard Pyle’s illustrations in Harper’s Monthly. Unsurprisingly, Pyle rose to celebrity-status for his work, and illustrated numerous magazines and books, most notably the The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood.
He also did images for works by Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, William Dean Howells, and Woodrow Wilson, and was a mentor to notable painter and illustrator N.C. Wyeth. Upon his death, the New York Times bestowed Pyle the title of “”father of American magazine illustration as it is known to-day.” More on Pyle’s legacy can be found here.
As it stands, this Chadds Ford house –called Painter’s Folly–once belonged to the artist, and even served as inspiration for works by celebrated realist painter Andrew Wyeth, son of N.C.
This enormous Chadds Ford home is flush with amenities, some of them rather unexpected. Let’s break just some of them down.
1. Yoga/massage studio
2. Gift-wrapping room
3. Bar room
4. Full gym
5. Heated saltwater pool
6. Game room
7. Covered cabana with fireplace
8. Pantry designed for elevator installation
9. Bathroom with walk in shower with bench and heated stone floor
10. Butler’s pantry with skylight and wine storage
If that weren’t enough, there’s a huge interior courtyard visible through a glass wall in the foyer; a four-car garage with a one-bedroom apartment; three dishwashers; two refrigerators; more than 5,000 square feet of decks and balconies; and more than 3 acres of land with a river (er, stream) running through it.
MacGregor Mann, who was chef de cuisine at Amada has returned to the area. Michael Klein is reporting that Mann is opening a BYOB, Junto in Chadds Ford. Junto promises “Pennsylvania-sourced ingredients prepared with a blend of old world techniques and modern cuisine knowledge.”
Mann is predicting a Spring opening for Junto but today you can find him at Fairmount’s La Calaca Feliz. Like Feliz owner Tim Spinner, Mann was often seen on Jose Garces’ Iron Chef teams.
Garces alum opening a BYOB [The Insider]
There is something endearingly goofy to me about operations that try to make us feel better about our terrible eating habits simply by attempting to make the foods we shove in our snack holes healthier for us. At Farmer’s Road, they make the argument that it isn’t the drive-thru itself that’s bad, but the stuff generally available there. Here, you can order a breakfast sandwich made with all-natural eggs, a whole-wheat bun and locally sourced scrapple, or a stadium hot dog made with an all-natural grass-fed beef dog, low-sodium mustard, low-sodium sauerkraut and a rye pretzel hot-dog roll, with sweet-potato chips on the side, a vanilla-protein-and-skim-milk root-beer float to quench your thirst, and vegan krispy-rice treats for dessert. There are salads, edamame,
burgers and wraps, bento boxes for the kids … and the surprising thing about the place is that nothing tastes as tiresome as the menu seems determined to make it sound.
Farmer’s Road Drive Thru
210 Painter’s Crossing, Village at Painter’s Crossing Shopping Center
Chadds Ford, PA
First appeared in the September, 2013 issue of Philadelphia magazine.
Chadds Ford Attractions
Situated in Delaware County 30 miles southwest of Philadelphia, lovely Chadds Ford attracts residents with its quaint historical farmhouses, rolling countryside and peaceful, bucolic setting. The Swedes settled the area in the 17th century, followed by English Quakers in the 18th century. A man by the name of John Chads operated a ferry across the Brandywine River, thus giving the town its name. In the 19th century, mills populated the area, using water power to manufacture gun powder, paper, grain and timber, and fueled growth in the area. Today, Chadds Ford attractions have made the area a popular tourist spot. Whether you’re planning to move here or simply get a sense of the area, consider including these popular spots in your itinerary:
For art lovers: Chadds Ford was home to the Wyeths, a prominent family in American art—Andrew was a major American Realist painter, his father, N.C. Wyeth, an illustrator and realist painter, and his son Jamie Wyeth, a contemporary American realist painter. Their works are on display at the Brandywine River Museum, which also owns and operates N.C. Wyeth House and Studio and Kuerner Farm, an inspiration for many of Andrew’s works.
For history buffs: Brandywine Battlefield Historic Site sits on the site of the Battle of the Brandywine, fought on Sept. 11, 1777, during the Revolutionary War. Visitors can see restored farm houses where both British and American troops were housed during the battle, and reenactosrs portray the events of the battle during special events throughout the year.
Chadds Ford Chaddsford Winery is the largest winery in the state, producing more then 30,000 cases annually. Visitors can tour the winery and vineyard, and sample the latest wines made there.
For more information on Chadds Ford real estate.