Chaos Theory: At The Table Reviewed

Photography by Stuart Goldenberg

Photography by Stuart Goldenberg

We forget sometimes that every night at a restaurant is the worst night ever.

Not for us, the diners. Not most of the time, anyway. But for the cooks, the chef, the servers, every night is a constantly evolving disaster. Every day starts out perfect—tabula rasa, a clean slate. The tables are all laid. The book is full, with reservations from open to close. In the kitchen, the mise en place is set. The cooks have backups waiting in the cooler, and then backups for their backups.

But when the doors open, everything becomes triage. Table full of vegans, a dropped steak, oven won’t heat past 250 degrees, the sous-chef sneezed in the soup—every minute, it’s something. A chef’s primary job during service is containment—managing the chaos, mitigating the hundred things that can (and will) go wrong and making goddamned sure that no one in the dining room suspects a thing. Dressing up a catastrophe to look like the best night ever.

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Main Line Monday: Worldly Comfort in Wayne for $925K

516 W. Beechtree Ln., Wayne, Pa. 19087 | Images via Houwzer Real Estate

516 W. Beechtree Ln., Wayne, Pa. 19087 | Images via Houwzer Real Estate

From the outside, you’d hardly be able to distinguish this colonial from the many others speckled throughout the Main Line. However, step inside and that will absolutely change – this sunlit open-concept home is a masterpiece.

Built in 1928 and completely renovated since then, this four-bedroom property adequately maintains some of its historical charm while containing all the amenities of a modern home. Read more »

Stately Wayne Manor Gets an Agent – and a Haircut

100 Pembroke Ave., Wayne, Pa. 19087 | TREND images via Zillow

100 Pembroke Ave. in Wayne has been relisted with an actual real estate agent. | TREND image via Zillow

Recall that gorgeous brick English Gothic mansion in Wayne we featured as our Jawdropper of the Week back on January 17th?

Apparently, its owner has decided that the no-frills approach to selling it wasn’t working, despite Simple Choice Realty’s claims about its flat-fee listing service: “It’s Easy, It’s Affordable, It works!”

Maybe it works for a typical tract house, McMansion or modest rehabbed home. But it appears that a home this special, with a price tag to match, needs a real pro to market it effectively.

So this home’s owner has turned to the Beth Samberg Team at Keller Williams Realty Main Line to move this property. Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: Stately Wayne Manor for $7.65M

100 Pembroke Ave., Wayne, Pa. 19087 | TREND images via Zillow

100 Pembroke Ave., Wayne, Pa. 19087 | TREND images via Zillow

Those of us of a certain age – say, born after 1939 – or of a certain persuasion – say, fans of complex, brooding superheroes with colorful adversaries – know who Bruce Wayne is.

We didn’t know until now that his home was actually in the community that shares his surname.

Of course, when he designed this place in 1895, architect William Price had no idea that he was creating a magnificent home that could easily pass for Wayne Manor, the residence of Batman’s alter ego. But even if your reaction to this observation is “Who’s Bruce Wayne?”, you’ll find this marvelously updated English Gothic Revival manor a wonderfully stately home that combines old-school elegance with a distinctly modern sensibility. Read more »

Main Line Monday: Classically Modern Opulence in Wayne, $3.15M

330 Edgehill Rd., Wayne, Pa. 19087 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach

330 Edgehill Rd., Wayne, Pa. 19087 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach

This 1910 center-hall Colonial in Wayne has all the basic elements of this staple Main Line house type: a central entrance foyer with grand staircase flanked by a formal living room on one side and a formal dining room on the other. Fireplaces galore. Great rooms with coffered ceilings. You get the idea.

But look closer and you’ll notice that this vision in white is also a departure from the standard in just about every way possible: Where many center-hall Colonials are dark, staid and somber, this one is bright, airy and colorful, with plenty of sun-drenched rooms. A succession of master builders and designers have left their mark on this home, bringing it into the 21st century with tastefully opulent upgrades and additions that mix traditional and modern elements. Read more »

At The Table Launches A “Sunday Supper” Tasting Menu

AtTheTable1

At The Table, a small, 24-seat BYOB in Wayne that opened only a month ago, has introduced a new Sunday Supper service. The prix fixe menu is four courses that will change each week based on which ingredients are fresh and in season.

The regular menu (two prix fixe options, 5 courses for $65 or 8 courses for $95, plus an a la carte option) is impressive. December’s board lists everything from Kumamoto oysters with cucumber foam, yuzu and apple to a black kingfish presentation with lemon beurre blanc and shaved white truffles (for an extra $22). It seems to be hitting that sweet spot between modernism and classicism that’s pretty tough to get right, and the Sunday Supper appears to be mostly its own thing, with only a couple of dishes repeating from the regular menu–which is impressive

Here’s a sample menu:

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Really, Really Fine Dining In Wayne, PA

AtTheTable1

What do Ian Moroney of Pumpkin, Andrew Deery of Majolica, Ralph Fernandez of Autograph and Peter Gilmore of Gilmore’s all have in common? His name is Alex Hardy, and he’s the executive chef of a new restaurant called At the Table. On November 16th, he and his wife Tara Buzan opened this 20-seat restaurant in the heart of Wayne, PA.

“We wanted to bring really, really fine dining to the area,” said Alex.

Before Alex was an executive chef, before he worked with some of the best chefs in the country, before he attended Johnson and Wales University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts, he worked as a dishwasher. “In going through the process of my career it’s very important to know–to some degree–all the elements of a restaurant,” he said. “You have to know how things go together–the flavors, the balance, the presentation.”

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Main Line Monday: A Midcentury Modern Masterpiece in Strafford

356 Pugh Rd., Strafford, Pa. 19087 | Photos: Jon Biddle for HomeJab via Keller Williams Luxury Homes International

356 Pugh Rd., Strafford, Pa. 19087 | Photos: Jon Biddle for HomeJab via Keller Williams Luxury Homes International

You’ve seen photos of homes like these in places like Southern California and the Oakland hills.

If you’re the sort of person who hyperventilates at these photos, there’s good news: you now have a chance to live in one without having to move across the country.

Several noted Philadelphia architects also designed homes in the contemporary style we now label as “midcentury modern.” One of the best was Robert McElroy, who produced this beautiful, low-slung home on a one-acre wooded sloping lot on Strafford’s northern fringe. We can also give credit to the architect who owns this home now, for he gave it a top-to-bottom rebuild that updated all of its features and systems while respecting its heritage and style. Read more »

Main Line Monday: No Heavy Lifting in Wayne

15 Highfield Lane, Wayne, Pa. 19087 | TREND images via RE/MAX Main Line

15 Highfield Lane, Wayne, Pa. 19087 | TREND images via RE/MAX Main Line

There are two ways for you to avoid having to mow your grass and shovel the snow from your walkways and driveways in winter if you own a single-family suburban home with a yard:

  • Pay someone to do these things for you, or
  • Move to a community where the homeowners association takes care of this stuff for you.

This classically contemporary French-inspired home in Wayne’s Highfield subdivision is in one of those communities. Yard maintenance, snow shoveling, and more are all included in the $350 monthly homeowners association fee.

This is all very nice, but it means nothing if the home isn’t nice too. That’s also been taken care of.

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Main Line Monday: A Piece of France in Wayne

300 Valley Pl., Wayne, Pa. 19087 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

300 Valley Pl., Wayne, Pa. 19087 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

This French-inspired beauty is giving us an “Ooh la la” moment. With a substantial amount of outdoor and garden space and an informal layout, this home is a gem and a departure from the usual Main Line fare.

The enchantment begins at curbside, where the home is fronted by a landscaped garden laced with pea gravel paths and surrounded by a charming picket fence with arbor gate; a flagstone walkway leads up to the entrance to this showcase front yard.

Step inside the front door and what makes this home distinctive should be obvious. Recent renovations and extensions have created a traditional home with a decidedly contemporary layout whose open feel begins in the foyer, where you can take in almost the entire main living area in a single glance. Read more »

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