Chef Stephen Guiseppe relishes a good countdown. In the kitchen of Cedar Hollow Inn, he often improvises his daily specials an hour before the menu goes live, crafting modern American meals to complement his pre-existing plates. These entrees add a gourmet twist to traditional comfort food and pub fare—the buttermilk fried chicken still boasts a topping of country gravy, but it also arrives with blue-cheese-braised kale, and the pan-roasted rainbow trout is dressed in the surprising tang of a vanilla-citrus glaze. Though Chef Stephen doesn't shy from robust helpings of meat—the menu offers lobster, filet mignon, duck, and pork belly—he also pioneers small plates. The bar features duck quesadillas and lamb sliders as alternatives to traditional countertop eats, such as chewable drink coasters.
Cedar Hollow Inn balances its contemporary menu with a historical locale. The building, which was constructed in the mid 1800s, resembles a rustic mansion, lined with wide, gridded windows that fill the archways of the sun porch. Guests can dine there, in the dining room, or at the bar, where trivia and Name That Tune competitions encourage competitive chatter on Tuesday and Sunday. Live music plays in the evenings on Thursday–Saturday, enticing guests to remain after their meals and sample one of many rotating craft beers.
Pete Giannopoulos dropped a corporate sales job in 1994 in pursuit of his long-held dream of opening a brewpub. Although the beer adventure was originally a family-only endeavor, Pete has enlisted the expertise of various brewers over the years—2002 saw the arrival of head brewmaster Brian O’Reilly, who has been crafting the award-winning beers on tap ever since. Despite its beer-centricity, Slyfox Brewery is equally adept at attracting customers with its spread of juicy eats. The wraps, half-pound burgers, and flatbread pizzas that populate the pub’s menu partner with fresh brews more naturally than two baristas performing a tango. Chefs also add ale to dishes such as the beer-battered onion rings and the Dunkel lager cheese sauce that complements hearty pub pretzels.
Since its humble south Philadelphia beginnings in the 1990s, PrimoHoagies has quickly expanded throughout the region and garnered several awards on the strength of its cold-cut sandwiches, made with Thumann's brand of gourmet meats and cheeses. The shop's robust menu features dozens of specialty hoagies, many of which were created in-house rather than underwater, as is the industry norm. Sharp Italian hoagies teem with prosciutto and genoa salami, and pork Diablo hoagies marry Thumann's homestyle roasted pork with a blend of piquant spices.
The chefs at PJ Ryan's Pub sling their hearty menu’s worth of burgers and steaks into a congenial atmosphere supported by cheerful Irish tidings. An appetizer sets the meal's mood, whether generating harmony with a sharable pair of sliders (a $9 value) or fried calamari (a $7.50 value) or injecting excitement with a cage match over who gets to lick the bowl of west coast crab dip (a $9 value). Sheperd's pie (a $12 value) tempts mouths with draped layers of beef with roasted vegetables, garlic mashed potatoes, and cheddar cheese. Chefs transform seafaring bounty by broiling tender scallops in a delicate lemon-white-wine sauce (a $16.50 value) or browning lump crab into perfectly bronzed crab cakes served alongside piquant rémoulade (an $18 value).
Twenty9 Restaurant& Bar splits its two levels into contemporary dining and a casual pub atmosphere.Upstairs, cool grey and black tones are accented with textured rock walls, and tables populate with plates of black pepper crusted filet mignon and diver scallops. The lunch menu bedecks the lower level’s high top tables with hickory smoked pulled pork flatbreads, fish tacos, and chipotle crab salad piled atop burgers.
Both levels of the eatery are prime for entertaining, as musicians string notes together inside, and happy hour drinks pass through hands out on the outdoor deck. The chefs multiply their food creation to cater events at Twenty9, from business luncheons to elegant weddings and Babysitters’ Club meetings.