Inside Generations Restaurant, guests dine in style amid the warm glow of its elegant dining rooms, each one distinct from the last. Hanging lanterns illuminate the rows of booths and wooden bookshelves of the Library, while in the Drawing Room, a fireplace splashes heat on cushy armchairs. Beyond the curtained windows of the Banquet Room lies an outdoor patio, where cheerful white and yellow umbrellas shade tables and conceal guests from nosy satellites.
To rival the fine decor, the restaurant’s executive chef crafts an equally sophisticated menu of contemporary American dishes in the kitchen. Local, seasonal ingredients are combined to create thick steaks, innovative seafood dishes, and artisanal pizzas. On Sundays, the cooks assemble a brunch buffet with platters of smoked fish and cheeses, hot entrees, and a carving station of roast beef and pork loin. Throughout the week, the restaurant hosts special events, including Saturday-night live entertainment, Wednesday-night poker tournaments, and Thursday-morning busboys-versus-sommeliers games of capture the flag.
It can be difficult to tear your gaze from Tavola Restaurant & Bar's dining-room windows, which overlook the lush rolling hills, majestic pines, and rustic gazebo of the surrounding country club. But soon, an enticing aroma compels your nose to turn toward the kitchen. Inside, chefs bustle about, folding fresh herbs, aromatic sauces, and crisp vegetables into a variety of Italian specialties—including the buttery shrimp scampi lauded by reporters from CBS Philly. A nearby brick oven melts mozzarella cheese onto gourmet pizzas.
The elegant dining room hosts diners swirling strings of pasta beside chandelier-illuminated oil paintings, and the cushy white sofas of the bar area support guests sipping Italian and American wines. Those seeking the best views venture to the outdoor patio, where they can watch seasoned golfers play on Springfield Country Club’s course or make sand angels in the sand traps.
Twenty years ago, Jake's Hamburgers started serving up juicy, hand-prepped burgers from a single shop on Route 273. Dissatisfied with the modern burgers of competitors, the shop’s owners changed the name to Jake's Wayback Burgers. Today at each Jake's location, hand-crafted patties sizzle on grills until cooks stack them two or three high in buns. An ever-changing burger and shake of the month keep the menu from becoming tired, and toppings including sautéed mushrooms, grilled peppers, and onion rings add some novelty to the time-tested burgers. Further tributes to diners of yesteryear include all-beef hot dogs, house-fried potato chips, and chili-cheese dogs. The smooth crests of hand-dipped malted milk shakes beg for one to grab a straw or succumb to milk-shake-juggling crazes started by area carpet cleaners.
From the outside, Springfield Inn is an anachronism. Its colonial-inspired structure—flaunting three tiered stories crowned with a swirling filigree—stands against its contemporary storefront neighbors as a symbol of an opulent past decade. Though its interior space regularly bustles with modern, DJ-fueled merrymaking, a menu of classic gourmet dishes still exudes the restaurant's timeless tenor. In the morning, chefs sizzle up a breakfast spread of waffles, omelets, and golden hot cakes to rouse incisors from their slumber, and evening selections range from honey-dipped fried chicken to filet mignon slathered in peppercorn demi-glace. Later hours bring strobe-light-splashed entertainment on select nights, rumbling the historic rafters with everything from live bands and DJs to rousing games of Red Rover.
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 sandwich sages at House construct handheld dining masterpieces out of locally farmed greens, organic produce and fair-trade items, all of which are tucked between slices of bread from Metropolitan Bakery. Silence a grousing stomach with the Don Juan ($8), which woos taste buds with its savory mélange of orange braised pork and cilantro pesto, while the Featherweight ($6.95) enlists the aid of tomato, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella to bridge the gap between pieces of Metropolitan focaccia. House also flips the homey ideals of grilled cheese on their heads with a hefty spread of gooey breadstacks that include the Florentine ($5.50) with its blend of triple-crème brie, tomato and spinach. The Stilton ($5.50) is packed with aged white cheddar, gorgonzola, and organic apples for a strong flavor that has taken home the gold in the sandwich Olympics weightlifting trials for five years running.