The Western Philadelphia suburbs are wonderful for taking rides down winding backroads and enjoying the open spaces and greenery. That was the enjoyable scenery we drove thru on our way out to Glen Mills a recent summer evening. After passing a winery, one comes upon a stream, old railway tracks and a charming old house set amidst beautifully landscaped greenery and a stocked stream. It provides a wonderful setting to ease your way into a night of enjoyable dining at the new location of Byrsa Bistro.
I have enjoyed very nice dinners on several occasions at Byrsa Bistro in Kennett Square. But after hearing that owner Ahmed Ochraga had completed over a year of renovation on the property that he and his wife purchased in Glen Mills, I joined a friend for the drive to Glen Mills to sample the new, Byrsa Bistro.
The evening proved to be a delight in multiple ways. First, the setting is simply wonderful. A beautiful brook runs through the property, which I learned is stocked with trout for the Orvis store run by Ahmed’s wife, Christine Sharbaugh, who had such a store for a long time in Media. A very nice combination in their newly restored building. The Sporting Gentleman is beautifully laid out adjacent to the restaurant and a complement to the green surroundings and running stream.
My dining companion and I started off with two wonderful salads which we exchanged with one another. We had the Figs & Pine Nuts Salad, which was mix greens, arugula, fresh figs, pine nuts creamy goat cheese and a fig vinaigrette dressing. The other salad was the Roasted Beets & Almond Salad, a mix green with roasted beets, almond, creamy goat cheese and a lemon-oil vinaigrette. Both salads were ample size, light and dressed just right!
Our main courses were tough choices, as the descriptions were creative examples of Mediterranean staples. We ended up having the organic chicken tagine (which is gluten free). It was Moroccan style roasted chicken, with roasted potatoes, marinated golden raisins, toasted sesame seeds and pickled lemon. It was a wonderful mix of distinctive tastes, that blended beautifully, both taste wise and visually. I chose the Branzino, which was one of the best fish dishes I had in a long time. Again, visually, it was beautifully laid out. Served over potato gratin, fresh fennel and leaks, drizzled with a light sauce. Both main courses were at a very reasonable $28 and beautifully presented.
We had just the right amount of dinner, ready to order the check when the waitress uttered the words “chocolate mousse”. It was hard to turn down and I had no trouble enjoying it as the completion to an excellent dinner.
Ahmed Ochraga has an eye for the esthetic surroundings in which you are sitting, but his ever present attention to the details of the service and kitchen are no less attentive. Brysa Bistro is a BYO.
Enjoy a ride to a great setting and be prepared for a wonderful Mediterranean dinner…and a chance to pick up some wonderful fly fishing gear, as well.
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