By David Jones
What a wonderful time of the season we are enjoying here in Chester County. Lin and I took the opportunity given by the unseasonably mild weather last week and went to the Christmas displays at Longwood Gardens.
We have been members at the Gardens for decades now, but I have to say this year’s Christmas show is the BEST EVER! True, the main fountains are under reconstruction and that takes a little away, but overall the gardens are spectacular.
I say all of this as a lead in to our dinner because Catherine’s is right on the way home in the lovely little village of Unionville. Of course there are lots of other great options for dinner within a 10 minute radius of Longwood, so you really can’t go wrong by visiting the gardens and then stopping nearby for dinner.
Catherine’s sits right on the corner at the main intersection in Unionville. It sits close to the road and it looks like parking is a little hazardous, but they have a nice big parking lot out back and the walk up to the restaurant is very nicely decorated.
We experienced a nice warm seasonal feeling as we entered and felt immediately comfortable. Catherine’s always has such a cozy candle-light feel. Although the room is quite large and can get a little noisy when filled, it is also quite romantic.
Our server was Susan. She was very good, quite attentive, but not intrusive at all. She gave us plenty of time to relax and enjoy our meals.
Catherine’s is a BYOB, but they do charge $7 for the service. That’s fine with us. They do have to provide the stemware and attend to the table so I have no problem with a small charge. The stemware is actually quite elegant.
We had a bottle of our favorite, Apothic Red. If you haven’t tried this one, go out of your way and get one. At the state stores is goes for $9.99, or sometimes a dollar more. At Total Wine in Delaware it is currently going for $7.77. It’s fruit forward and drinkable right away. Everyone we have given a bottle to likes it as much as we do.
Catherine’s provides very nice and warm bread almost as soon as you sit down. They do not provide butter, but instead, give you a very nice mixture of tomatoes, basil and olive oil. It’s very nice on the palate and goes well with a nice red wine or all by itself.
While the price was a little steep it was delicious and enough cheese for a whole meal. Lin helped me by spreading the cheese on several pieces of bread while waiting for her entrée.
For the main course Lin got the short ribs over pasta stuffed with mushrooms ($24.95). This was a wonderful dish and Lin felt it was one of the best entrees she has had this year.
I went for the scallop special of the evening ($26.95). This dish was served over risotto, with a basil sauce drizzled over the entire dish and accompanied with green beans. I am a big fan of scallops and this was a very good dish and nice presentation on the plate.
I will say that it’s been a few years since we last went to Catherine’s and that is mainly because our last visit wasn’t nearly as good as this one.
However, I’d give them the benefit of the doubt and say that’s because they’re doing things better than ever.
Because of our last experience we combined to give Catherine’s a 3 star rating, but at $85, including tax and a 20% tip this is a very good restaurant and we intend a return visit as soon as we return from our winter in Florida.
I have one more review for this year, Rino’s in Exton and then I’ll do my annual best of the year compilation to finish off 2015.
Address: 1701 W Doe Run Rd, Kennett Square