Long known for their commitment to fresh, local and sustainable ingredients, the White Dog Cafe in University City is, quite simply, and institution. So when the restaurant was purchased two years ago by Marty Grims — best known in Philadelphia for the Moshulu and DuJour — many wondered if, and how, things would change.
To the spots faithful followers’ delight, the traditions and tasty specialties of the original location have not been lost over management. One big, change, has occurred: the opening of a second location in Wayne.
With a kitchen run by Chef Zach Grainda, this location, too, is stamping its menu with seasonal, fresh and sustainable items. Earthy mushrooms from Kennett Square build a rich and creamy soup topped with chicken from nearby Amish farms and a truffle creme fraiche. Pork chops from Lancaster County’s Meadow Run Farm are roasted in balsamic vinegar then smothered with sweet and sour peppers. Local turnips, yams, tomatoes and olives are blended into a hearty vegetarian casserole, topped with bright pesto. A bar menu offers up perfect little bites of cravable foods like fried dill pickles with red chili mayo, and a full-service catering menu allows locals to bring the comforting dishes home for get-togethers of all sizes.
The space was an arduous process — one that kept the development of the property running for nearly two years as Grims aimed to get things just right. Broken into four spacious dining rooms: a bright and airy, white-washed Garden Room; whimsical Library, complete with dark wood panels and aerial art made up of old fashioned books; a simple and sweet Kitchen decorated with cooper pots; and the Den, the largest room sporting a gorgeous coifered ceiling and marble bar topped with hand-crafted chandeliers made of wine bottles.
With an effortless yet perfect balance of modern food trends and classic ambiance, this new outpost is sure to be a Main Line favorite.
The White Dog Cafe is located at 200 West Lancaster Ave., Wayne, 610.225.3700, www.whitedog.com.