Ah, how to describe Paoli’s new Eatnic?
Sure, we could tell you it’s a farm-fresh, morning-til-night BYOB and be done with it.
But there’s more to it than that.
Because Eatnic comes from the same fertile brain that 30 years ago spawned the world’s first Saladworks, and with it, the now ubiquitous fast-casual dining category.
And what John Scardapane did with Saladworks – more than 100 franchisees, many millions in sales (before selling in 2015) – he just might do with Eatnic.
And it all will have started here.
In little old Paoli.
Which means this modest eatery on a non-descript stretch of Route 30 is a pretty big deal, folks.
We’re the beta-test market, the guinea pigs, for a concept that’s “the culmination of 30 years of looking at restaurants across the nation and world,“ John tells SAVVY. “We’re creating a new category here – a restaurant that’s like your home,” he says. “You can come in here from 8 until 8 – the kitchen doesn’t close. We serve basic food all the way up to fancy French dishes.”
Everything at Eatnic is scratch-made. Eggs, produce, grass-fed beef and the like are largely organic and sourced from local family farms.
“That’s why our salads are so good – because our farmers are ten minutes away and delivering here seven days a week,” John says.
Eatnic’s open kitchen is led by the former exec. chef at Wayne’s Silverspoon, Tim Courtney. To capitalize on freshness, he plans to tweak the menu every other day.
With its BYO policy and prices a shade more palatable than the Main Line’s other notable farm-to-forker White Dog, Eatnic wants to become your once-, twice-, even thrice-weekly habit. Your home kitchen, away from home.
Elevated but approachable.
“Just because farm-to-table is trendy and chefs love to cook it, doesn’t mean it has to be fine dining,” Chef Tim tells SAVVY.
The décor is shabby chic farmhouse, a quirky collection of mismatched stuff all gathered by John himself, right down to the crystal wine glasses. “As soon as you walk in, you’re supposed to think, ah, you’re home, you’re welcome in this place,” he says.
In keeping with the homey theme, Eatnic invites you to submit a fave family recipe. If it makes the menu, you’ll get a $200 gift card and naming rights.
We tried Eatnic twice. At breakfast, we loved the Philly Fair Trade Roasters coffee, oven-baked breakfast fries, shirred eggs (with kale, mushrooms and truffled mornay on grilled ciabatta, $12) and buttermilk pancakes (with PA maple syrup, $12). The scratch-made soups stood out at lunch – especially the richly-spiced butternut squash bisque ($8).
Figure $11-$14 for most breakfast plates, salads, sandwiches and pizzas, and $24 – $34 for dinner entrees. While you’ll be handed a meal-specific menu, you can order anything from any menu at any time, John tells us.
Eatnic is a family venture for the Scardapanes, who recently downsized from Allen Iverson’s Villanova manse to a home in Wayne. John’s wife, Gail, handles PR and marketing, and son Anthony is the owner.
Why launch Eatnic here?
The Scardapanes were already leasing the Paoli space – for eight years it was a company-owned Saladworks.
And after battling serious illness for a few years, John was feeling better.
Plus, he figures we Main Liners know our stuff.
“The Main Line has very experienced diners,” John says. “If I’m able to make it here with people who know what good food and quality service is … I can make it in other markets.”
In other words, if Eatnic can make it here, they’ll make it anywhere. It’s up to us.
Eatnic Urban Farmhouse, 231 W. Lancaster Ave. (across from Wendy’s), 484-320-8155, open 8 – 8:30 daily. Reserve on Open Table.
It’s official. The former Devon Manor nursing home will become a deluxe drug treatment and recovery center – the first of its kind in the heart of the Main Line.
New owner Brian O’Neill tells SAVVY he’s gutting the place, overhauling the landscaping and will open one of his RCAs (Recovery Centers of America) in March. “Heroin is a Main Line drug,” Brian told us, shortly before speaking at Rosemont’s New Leaf Club Friday night. “This is a great location for us.”
An RCA was slated to open near Paoli Hospital, but Brian says he’ll likely make it a sober living/outpatient center instead.
Brian’s company is built on the belief that recovery services – from inpatient detox through outpatient support – must be close to home to be successful. To stay clean and sober long term, you have to have your peeps nearby: your family and those new pals you made in recovery.
And if accommodations are five-star hotel quality (as RCAs claim to be), you’re more likely to agree to go – and to stay put once you’re there.
The RCA in Devon will be the company’s fifth – others are in Mays Landing, NJ, Maryland and Massachusetts. Backed by oodles of venture capital money, O’Neill plans to expand throughout the northeast and eventually, across the country.
The Lynne Twaddle tragedy underscores Brian O’Neill’s point: heroin isn’t just in Kensington. It’s out here, right under our noses, touching young and old, rich and poor, men and women.
Lynne, you may recall, is the 62-year-old yoga teacher who pleaded guilty to selling heroin out of her Wayne home.
On Friday she was sentenced.
Prosecutors wanted her jailed for up to five years. But instead, she got 90 days (with credit for a month already served) and seven years of probation.
More significantly, she was accepted into Recovery Court, which means she’ll go directly from jail to an inpatient rehab center, then to a halfway house. A year of house arrest will follow.
Lynne has lived with her husband on Pugh Road near New Eagle Elementary for 20 years.
Like so many, she got hooked on painkillers prescribed after surgery (two hip operations), then moved to easier-to-get and cheaper heroin.
Sadly, Twaddle has a history of addiction. She had DUIs in 2004 and 2007 and was convicted of possession of a controlled substance in 2005 and drug paraphernalia in 2011. She attended AA meetings for years, then relapsed, her attorney said.
Police found 67 baggies of heroin in her master bedroom after her arrest. Her attorney told the court she wasn’t a hard-core dealer. He said she sold heroin to just one person: a friend who ended up being the police’s informant.
Moving on to cheerier tidings… For 41 years, People’s Light in Malvern has been the only professional theatre game in town. But that ends soon with the debut of RTC (Resident Theatre Company).
Beginning in spring 2017, RTC, a non-profit like People’s Light, will stage musicals – performed by NYC and Philly pros – at a brand new venue on High Street in West Chester.
Another nonprofit (The Uptown! Entertainment Alliance) spent the last few years transforming a historic armory into the Knauer Center for the Performing Arts, which will host RTC’s plays, along with jazz and Latin concerts and lectures.
RTC’s first full production will be Monty Python’s Spamalot. Tickets go on sale Dec. 18; the show runs March 31-April 16.
And this Saturday, Dec. 17, RTC takes its show on the road to present a “Holiday Broadway Bash” at the Wayne Art Center. Your $75 ticket buys a show tune review, food, drink, silent auction and access to WAC’s world-class Craft Forms exhibit.
After the stunning death of owner Susan Randels last June, we all feared the worst for Paoli’s Polka Dots.
Turns out, we had nothing to fear. The popular boutique hasn’t skipped a beat.
Polka Dots celebrated its 13th anniversary Thursday and we hear business has never been better.
“Her store and her family were my mom’s life,” Ryan Randels tells SAVVY. Now a co-owner, Ryan, his wife and new daughter flew in from their Colorado home for the store’s shindig. “It’s amazing how much Lori [Horning], Karen [Denney] and Sheila [Wagner] have stepped up and how well they’ve continued her legacy.”
Fortunately for shop loyalists, Susan was an open book. “She included us in everything she did, so we know how to buy, how to deal with vendors, how to merchandise,” says Karen Denney. “We just took a deep breath last summer and said, ‘We can do this.’”
Yes, you can and you have.
And somewhere up there, Susan is smiling.
Still prospecting for presents? Here are a few SAVVY suggestions. Almost all have local ties. Because, well, charity begins at home.
- For Philly transplants or city-dwelling kids: 100 Things to Do In Philadelphia Before You Die ($16 in paperback). This new, bucket-list book highlights iconic, only-in-Philly experiences: hidden gems along with the usual tourist haunts. 100 Things tells you where to take out-of-town guests (including teens and toddlers), how to snag discounted tickets or seats at Philly’s tastiest tables, where to snap Instagram-worthy shots and more. The author is a gal who knows her stuff – longtime Philly tourism booster and hospitality PR queen Irene Levy Baker.
- For Yurmanistas (aka gals who crave classic David Yurman but cringe at his prices): Bella Tutto. A virtual store founded by Paoli’s Bette Watkinson and pal Mary Kelly, longtime fine jewelry pros at Bloomingdales, Bella Tutto buys and sells pre-owned, mint-condition baubles from lust-worthy brands like Yurman, Lagos and Roberto Coin at up to 40-percent off retail. The two maintain the standards they learned at Bloomies. They use the best in the biz to clean and restore pieces. “Everything we sell is in perfect condition and packaged nicer than you can imagine, “ Bette tells SAVVY. So much smarter than buying from Joe Schmo on eBay, right?
- And speaking of sparkly stuff, how about surfing for a little sumpin, sumpin at the online boutique, KVO Collections? Owned by the Bryn Mawr-bred Wood sisters, Julia and Claudia, and named for their elegant mom, Karin von Owstein, KVO is a curated collection of unique, modern and shockingly affordable fine jewelry. The two set out to sell “real diamond jewelry at real prices so women can have everyday diamonds.” (To which we say: Bling it on.) KVO’s fans include Shipley grad/HelpUsAdopt founder Becky Fawcett, who swears by her $140 diamond ear cuff. “I think I’m a pretty knowledgeable shopper,” Becky tells SAVVY. “I picked up a KVO necklace, thinking it would be close to $2,000, and it was $740!”
- Gobble neck, be gone! For the gal who hates her neck (and who over 50 doesn’t?): Necktar, the latest miracle whip from Avery Graham, a locally owned skincare line that’s collecting kudos across the country. Like all AG products, Necktar combines whiz-bang science with soothing, botanical luxury. It addresses all the neck nasties: sagging, crepiness, discoloration, and those ever-deepening creases. At $125 a long-lasting jar, it’s cheaper than Botox, fillers, Kybella or surgery. Necktar, the drink of the gods, now nourishing mere mortals. Nice.
- For would-be wine snobs: a gift certificate to the Wine School of Philadelphia. Offering such tasty tutorials as Wine 101, Italy vs. France, Bubbles, and Rare & Exotic Wines. Swirl, sniff, sip. Repeat. For around $40/class.
- For that special someone who’s already got everything: a Flatterbox. Created by Berwyn entrepreneur Leslie Gudel, a Flatterbox ($49 & up) is a box full of compliments, kind words or advice. You collect sentiments from family and friends and Flatterbox prints them on lovely cards enclosed in a gorgeous box. Ideal for teachers, coaches, grandmom, or anyone who could use a little love. Because flattery will get you everywhere.
- Another out-of-the-box (literally) idea: TiffinTalk conversation cards. Former educator and Delco mom Kat Rowan was tired of getting one-word answers from her kids so she created TiffinTalk cards to keep the chitchat going. Targeted to different ages and needs and reviewed by child development professionals, the daily cards provoke thought-provoking, fun discussion. Less tech, more talk. Works for us.
- For a gift that gives twice, hit the The Gift Shop at St. David’s Church in Wayne. Your purchase of any of the shop’s handmade, fair-trade items helps feeds and educate kids in Uganda, Haiti and Guatemala – an awesome twofer, right? Among the store’s goodies: small batch chocolate bars from down South, hand-thrown mugs from Vermont, alpaca socks from Nepal, Ugandan salad utensils and Haitian wall art.
- For foodies who don’t take themselves too seriously: a Pyknic shirt or mug. Based in Chester County, Pyknic sells witty, food-centric stuff, like $29 tees and $16 mugs that read “Death Before Decaf” “Donut Kill my Vibe” “Pancakes Please” “Cereal Killer” and the like. Visit the Downingtown store or shop online.
- For scent-sational little luxuries: Zoet Bathlatier. A favorite guest vendor at Life’s Patina’s barn sales, this Malvern-based company makes delightful artisan candles, bath & body lotions and apothecary notions. Candles done right, ZB’s are made from 100-percent vegetable wax (soy and botanicals), pure essential oils and cotton wicks. $20 and up.
- For wee ones: Mason Dixon booties. The Main Line’s best-shod toddlers tool around in these adorable booties, handmade in Philly and sold at Ardmore’s pucciManuli. Priced at $60. Not bad for an “it” shoe, right?
- And finally, two nifty gifties sold locally (but, sadly, with origins elsewhere):
- A stylish step up from a Fitbit, Ringly smart bracelets will track your activity and buzz to alert you to phone calls, messages and appointments. $245 for an Aries gold-plated stainless and gemstone model at Skirt in Bryn Mawr.
- When a simple stainless S’well water bottle won’t do, go for the gold. $25-$45 at Nordstrom.