A new H-O-T spot for your restaurant radar: Maya.J.
After cooking his way ’round the world, Main Line native Craig Wilson has brought his sizzling sauté pans home.
Open since Feb. 3, locals are flocking to Wilson’s Maya.J in Manayunk. (The ‘Yunk being where the Main Line schleps when we’ve had enough Estia chips already).
Maya.J serves up globally inspired small plates along with craft cocktails, six equally crafty drafts, and off-the-beaten-path wines.
Here’s how it works: You want Thai. She fancies Italian. He craves Japanese. Or maybe all three of you are feeling fickle/indecisive.
Maya.J’s got you covered, with a veritable U.N. of $7 – $12 tapas from Asia, the Mediterranean and (Pan) America.
Early raves: Perfectly spiced halibut tacos ($10), kale salad with caramelized onions, hummus and cashew dressing ($10) and for dessert, a sweet potato tart with butterscotch sauce.
Who’s the boss: W. and W. As in chef/owner Wilson and Eric Weinstein, his Harriton ’84 classmate (and best bud since 7th grade). Weinstein’s kids, Maya and Jesse (aka J), threw in their names.
A Shore thing: Shaking and stirring the firewater is Jeff (“Fresh”) Flegler, whose Cucumber Fix ($10) is sinfully good in a sorta-healthy way. Jersey shore-goers may recall Jeff from his days behind the bar at Catch, ranked #2 of 6 Longport, NJ restaurants on Trip Advisor. (Back up. Lil’ Longport has SIX restaurants?)
The vibe: Warm, cas, rustic and intimate. Only 74 seats – most of them upstairs – so best to reserve. VIP seats for Harriton alums. (Kidding.)
GO FOR IT! Maya J. is open Tues. – Sun. from 4 p.m. at 4371 Main St., Manayunk (in the old Chabaa Thai). Sunday brunch and lunch coming soon.
(SAVVY Street Team Captain Nicole Dresnin Schaeffer contributed mightily to this report.)
Hot (literally), heated (off and on), and hard to hear (in the back), Easttown’s public meeting on the zoning change that would give developer Eli Kahn the all clear to built a 5-story apartment building at Devon Yard was a barn burner.
In fact, it was so much fun, they’re doing it again next week.
The auditorium at Berwyn’s Beaumont Elementary School was SRO on Feb. 3, with 38 of 200 folks rising to offer impassioned pleas re: Kahn’s plan to put 135 apartments (and 8 to 12 shops) in a 60-ft. high structure across from the old Waterloo Gardens. (Which would go bye-bye to make room for a new Anthropologie, Terrain with café, Pizzeria Vetri, Amis, etc.)
The meeting ran nearly four hours. Some who planned to speak beat it after intermission.
Easttown Board of Supervisors Chairman Chris Polites tells SAVVY that the public seems evenly split on the issue. Written sentiment (i.e. email/letters to the Supes) has mostly favored the project, Polites said, while more of the verbal sentiment on Feb. 3 seemed to run against it.
Indeed, so much info was dished out that night, Polites felt the board needed time to digest it all and confer with legal counsel.
So he nixed the planned vote and scheduled Round Two for Feb. 18 (same bat-time & channel). He’ll allow more folks to weigh in and then says he’ll call for a vote.
If you missed Round One, pop some corn and watch the short, sort-of slick videos shown by each side. Click here to see the developer’s flick and here to view the opposing neighbors’. (I promise: the soundtracks alone are worth your time.)
Fun fact: Although he’s a big-time national voice-over artist with a compelling folksy/smart style, staunchly opposed Devon neighbor Tim Phelan did not narrate his side’s video. Guess they thought a female would play better.
Never a dull moment in T/E Schools.
Cause for chest-thumping: For what it’s worth (debatable), Niche ranks Hillside the 4th best public elementary school in the U.S. and tops in PA. (New Eagle placed 6th nationally, Devon Elem. 11th, Valley Forge Elem. 16th and Beaumont 17th.) The only other Main Line school to crack the top 25 was Lower Merion’s Merion Elementary which placed 25th.
Formerly CollegeProwler.com, Niche seems betwitched by T/E of late, having also crowned the entire district the nation’s best in 2016. It bases its rankings on “test scores, student-teacher ratios, student diversity, teacher quality and overall school district quality.”
Cause for (serious) concern: The Chester County DA is investigating alleged “ritual hazing” by the Conestoga H.S. football team. And they’re not messing around – the authorities aren’t, that is. They’ve reportedly questioned up to 70 students, one of whom says senior players have been doing “not-so-cool things” to freshmen for the last few years. At least one student – the whistleblower, perhaps? – appears to have been physically (as well as emotionally) injured.
Ugly stuff. You may recall that hazing caused Central Bucks High School West to cancel its 2014 football season and fire the team’s head coach.
Football, the sport we probably should all hate, but can’t. Because it’s so darn entertaining.
More icky stuff (sorry):
Radnor arrested two women last week on prostitution charges at Body of Zen, a massage parlor in Devon Square, near Ella’s Bistro and across from Club La Maison.
After they saw Body of Zen’s risqué ads, detectives went undercover (no jokes, please) and three were propositioned. They’re also investigating whether human trafficking was involved.
Yup, right under our noses, folks.
THEY’RE NUMBER ONE! The Villanova Men’s Basketball Team is ranked Number One In The Nation this week. For the first time in school history.
But wait; it gets better. Since 2013, Nova has had the highest winning percentage (83%) of any team in the country. (Take THAT, Kansas!)
Alas, with so much parity in the NCAA this year, Nova could get bumped off at any time. Until then, I’m doing cartwheels. You?
Clothes Mentor opened on Greenfield Ave. in Ardmore last week. A Plato’s Closet for grown-ups, the franchise offers cash on the spot, then resells your clothes and accessories.
Dr. Shadi Hamid (Radnor H.S. Class of ’01, Georgetown, Oxford) will juggle a scorching hot potato at the Wayne Art Center on March 3. Get your $20 tickets now.
The third lecturer in the center’s HomeGrown series, the Middle East brainiac/author will discuss “The State of Political Islam Today.” Hamid was director of research at the Brookings Doha Center and worked in public diplomacy at the State Department so the guy’s nimble minded. No word on how nimble his fingers might be, however.
And finally, a SAVVY salute to two Main Liners being mourned this week:
Grande dame of a leading Catholic family and an alum of my alma mater, Merion Mercy, Marcy Wolfington of Bryn Mawr, mother of 10, grandmother of 32, great grandmother of one, and wife of James Eustace Wolfington for 59 years, passed away in Vero Beach at age 81. Deepest condolences to the Wolfington clan.
Lawrence Johnson, who worked as a Main Line chauffeur until age 103(!), died at his Ardmore home last Tuesday at age 108. A sharecropper’s son, Mr. Johnson is survived by his wife of 79 years, Minnie, who’s 102. His advice to those of advanced years: “Keep moving.” That he did.
RIP, kind sir.