In Search Of France In The ‘Burbs: A La Maison, 7 Crocs out of a possible 10

French food is one of our faves. What’s not to like? Butter, cream, baguettes, pate, cheese, cassoulet, steak tartare. There are several choices in the area to choose from. Here they are by order of excellence:

  1. Spring Mill Café: Conshy…. 8 Crocs out of a possible 10
  2. A La Maison: Ardmore… 7 Crocs out of a possible 10
  3. Bunha Faun: Frazer…. 7 Crocs out of a possible 10
  4. Sips: Phoenixville 5 Crocs out of a possible 10
  5. Autograph Brasserie: Devon… 5 Crocs out of a possible 10

So four of us Crocs (Kurt, Koren, Rachel, Janae) set out on Saturday to go to our top local choice: Spring Mill Café. But alas, upon calling for reservations they were closed for a wedding!

So we re-routed our vehicle and went to our second favorite French restaurant in the area…

A La Maison, Ardmore  

But first, a little pre-game is always in order! We opted for the original Tired Hands Brewery since it is right across the street from A La Maison. There we enjoyed a variety of their signature unfiltered IPA’s and watched the dudes behind the bar make some really nice pub food (homemade bread, pickles, paninis). Not your usual out-of-the-box, frozen, deep-fried pub grub!

Properly fortified, we strolled to A La Maison. What a beautiful restaurant! It looks and feels just like a French farmhouse. Very cozy and comforting! I’d pay money just to sit in that room!

This place is a BYOB so we brought along a nice French chardonnay and a smokin’ delicious pinot noir: Valdez from Healdsburg, CA (try to get you some!).

We settled in and placed our initial orders. While we sipped on our chardonnay, they brought us a nice selection of rustic whole wheat bread as well as some country white bread. Here are some of the dishes we tried….

  1. Les Poulardes Au Vin (aka steamed clams): You get about 15 of these babies swimming around in a broth enriched with cream and tomato. Pretty good, though I would have enjoyed more garlic with the clams. Of course we had to get the pommes frites accompaniment
  2. Cream Of Mushroom Soup- intensely mushroom flavored with loads of cream (almost as good as mine)
  3. Jumbo Lump Crab Buckwheat Crepes: homemade crepe filled with lots of lump crab, spinach, roasted tomato and topped with a rich béchamel sauce. Quite tasty but a little rich with all that sauce!
  4. Bouillabaisse: the quintessesntial French seafood stew loaded with super-jumbo shrimp, scallops, salmon and clams. This comes with a nice, tomatoe-y broth and more bread for dipping (yum). Shellfish was overcooked…the salmon was thestar of the show. Once again, we felt it ws a little light on garlic…BUT WE LOVE GARLIC!!
  5. Maison Angus Burger: I know, boring right? But Rachel insisted and it’s really quite a nice burger with a beefy savor not found many places.

If you go: They have lots of other dishes here: quiche, onion soup, nice salads at lunch. Lunch is less crowded and more relaxed, but the dinner menu is more extensive with choices like pate, cassoulet, charcuterie and cheeses (but dinner gets crowded here so make reservations). Bon Apetit!