I thought I'd share my experience from a great meal I had last week at Sola in Bryn Mawr. My fiance and I took my father and his lady friend for his birthday meal last Saturday and it couldn't have been better. (For those of you who don't know, Sola is a BYOB on Lancaster Ave. in Bryn Mawr)
Meal started off with an amuse bouche from the chef that was really no more than a spoon full of house made guacamole, but it was quite rich and flavorful. We also started off with a Martini with ingredients brought from home. We opened two bottles of wine with dinner that we brought from the State Store in Bryn Mawr.
For an appetizer/salad course, I had a gnocchi dish that was fantastic. Light, airy potato pasta that was not sticky or gummy in the least, definitely a good start. The other three had a goat cheese salad that, while standard these days, was extremely good.
The main course is where the kitchen really impressed. I had a bacon wrapped pork tenderloin stuffed with caramelized onions and glazed with a maple reduction served over mashed sweet potatoes and broccoli rabe. The porok was cooked perfectly and the bitterness of the broccoli rabe was a perfect counter to the sweetness of maple glaze and sweet potatoes. My fiance had a great red snapper filet served in a zesty citrus sauce over a risotto with some sauteed squash that was so good she's considering a similar option at our wedding. Dad opted for the venison chops which were perfectly cooked and had just the right amount of seasoning to counter the slight gaminess of the meat. They were served with mashed of some sort and Swiss chard. His lady friend had the filet with lobster mashed and spinach. Keeping with the theme, all the meat was cooked perfectly to order.
The service was extremely attentive without being overbearing. Water glasses were refilled when necessary and they even had Martini glasses for us. We were offered a decanter for the wine, which we declined, and the server very thoughtfully asked if we would prefer to pour our own wine or if he should keep the glasses filled. We opted to pour ourselves, which really is my preference. I feel that the waitstaff at some establishments can be a bit hasty in refilling a glass of wine.
We didn't have enough room for dessert, but the options looked appealing. This was the first time I had been to Sola in almost two years. I remember it being good back then, but not this memorable. Will definitely be a return visitor to see if they are consistently this good.
Quick price note: Dinner for 4 with tax & gratuity was fairly reasonable for a special event, just under $200, but remember, it is BYOB and the corkage fee was $2/bottle, I believe.