Heirloom Kitchen

I will be honest. I never heard of Heirloom Kitchen or Chef David Viana before the popular cooking competition Top Chef on Bravo, but after getting to know the chefs on the show after watching a couple of episodes I immediately added Heirloom Kitchen to my list. I’m always ready to add a good restaurant to my list. Basically, #willtravelforfood.

Heirloom Kitchen is located in Northern, NJ and is a multi-use space housing a restaurant, cooking school and boutique. It was opened by Chef David Viana and Neilly Robinson and they work with a host of amazing chefs that have made their mark on the New Jersey restaurant scene. They source their ingredients from local areas for a true farm-to-table menu that changes seasonally.

Heirloom Kitchen
3853 County Rd 516
Old Bridge, NJ 08857
(732) 727-9444

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I will be the first to say that moving to the suburbs was never high on my list and I’m still not happy about it. Either choice I had was going to be a lifestyle compromise for me and I’ve been making the best of it.

So what does one do for food when they move to the suburbs? Become a glutton for chain food? Well, not always. In comes Bardea, with the hope to save us suburbanites from the torture of a life of chain restaurants. Bardea recently opened in downtown Wilmington, Delaware on Market Street, which has been an area focused on revitalization for some time and definitely promising.

Bardea (bar-DAY-ah) is the Italian term for “the goddess of food and drink” and features “interpretative” Italian cuisine from chef Antimo DiMeo.


620 N Market St
Wilmington, DE 19801
(302) 426-2069

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Ambra is one of those spots that you may or may not know if you’re familiar with the Philadelphia food scene. Ambra serves contemporary style Italian cuisine and the pre-fixe menu changes with the season.

You have the choice between two options separated into four courses, but be prepared to constantly have something in front of you. The staff is attentive and full of surprises, from bringing complimentary prosecco to small courses that range from a delicious consume broth to a muffuletta or a warm potato focaccia with herbs and fixings. You’ll certainly won’t go hungry and both your taste buds and senses will go fulfilled.

Ambra was started by Marina de Olivera and Chris D’Ambro and named after D’Ambro’s grandfather. The two met while working at Talula’s Garden and after taking some time to work in San Jose de Cabo returned to Philadelphia to take ownership of Southwark, which led to the opening of Ambra right next door.

705 S 4th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(267) 858-9232

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Imagine walking into a perfectly curated shop full of modern-farm decor and specialty items. Now add a greenery complete with bonfire and a full restaurant with greenhouse dining room and coffee bar serving delicious eats and drinks. Well, then you’ve found my version of heaven also know as Terrain.

Located in Glen Mills, PA, Terrain is part of the URBN company and the Anthropologie brand. The flagship location was founded in 2008 and was opened on the site of the historic J. Franklin Styer’s Nursery. Since its opening, additional locations have opened in California, Maryland and Connecticut.

“We are inspired by the idea of merging house and garden to create an immersive natural experience and an environment where our customers can come to unwind, explore, and celebrate occasions big and small.”

914 Baltimore Pike
Glen Mills, PA 19342
(610) 459-6030
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It’s one of the most talked about restaurants in Philly right now. It’s got this must go, eat, take photos and be seen vibes. And I fell for it and I’m glad…kind of.

Louie Louie was started by Marty and Sydney Grims, the father-daughter team behind White Dog Cafe.  It’s a European-style bistro, with cafe fare that is a interior-design heaven. Designed by Philadelphia firm Rohe Creative; the art nouveau inspired design that reminds me of a Wes Anderson film or a trip back to the Mad Men era. It’s delightful and warm in it’s mis-match kitschy feel.

The menu is French-American inspired. I went for brunch and you’ll find the typical European fare of benedicts, croque madame and monsieur, but you’ll also find those cozy traditional American breakfast staples and regional fare (like scrapple). The menu is a little all over the place, but I appreciated having options, but at the same time, it would be great if there were more authentic french restaurants on the Philly food scene and less of the same thing over and over. Though, I digress…




Louie Louie
3611 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA
(267) 805-8585

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Do you ever have one of those moments where you’ve thought about something for so long and built it up in your mind to find that you end up disappointed? Well, I had been trying to get to Bolete for years — 10 years to be exact — and couldn’t have been further from disappointed. I was elated.

Bolete is a rustic-chic restaurant located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania that serves seasonal farm-to-table American cuisine run by Chef Lee Chizmar and Erin Shea. Lee grew up in Boston, and studied at the Culinary Institute of America. It’s been 10 years since they opened Bolete and it’s been named one of the top restaurants in the US and he was a semifinalist in the category of Best Chefs in America through the James Beard Foundation in 2015. Needless to say, Chizmar is making his mark. You can read more about their story here.

1740 Seidersville Rd
Bethlehem, PA 18015
(610) 868-6505

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I’ll be honest. I’d never heard of The Dabney or Jeremiah Langhorne before my most recent visit to DC. I normally spend a lot of time scoping out the food scene, but knew that I was meeting up with a friend of mine in DC that is also a food blogger,  The Capital Gourmand. I’m so glad that he introduced me to the cuisine of Chef Jeremiah Langhorne who earned a Michelin star in 2016 for the work he has done at The Dabney.

When you walk into the restaurant you feel like you’re walking into the quintessential southern home with welcoming interiors; upscale classic southern decor including an open kitchen that allows you to see everyone at work.  I am completely charmed by southern style and hospitality, so I knew I would love this spot. The Dabney specializes in mid-atlantic cuisine that is sourced from local farms. Some of the ingredients are so local that they are picked from a garden on their very own roof!

The Dabney
122 Blagden Alley NW
Washington, DC 20001

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ITV Philly opened in July 2016 and is Chef Nicholas Elmi’s second restaurant concept featuring bistro-style small plates, snacks and a wine bar. I have been dying to try ITV Philly for a few months, but wasn’t able to get a reservation that worked into my schedule. Well, it finally happened and I am so excited that I’ve decided to do my very first Instagram giveaway because I want you to try ITV Philly too. Check out the rules below!

ITV Philly
1615 East Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(267) 858-0669

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Res Ipsa is a small cafe located at 22nd and Walnut, just past the coveted area of Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. I had heard rumblings of a new cafe open in that area and found myself needing lunch on a Saturday after work. I took a walk on a brisk Philly afternoon to find respite at the neon red triangle.

Res Ipsa
2218 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(267) 519-0329

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I spent the day exploring the neighborhood of Old City and had a complete love affair with Philadelphia. Sometimes when you live in one place for awhile you forget the amazing sites that are in your backyard and accessible all the time. I wandered through the cobblestone streets, window-shopped in the carefully curated independently-owned stores and caught glimpses into some American history including the first bank. I also happened upon a small eatery called FRIEDA, which turned out to be one of the highlights of the day.

What I Ate:
  • Mushroom Bisque
  • Oeuf á la Coque
  • Almond Orange Cake
  • Coffee
320 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 600-1291