Chef Alison Barshak, who earned a national reputation as the debut chef at Striped Bass the year it was awarded Esquire’s coveted title “the best new restaurant in the country,” opened her sophisticated suburban bistro in May 2003. Now four years old, Alison at Blue Bell, a liquor license & BYOB, is drawing Center City Philadelphians and New Yorkers to Blue Bell, PA. They’re coming for Barshak’ s contemporary American cuisine with Mediterranean, Southwestern and Asian influences, with an emphasis on seafood. Barshak interacts with customers, from the open kitchen and by walking around the cozy 65-seat restaurant, and 20-seat outdoor veranda, making it a personal experience for the chef and her diners.
Alison is known for cuisine with intense flavors featuring ingredients and techniques she has picked up on her extensive international travels. She strives to stay true to geographic and cultural mores. The menu changes frequently. Recent menus have included: starters – Parmesan Fried Oysters Creamed Spinach Horseradish Bacon and Crispy Shallots Appetizer; Ginger Fried Squid with Wasabi Drizzle and Mango Slaw. Recent entrees include Shrimp Sweet Plantains Chorizo and Spicy Salsa Verde; Berkshire Pork Chop “Vietnamese Style” Hoagie with hoisin-mayonnaise and Daikon salad.
Desserts prepared by Pastry Chef Amelia Dietrich, formerly of Philadelphia’s Opus 251, Chocolate Chile Espresso Pot De Crème with Whipped Cream and Dulce de Leche and Warm Fig and Raspberry Tart served with Homemade Honey Semifreddo
The atmosphere at Alison at Blue Bell is warm and friendly. It’s not unusual to find guests visiting friends at other tables, meeting the people at the next table and offering them a glass of wine, or sharing confidences about favorite appetizers. Barshak, a striking redhead, joins in the conviviality by talking with guests in the sunny dining room. She believes the comfortable atmosphere demonstrates how restaurants in the suburbs have become “town squares” for suburbanites who spend much of their time in the car. Center City (downtown) Philadelphia and New York City residents and those from throughout the region are drawn by the restaurant’s personal atmosphere and outstanding cuisine as well.
For more information on Alison, click here.
Alison two, a 120-seat restaurant with a full bar with a separate menu, living room and two private dining rooms, is located at:
424 S. Bethlehem Pike, Suite 1, Ft. Washington, PA 19034. 215/591-0200 www.alisontwo.com
Reservations suggested. Walk ins welcome.
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Dinner: Mon-Thurs 5:30 – 10 p.m., Fri 5:30 – 11 p.m. Sat 5 – 11 p.m
Bar: Happy Hour weekdays 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Discounted drinks & half price bar food menu in December & January.
Alison at Blue Bell, a cash/check-only, Liquor license & BYOB with a menu that changes frequently, is located at:
721 Skippack Pike
Blue Bell, PA
Reservations highly recommended
Credit Cards Not Accepted – Cash or Check Only
Lunch: Tues-Fri 11:30-2:30
Dinner: Tues-Fri 5:30-9:30 Sat.5:00-9:30
Alison at Blue Bell is currently closed for renovations. For news about re-opening: www.alisonatbluebell.com.