A taste of ‘American comfort’ at Christopher’s

By Joe Cahill
September 29, 2010

If you’re looking for a respectable lunch al fresco or dinner on the town while escaping everyday chain restaurants, Christopher’s A Neighborhood Place is a welcoming restaurant worth a visit. Established in 2001 by Christopher and Molly Todd, Christopher’s boasts a menu that truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for nachos or sesame-crusted tuna steak, Christopher’s comfortable atmosphere, reasonable prices and friendly staff make an otherwise everyday restaurant one of the shining gems of the Radnor Valley. Mixed reviews have been the overall take of the food at Christopher’s. While some enjoy its classic interpretations of everyday cuisine, others say that the restaurant has nothing special, and instead is merely an overpriced pub. Despite the mixed reviews, the restaurant seemed packed with regulars and customers even filled the outside seating.

Christopher’s goal, it seems, isn’t to be an upscale restaurant serving familiar comfort foods. Rather, it welcomes its patrons with wide spaces and a giant bowl of Dum-Dum lollipops, a friendly, personal touch for a restaurant located on North Wayne Avenue in the heart of the Main Line. Chef Christopher Todd excels in taking a refined approach to American comfort foods. A serving of the restaurant’s nachos, piled high with cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, jalapenos and sour cream, is a great snack to split with your friends. For those 21 and older, Christopher’s is a metro-like place to grab a drink with friends or someone special. The restaurant’s full bar features some great house cocktails. One of the standout drinks on the menu is the “Dark and Stormy,” a combination of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, Regatta Ginger Beer and lime. If you’re a beer fan, the menu also offers a wide variety of domestics, imports, and microbrews such as Magic Hat, Victory, Anchor Steam and Troegs.

One of the advantages Christopher’s has over their competition is their outspoken support of locally-grown ingredients. As the restaurant’s website points out, Christopher’s uses produce from Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative, a non-profit organization established by organic farmers in Lancaster County, Pa. Other ingredients, such as beans, cherry tomatoes and chili peppers are homegrown in Chef Todd’s personal garden. Christopher’s makes for a great place to enjoy a casual dinner with friends, as well as a nice local hotspot to bring a date. Menu items such as spicy crab macaroni and cheese, brick oven pizza, jambalaya shrimp and chicken enchiladas promise something to enjoy, regardless of your preferred culinary style. One particular specialty worth mentioning is the restaurant’s incredible selection of mussels. It seems shellfish fans can’t say enough about the “mussels provencal” at Christopher’s. If you’re in the mood for seafood, these dishes alone are worth a trip to Christopher’s and are some of the best in the Radnor Valley. Overall, Christopher’s earns a solid B+ in quality. It isn’t the best out there, but it’s friendly staff members go out of their way to make you feel at ease and leaving full.

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Joe Cahill

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