A Welcome Return
The old Brandywine Brewing Co. comes back as BBC Tavern, only to redefine upscale casual.
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Salads, though less manly than ribs, were an interesting bunch. One standout unleashed the awesome flavor power of fresh figs, prosciutto and Parmesan on some unsuspecting arugula and grape tomatoes. Roasted mushroom salad was a welcome eyebrow raiser, containing separate portions of roasted local mushrooms, wilted mesclun greens and crisp sweet potato fries.
After enjoying several consistently well-executed small plates, the entrée menu got a bit off track. Many dishes seemed a bit overdressed or too exotic to work totally. In many cases, subtracting one or two ingredients from the final product would’ve made a stark improvement.
Take the 14-ounce Delmonico steak. It looked and sounded impressive—“served with a traditional Argentinean chimicurri sauce, ancho-demi glace and Spanish frites”—but the dish itself never matched the scintillating copy. The menu made no mention of the unnecessary gorgonzola cheese, which topped an otherwise juicy steak that was already double-sauced. Spanish frites boiled down to steak fries mingled with slivers of onion and green pepper.
Barbecue-dusted scallops were well seared and contained a nice, subtle smokiness, but the dish ultimately felt discombobulated. The scallops lacked any connection to a coconutty Thai green curry sauce and the hemisphere of herb-infused green rice.
Pan-seared sea bass, beautifully caramelized to a pleasing crisp exterior that relented to flaky moist flesh, was a step forward. There were no exotic pairings—just proper mashed potatoes and asparagus—but the duel of Thai chili sauce and Indonesian kecap manis sauce teetered on cloying. It worked for me, but those with less of a sweet tooth might not agree.
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