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The Station Bistro: Cheerful, Pleasant Dining in Kimberton

Dinners are pricy, but the atmosphere is top-notch at this Kimberton eatery.

"I’ve had breakfast and lunch at The Station Bistro and loved them both,” said a friend. “Why don’t you try it out for dinner?”

Always willing to please a friend, I gathered up my husband and we drove down to the historic Kimber Hall, the 18th-century stone building in the heart of Kimberton.  he Station Bistro is in the bright, airy addition closest to the road.

The waitress welcomed us warmly and immediately asked if we were going to the show afterwards. We weren’t, but many in the restaurant were and the staff kept their meals flowing just quickly enough so they would have time to enjoy both events.

There’s a blackboard over the open kitchen that lists a variety of coffees, teas and smoothies and the windowsills around the perimeter of the restaurant are cheerfully cluttered with glass bottles from whimsical liquors and wine bottles from past patrons.

We were hungry so skipped the beverages and ordered an appetizer, the Artichoke, Chicken, Ricotta and Mozzarella Flatbread ($10.99). The bread itself was a medium rectangle, cut into four sections, but it was chock full of the aforementioned artichoke and chicken, with the right amount of cheese to bind it all together. The price seemed on the high side, but we enjoyed the offering.

As it was Lent and the restaurant had added new seafood options for the season, we both ordered fish entrées, which were surprisingly bland.  

My husband ordered the Fish Tacos ($18.99 on the menu, but $21.99 on the bill), three tacos of fresh fish, marinated in lime and pepper, pan-seared and topped with shredded cabbage, home-made salsa and “secret sauce,” wrapped in flour tortillas. It sounded flavorful, yet we were underwhelmed by what was advertised in the menu, yet couldn’t be tasted in the dish we received.

Two sides came with his entrée. My husband chose fresh asparagus, which was OK, and “spinach gratin” which was a super-rich creamed spinach bursting with spinach flavor and easily the best choice of his meal.

I chose Fish and Chips ($20.99), two pieces of Yuengling beer-battered cod served with crispy fries and tartar sauce. Once again, the fish was bland, with the beer adding only lightness, not flavor, to the batter. However, the homemade tartar sauce popped with spice and I slathered every bit of it on the fish and the fries.

My entrée came with either soup or salad. I had chosen the Seafood Corn Chowder, which came after the appetizer and was filled with noticeable amounts of shrimp, potato and corn. The chowder sparkled with shrimp and pleasant fish flavors, unlike our entrées.

For dessert, I chose the Molten Lava Cake served with real Vanilla Ice Cream ($7.50). 

“I can smell the chocolate from here!” my husband exclaimed when the plate was set before me. 

It tasted as good as it smelled and the warm, liquid chocolate was the perfect sauce for the moist cake and vanilla-bean flecked ice cream.

A half-hour after we arrived, the restaurant was packed, with patrons waiting (and drinking their BYOB wine) in chairs by the fireplace for a table. Service had to be feeling pressured, but made it all work smoothly with everyone’s needs attended to.

Most impressive, especially in a stone building, was that even with a packed room, you could talk to your dining partner in a normal tone of voice and be heard. It was one of the most pleasant atmospheres for talking and dining that we’d seen in over a year of local restaurant reviewing.

Menu items are marked with a “GF” if they are gluten-free and there are enough choices for a full and interesting meal. If you’re on a special diet, want to chat with your dining partner(s), and ambience when dining out is important to you, The Station Bistro is a worthy (although pricey) dinner option.

If You Go:

Location: 1300 Hares Hill Road (Kimber Hall), Kimberton

Cost:   Appetizers:  $3.50 to $11.99; Entrées:  $13.99 to $28.99; Desserts:  $2.25 to $7.50

Phone:  610-933-1147

Website:  www.stationbistro.com or visit the Facebook page 

Hours:   Breakfast:     Sunday:  8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

                                  Monday through Saturday:  8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

             Bistro Menu:  Monday through Saturday:  11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Payments accepted: Cash, Credit Cards

Parking: Free lot

Barbara Hoffman March 16, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Have eaten there numerous times and always enjoyed my dinner. The help was great, and food delicious. Try one of their blackemned chicken salads, especially for lunch. Suburb!!!!!
...pk March 16, 2012 at 03:33 PM
The Bistro is one of my favorite places. I think the description "Dinners are pricy" is misleading. The range of prices is comparable to the other popular dining spots in the Phoenixville area and it's a neat place to dine.
Laura Grablutz March 18, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Everyone has their own preferences, but I didn't think this review fully describes the dining experience at Station Bistro, which we visit often. The prices are fair for what is served - fresh, made-to-order, well seasoned, well presented, ample portions. Numerous choices of "sides" are always offered (including full salads and full bowls of soup). We always take half of our food home, and rarely have room for the beautiful desserts. Plus, being a BYO makes the overall cost of a fine meal very attractive, even for a mid-week outing. Special requests are happily accepted, and it is easy to find healthy options on the menu. I was quite surprised by the notes about the fish dishes, because I always find the fish selections and preparation fresh and very tasty. Most noteworthy is the service, which is always attentive and professional (not what you would get for $10 less per diner at any chain restaurant) even when it is very busy. They obviously train their staff well. Despite being a small restaurant, windows on 3 sides and high ceilings make it feel very open, and tables are a good distance apart. And it is always worth the trip to Station Bistro for breakfast, even if you have to wait for a table, attesting to the quality and quantity of delicious choices (get the grits!). The owners are hands-on (and usually present) and care about every meal that leaves the open, clean, and bright kitchen. While parking is limited, there is ample parking within a short walk.

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