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“Leave the kids at home”

White Dog Cafe - Wayne
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Ranked #2 of 118 Restaurants in Wayne
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $18 - $49
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Private Dining, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: White Dog Cafe is committed to serving the finest ingredients from local farms promoting sustainable, healthy dining and a strong community. Our contemporary American cuisine is prepared from our heart, blending seasonal ingredients and bold flavors with a refined presentation. Our three locations in Wayne, Haverford and University City provide unique and comfortable dining rooms paying tribute to everyone's beloved best friend. Open for Lunch, Brunch and Dinner with Happy Hour specials.
Reviewed April 18, 2013

Wayne's renaissance, or better yet, its appearance as a viable dining locale since the turn of the century, could not be better signified than by White Dog. This suburban reimagining of its venerable Center City parent has keeps flashes of the fresh quirkiness of the original, but presents it in a fresh and upscale space.

The menu is nicely balanced with an emphasis on local vendors. Chester County's mushrooms are well represented across the board, for example, whether taking center stage in a signature bisque, or accompanying a number of entrees. While it is possible to eat "light" at White Dog, you might throw caution to the wind and really explore a menu that offers some thoughtful and fun takes on French-American themes, which means hearty portions and bright sauces. Here and there are some "mold breakers" which added some fun to our evening. We loved a creamy celery root "fettucine" (including mushrooms, of course) as a novel side.

Service was attentive and effective. Our server was a bit new to the operation, but never tried to fake it and was able to get the right answer if she didn't know it, like making recommendations from a smart mostly California wine list -- which offered plenty for us to be interested in, whether by bottle or glass.

We love the different character of each of White Dog's spaces, but be warned, some of the seating on offer is quirky to the point of weird. We were on time for our early Sunday dinner reservation for two and were shown first to a small table between two over stuffed wing chairs. A neat set up for a chatty lunch perhaps, but not how I like to sit for dinner. We had no problem getting a more conventional table, but if that first arrangement was all they had for us, I am not sure I would have stayed. That said, the formality of the various spaces and the table settings make it unsuitable for children under 12. There are plenty of other spots in Wayne if they are in your party.

My meals at White Dog have been very good, but their inconsistency keeps them from the top tier. At dinner I went from a terrific take on steak tartare, to a mediocre "grilled" caesar which was only a warm wilted offering, to a dry aged bone in rib eye that, while tasty, was a shade undercooked (rare, not medium rare) and more than the usual fatty. As I have gotten older, I am less inclined to send a steak back and disrupt my wife's meal if I can work with it, but had I been alone, this one was enough of a miss on an expensive cut that it would have gotten the boot. My wife loved her burger.

In the final analysis, White Dog hits much more than it misses, and offers a very civilized dining experience.

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1  Thank J W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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399 - 403 of 503 reviews

Reviewed April 16, 2013

Enjoyed a great burger at the White Dog Cafe. The wait was very long even though we were told only 15 minutes. This is my only complaint. I would make reservations next time. The bread served was fresh and yummy. Many selections to choose from on the menu but we were in the mood for a burger. Our dessert was a molten chocolate cake with mousse and it was amazing! I thought the bar crowd looked fun and light-hearted. Being surrounded by pictures of dogs was such fun. Each room had its own design, even one with shuttered walls. I would highly recommend a visit.

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Thank saraboo26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2013

The atmosphere is very nice. The service is ok. However, for the prices, the food is just average. Very overpriced. Much better choices in Wayne, like Teresa's Next Door.

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1  Thank JeffreyConn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2013

I recall with fond memory the the White Dog Cafe in Philadelphia. It was with great anticipation we awaited the opening in another one in Wayne, Pa. It is located conveniently on Lancaster Avenue in a new and modern building and has a large parking space. It is quite different in its modernity from the original in an old town house. First, the good news. We were seated promptly as per our reservation, The menues were attractively on board. The menu was mostly fish both on the menu board and specials. The appetizers and the main course were well prepared and tasty. We both had the Halibut done to perfection. The bad news is the noise at the crowded bar located at the entrance, filled to capacity. The tables in the dining room were very close together, meaning that we could hear the conversations at adjacent tables, although less noisy . The courses were expensive, although this probable has to do with the current cost of fish. Despite this, we will return, but on a week night rather than a weekend, since the good greatly outways the bad.

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Thank halg16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2013

Limited menu but great food. Try the pasta dishes. They are the best. Portions are small though. A little on the expensive side but worth it overall. Service is slow and tables are a little on top of each other. I went there with friends and we felt like we were on a date with the couple next to us. Love the setting and the decor. Good wine and beer selections. We would go back.

Thank travelqueen15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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