Dinner with Dan: Plate

Daniel Davis


105 Coulter Avenue

Ardmore, Pennsylvania

Don’t be fooled by the “creative” name. Plate is plenty more than elegant dinnerware found on a pre-set table. The intriguing name was enough to lure me into this avant-garde establishment located in the midst of a myriad of shops in Suburban Square. The upscale surroundings and scintillating exterior emit a carnival atmosphere jam-packed with fun indoors; however, any snobbish, elitist person will be ensnared by the interior lighting extravaganza.

Yet, the restaurant is named Plate, and there will be no festival or jamboree indoors.

When you enter, the ambiance will electrify and the overwhelmingly obnoxious, obsequious banter will provide entertainment and maybe a guffaw or two (in amusement of course). Yes, Plate is the type of place where you would find a Derek Zoolander miniscule cell phone so tiny it would be more appropriate for a Barbie doll. The high-class citizens sit around the bar applying façades to their most-likely dissatisfying and ennui-filled lives.

The sensually pleasing interior provides a sufficient amount of room to wine and dine at your convenience. Including three separate sections to eat, Plate offers a comforting environment in each section, adequately avoiding clouds of smoke in the non-smoking section quite well.

The moderately priced menu favors seafood-based appetizers ($9- $11) whereas the entrees ($16 – $27) are more of a land/sea variety. The enticing appetizers tantalize on sight, including an assortment of dishes such as crispy calamari, stone fired top neck clams, pancetta-wrapped shrimp, and a seared tuna burrito. The entrees encompass a nice mix of foods: cedar plank salmon, prosciutto wrapped trout, Caribbean spiced skirt steak, and blackened ahi tuna to note a few. The soups ($6) and salads ($7) cover the basics with the addition of a plum tomato soup and a grilled salmon salad.

With all of these outstanding options, it was decision time, and my mind could not be dissuaded from the unparalleled proscuitto wrapped trout and always-tempting Italian wedding soup (the special soup of the day). Stuffed with lump crabmeat and topped with balsamic brown butter sauce, how could you go wrong with the delectable wrapped trout, honestly?

The waitress appeared to be somewhat of a novice, and eventually we made our way to our seats. From there she had to re-educate herself on the specials for the night and “call on a friend” when asked what type of dip is served with the complimentary bread: a subpar performance to say the least, Flora. Our beverages were handled at a slow pace, but she did get the job done.

The chefs, on the other hand, had their act together. They performed impressively and introduced a dish with such flavor and appeal that I dove in, fork first. The display was remarkable, but waned in comparison to the taste. Appetizing is too simple of a word, but allow my stammering and near-speechless verbiage to express how tasty I found this dish to be. On the other hand, my soup was an intriguing combination of the basic ingredients in an everyday soup, but tastier. The freshest of ingredients were used to concoct this soup, causing me to respond in a positive manner.

Onto the desserts ($7), because who doesn’t love a little sugar? This beautiful array of chocolate combinations and sugar-encrusted treats can bait any cavity-filled mouth.

Are you looking to be an elitist for a night and are you into pleasing your palate with a new, tasty concoction? Plate might be the place for you, especially if you are sporting the newest cell phones, iPods, and fashion.