It's October 9, and here's what you get to look forward to....
CHEF MICHAEL SCHULSON AND RESTAURATEUR ROB WASSERMAN
TEAM UP TO OPEN THE SAINT JAMES,
AN AMERICAN BISTRO IN SUBURBAN SQUARE
ARDMORE, PA – In early fall, two of the area’s top restaurateurs, Rob Wasserman and Chef Michael Schulson, will team up to debut The Saint James (30 Parking Plaza, 610-649-6200), an American bistro that brings exceptional food, drinks and hospitality to Suburban Square. Featuring an affordable and contemporary menu of satisfying cuisine and three distinct dining areas, The Saint James will reflect the new standards for excellence in restaurants. It will bring avid diners of the Main Line what they’ve been asking for: a refined neighborhood restaurant with approachable food that is simply and perfectly prepared in a stylish and welcoming setting.
“Michael and I have known for a while that we wanted to open a restaurant together,” says Wasserman, who lived in Bala Cynwyd with deep family ties to the Main Line, and whose Rouge on Rittenhouse Square is a Philadelphia institution. “When we found this space, we knew it was the right time and the right place. For me, it’s good to be back and we’re both excited to be a part of this vibrant community.”
A television personality with all-American good looks, Chef Schulson is a gifted, Long Island-born chef who has earned a sterling reputation for his expert hand at modern Asian cooking at his restaurants Sampan in Center City, Philadelphia and Izakaya at Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, NJ.
The Saint James menu will be Chef Schulson’s culinary return to his East Coast roots and the foods that inspire him to cook, every day. It will be overseen by Executive Chef Matt Moon, who has worked in top kitchens in Philadelphia and, for the past year, alongside Chef Schulson. Guests may enjoy hearty oven-roasted and grilled items along with a host of satisfying sides. Dishes will include: Trout Dip with “everything” bagel chips; Peekytoe Crab Toast with lemon aioli and dill; Grilled Flatiron Steak with shallot and compound butter; Grilled Tuna Steak with avocado, tomato and chili; Roasted Half-Chicken with lemon marmalade and celery; a variety of sandwiches such as Shrimp Roll with butter lettuce, lemon and tarragon, and The Saint James’ take on the iconic Philadelphia Pork Sandwich, with spicy kale and sharp provolone. Delicious sides will include: Cauliflower Gratin; Roasted Beets with horseradish; and Haricot Verts with house-made lemon vinaigrette. There will also be an extensive Raw Bar, with Tuna Tartare, Oysters on the half shell, Crab Salad and more. In addition to the regular menu, The Saint James will offer Daily Specials. Dishes will range in price from $6 to $24.
“This is the kind of back-to-basics food that I prepare at home for my family and friends – grilled meat and fish that is juicy, vegetables at the height of their freshness with simple vinaigrettes and marinades that make the flavors of each ingredient sing,” adds Chef Schulson.
To complement the dishes, the knowledgeable and well-trained staff of The Saint James, operating under General Manager Ryan Reigel, will offer a variety of wines by-the-glass and in bottles, ranging in price from $8 to $12 for glass pours and mostly $30 to $60 for bottles. A well-focused local craft beer list and a wealth of hand-crafted cocktails based on modern versions of classic drinks will also be served. Beers and cocktails will range in price from $5 to $12.
The welcoming, 120-seat restaurant is designed by Chris Sheffield of Philadelphia’s SLDesign. The rustic-modern space has two expansive rooms separated by a skylit foyer: the main dining room and the bar. The main dining room is outlined with plush leather booths, wrapping around the entire space and enclosing a grouping of sturdy wooden tables and chairs in the center of the room. In the bar, the showpiece is the 20-foot-long bar with comfortable leather-trimmed stools surrounded by ample booth seating. Both rooms, fronted by floor-to-ceiling windows, are family-friendly and open, offering comfortable seating for groups of any size, including accommodations for private parties. Detailed with elegant wooden moldings and skylights, each room has custom tiled floors and glossy white brick walls that pop in the ample natural light.
Expanding onto the Square’s stone courtyard is the restaurant’s 50-seat landscaped outdoor seating area. Guided by Wasserman’s expertise at Rouge, one of Philadelphia’s best-loved and most enduring sidewalk cafes, the seasonal patio will be open throughout the warm weather months, sure to become the area’s top spot to see-and-be-seen.
Both Wasserman and Chef Schulson have traveled extensively across America and abroad, and they frequent the country’s most successful new restaurants. Together with their team, they will bring the flawless service, thoughtful cooking, artful cocktails and casually elegant atmosphere that are the new standards of America’s dining scene to The Saint James.The Saint James will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until midnight and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. Valet service will be available after 5 p.m. For more information, or to make a reservation, please call (610) 649-6200, visit www.SaintJamesPhilly.com, follow them on Twitter (@St_JamesPhilly) and like them on Facebook (Saint James Philadelphia).