Sunday, March 4, 2007

Openings: Talula's Table in Kennett Square, PA

It's true. Aimee Olexy and Bryan Sikora, original proprietors of Philadelphia's beloved Django, have finally opened their new gourmet food shop in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. To clarify, it's not a restaurant. Rather, it is a gourmet food destination -- something all too lacking in the nether lands of Chester County -- specializing in seasonal, fresh, local prepared foods and a high quality selection of produce and packaged goods.

Before I go too much further, let's take a moment to clarify some spelling questions....
The shop: Talula's Table (not Tallulah, Tellulah, etc.)
The chef: Bryan (yes, with a y) Sikora
The shopkeeper: Aimee (one i, two e's, no y) Olexy

I took the drive out to Kennett this past Friday, March 2, to check out their first night of opening to the public as part of the town's First Friday Art Stroll. Talula's was definitely the main draw of the evening, with a solid crowd of local supporters and curious passersby stopping in to sample the wares and get a feel for the shop.

The doorway opens into a communal café seating area, visible from the store front, followed by a coffee/espresso bar and cashier area. Flanking the left and right walls of the long space are various display areas showcasing the current stock of provisions: on the left, shelves of artisinal dried pastas, coffee, teas, oils and canned goods; on the right, refrigerators and display cases of sweets, house-made fresh pastas, condiments and prepared meals, pastries, and local dairy and produce items. The real excitement, given Bryan's skills as a chef and Aimee's reputation as one of the areas foremost cheese mongers, lies dead ahead across the rear wall of the shop. There you'll find Aimee's currently modest but very well selected array of cheeses and olives as well as Bryan's entrées of the day and in-house cured and smoked meats.

To round out their efforts, the owners have brought in Claire Shears as full-time pâtissier and sweat-equity partner. Claire, who Bryan met while working at nearby Sovana Bistro, will be offering a full line of pastry, ranging from croissants and muffins tailored to the coffee bar crowd to a more elaborate array of desserts. All bread will also be baked in-house.

Already off to a promising start, as the shop's customer base grows and as its group of local purveyors matures and deepens, Talula's promises to be both a daily boon to the locals of Kennett as well as a destination for foodies from the entire southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware region.

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Related posts:
Dining at a Virgin Table (April 2007)
Harvest Tasting Menu at Talula's Table (October 2007)
Late Fall Tasting Menu at Talula's Table (December 2007)
Spring 2008 at Talula's Table (April 2008)

Talula's Table
102 West State Street
Kennett Square, PA 19348
Open every day.

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