Arugula & Beets salad

Arugula & Beets salad

This was the last dinner I had with my daughter before I took her back to college, and I have to say…it was just great. The White Dog is a local place, right in Wayne, and I love the atmosphere. We arrived a little early, with reservations at around 5:15, and happy hour was just starting. By the time we left…you couldn’t move, that’s how crowded it was! And usually, when it’s that crowded on the Main Line…you know it’s a good place to be.

The menu changes seasonally and often. Chefs Zach Grainda and Greg Maloney source from local farms and are guided by principles of sustainability. My daughter, Sabrina (Brie!), is a vegetarian and they have a complete separate vegetarian/vegan menu, which I think is just fantastic.

Blackened Tofu in Togarashi Spice with wasabi mashed potatoes, tempura scallions and the most beautiful red, really fresh small carrots

Blackened Tofu in Togarashi Spice with wasabi mashed potatoes, tempura scallions and the most beautiful red, really fresh small carrots

I taste their homemade butter with honey and sea salt (it’s good) and Brie sips on hot apple cider (with a cinnamon stick) to warm up as we peruse their winter dinner menu. We start with their Arugula & Beets salad and I gotta say, it’s DELISH. It’s a mix of red and golden beets with creamy local goat cheese over spicy arugula in a balsamic vinaigrette. The red beets lend a robust flavor and then the golden beets are lighter, in flavor and even in texture, not as firm as the traditional red beet, but sweet. It’s a beautiful earthy contrast of the both.

And oh my God, the polenta croutons! They are perfectly crispy on the outside! I don’t think it’s just me with this crispy thing…I love crispy textures. I did a little research and it turns out, crunch is the most satisfying chew in the mouth. So the salad had that satisfying little crunch from the polenta. I want to find out how to make those croutons!

Butternut Squash Tortellini with braised chicken and kale in a rich, thick emulsified soup

Butternut Squash Tortellini with braised chicken and kale in a rich, thick emulsified soup

My sweet Petunia ordered the Blackened Tofu in Togarashi Spice with wasabi mashed potatoes, tempura scallions and the most beautiful red, really fresh small carrots. Those glazed baby carrots were so PRETTY…they looked just like little long ruby gems on her plate.

I had a special, the Butternut Squash Tortellini with braised chicken and kale in a rich, thick emulsified soup—outrageous! Really good, rich, hearty flavors, perfect for a winter appetite.

I have to say I’ve never ever ever been disappointed in the White Dog Café. They’re very consistent, the staff is very nice, very knowledgeable, the atmosphere is great, they have a great bar, unbelievable food, and they use a lot of local product. Which keeps the farmers and small businesses happy, and that keeps me happy.

Bottom line: go! But be sure to make a reservation for the weekends!