After serving 950 meals on a busy Mother’s Day at McCormick & Schmick’s in Cherry Hill, John Stewart and his bride-to-be, Diana Smarrito, decided it was time to pursue their dream of owning their own restaurant. So the pair took over a former deli on Evesham Road in Glendora and opened Kitchen 519 (the name is a reference to their wedding date) last spring.
The upscale New American menu and cheerful, art-lined space put a playful spin on comfort food. You’ll also find inventive vegetarian dishes like the hummus and flatbread with eggplant, mushroom and walnuts, as well as house made dressings and soups that you can use to compose your own salad or bowl.
You’ll want to start with Key West-inspired appetizers like the conch fritters and drunken oysters, and make sure you save room for the Inside Out burger, which is stuffed with gorgonzola cheese, applewood bacon, vine tomatoes, arugula and caramelized onions. The fried pickles are terrific, too.
The service is attentive and friendly. Our server, Amanda, was on the ball and knowledgeable about the menu. Unfortunately, the Bananas Foster we received was disappointing — the bananas were discolored and lacking flavor, the ice cream was completely melted, and the cinnamon sugar shell that was supposed to hold the bananas, Rum sauce and ice cream was soggy and unappetizing. We hope they can improve on this dish. Until then, I’d skip it for the other desserts on the menu.