A Hidden BYOB Gem Resides in Northern Chesco



Our region’s love affair with the BYOB
blossomed about ten years ago when a
small and very talented crop of Center
City chefs began offering outstanding (yet
quite affordable) restaurant experiences at
their respective cafes. At that same time,
the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board
(PLCB) began to unclench its controlling
grip on its product, by slowly releasing
consumer-friendly “Chairman’s Selection”
wines to commonwealth customers.

Today, this culinary combination of good,
fairly priced food and wine continues to
be a hit–No one loves its BYOBs in this
country like we do. With so many notable
liquor license-less operations as there may
be in Philly though, Chester County’s own
BYOB count is much less impressive, espe-
cially when one travels farther north with-
in the county.

In an area I once considered a BYOB dead
zone (the Route 100 corridor between
Pottstown and Exton), there now resides a
charming hidden gem – “Bistro Night” on
Thursdays at Montesano Bros, which offers
walk-in seating from 5 p.m. through 8 p.m.

Tucked away in Chester Springs (by the old
Eagle Tavern), Montesano Bros has been
providing an authentic South Philly-style
Italian market experience since its opening
in the fall of 2006. The café is operated by
Vincent Montesano, who is a former Ludwig’s
Inn executive chef; his wife, Pricilla, and
younger brothers Stephen, Michael and

Think West Chester’s Carlino’s Market,
except on a much smaller scale – By day,
Montesano Bros carries tasty meats and
DiBruno Bros cheeses, specialty items like
breads, pastas and sauces. There’s also a
full array of delicious hoagies, sandwiches
(the roast pork is a standout), platters and
salads for eating in or to-go.

After hearing an outcry from loyal cus-
tomers to the dearth of good BYOB dining
in the area, Vincent decided to launch
“Bistro Night” this past February. Since
then, his forty seats have become hot
property for those seeking creative New
American cuisine, all offered at palatable
price points.

Montesano elaborated: “We de?nitely saw
the need for quality locally-produced food;
seasonal small and medium plates in a place
where you can get a nice meal that’s different
from the more expensive, larger portions
served at nearby inns and restaurants.”

The bistro menu is comprised of small
plates ($6-$8.50) such as fried calamari
with lemon zest, and crispy potato gnocchi
topped with gorgonzola. Medium plates
like the mixed grill and, cavatelli Pomadoro
with grilled garlic toast, run $14 to $17.
There’s also a small children’s menu.

Though foodies and families are on their
own the rest of the week, “Bistro Night” on
Thursdays at Montesano Bros ?lls a void
in an area where creative independent
restaurants are few and far between. The
café is a convenient destination here in
Chesco – A convivial place to bring your
own bottle, with no Center City schlep to
deal with before or after your meal.

55 Seaboldt Way, Chester Springs, PA
(610) 458-8065
Mon-Sat, 8am-8pm; Sun. 8am-3pm