New Hope, PA

Playhouse Deck Re-Opens in The Heart of New Hope with Chef Michael O’Halloran

Marilyn Johnson

After a brief hiatus and re-brand, Playhouse Deck –previously The Deck – a modern restaurant adjacent to the historic Bucks County Playhouse perched over the Delaware River will open its doors on Thursday, May 12 in the heart of New Hope, PA with seasonal menus from noted Chef Michael O’Halloran showcasing the best of Mediterranean cuisines in a laidback setting paired with unparalleled sprawling views of the Delaware River.  

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Re-Vamped Playhouse Deck in New Hope, PA Welcomes Diners Starting May 12(Courtesy of Kevin Crawford)

Local gourmands and theatergoers alike will revel in Playhouse Deck, part of the flourishing New Hope restaurant community, boasting a seasonal menu of bright house-made pasta, stepped-up and inspired salads, delectable fish entrées, and more, from recent Beat Bobby Flay victor, Chef Michael O’Halloran, also of neighboring Stella of New Hope, paired with a thoughtful locally inspired bar program from Beverage Manager, Jamie Shaw. Stella of New Hope General Manager, Sue Evans, a seasoned pro who has previously worked alongside notable chefs and restauranteurs such as Nicholas Elmi, Jose Garces, and Stephen Starr, will put the polishing touches on warm, heart-felt welcoming hospitality.    

“I’m very excited to be a part of this new project at such a historic location,” said Chef O’Halloran. “It’s been a blast creating menus that are bright and fun that complement the liveliness of the theater as well as the beauty of the sprawling Delaware River. The menu will always boast a selection of snacks and toasts, perfect for sharing or a quick bite before a show, and larger more substantial pasta and entrees, ideal for date night or a special occasion – all showcasing fresh ingredients from local purveyors.” 

Chef O’Halloran’s opening menu boasts a versatile selection of snacks such as Mussels Escabeche ($12) and Burrata ($14) with pickled strawberries, balsamic, and sunflower seed pesto among the mix; salads including Tuscan Kale Caesar ($11) and Sugar Snap Pea and Radish ($12); toasts served on grilled house-made sourdough boasting Tomato ($14) with caper and black olive tapenade and Prosciutto ($17) with truffle honey and Stracciatella, and more. More substantial entrées include pastas such as Squid Ink Fusilli ($16/$26) with ‘nduja, rock shrimp, blistered cherry tomato, avocado, and Rigatoni ($16/$26) with pork ragu, sundried tomato, and ricotta; entrees served with rosemary roasted potatoes and braised broccoli rabe ranging from Bronzino ($28) with orange, fennel and green olive relish to Pork Loin ($24) with ginger apricot mostarda. A dessert menu boasting a Brownie Tiramisu ($11), Vanilla Buttermilk Panna Cotta ($11), and Granita ($11) with fresh berries is sure to satisfy every sweet tooth. 

The bar program, helmed by Stella of New Hope Beverage Manager Jamie Shaw, will boast seasonally inspired cocktails with a bevy of fresh fruit and herbs designed to complement Chef O’Halloran’s menu. Oenophiles will enjoy Mediterranean and Italian wines, while the beer selection will feature local favorites along with some imports.  

The main dining area features a centralized bar with wraparound seating, plus counter seating on the periphery lining the wall-to-wall garage door windows offering 180-degree views of the Delaware River. In the warmer months, dining ‘al fresco’ is available on the river promenade and the popular front courtyard of the Playhouse. 

Playhouse Deck will open on Thursday, May 12 offering dinner service 4-9 pm, Wednesday through Sunday to start, with plans to expand hours of operation to additional days and meal periods in the coming weeks. When the Bucks County Playhouse is in performance, the kitchen will be open 30 minutes after each show. As always, every dollar spent at Playhouse Deck supports the non-profit mission of Bucks County Playhouse, a historic theater that re-opened ten years ago and has ignited the arts and theater scene in New Hope, becoming “one of the top regional theaters on the East Coast” as named by the Wall Street Journal. 

“We’re excited to give the Playhouse Deck a whole new vibe: mixing a little glam with a relaxed, airy, and fun new look and a fabulous new menu. We’ll give guests the chance to mix with Broadway actors and artists who come to work at the Playhouse” said Alexander Fraser, Producing Director & CEO of Bucks County Playhouse. “Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, grabbing a quick bite before a show, or after-work drinks, we want our guests to feel at ease here – enjoy a delicious meal, the views, the history – and hopefully return for an encore.”

Playhouse Deck is located at 70 S Main St. in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

Marilyn Johnson is a freelance food and travel writer covering the food and drink scene of Philadelphia, South Jersey, the greater Mid-Atlantic area, and beyond.

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Marilyn Johnson is a Philadelphia area-based food and travel writer focusing on food & drink in the Mid-Atlantic region. Email phillygrub@gmail.com for Philly area news; phillygrubtrips@gmail.com for travel tips and opportunities.

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