Sweet and Savory
At the Plumsteadville Inn in Bucks County, expect great things from a classic American dish
by Leigh Stuart

On a cold winter day there’s little that is more exciting that a toasty warm pot pie. Be it vegetable or meat, these pastry-topped treats have been an American staple since the country’s inception, and even before that; legend has it that these savory delights date back to the Roman Empire.

With such a storied history, one can expect great things of the modern, evolved pot pie at the Plumsteadville Inn in Bucks County.

“Our pot pie is just like Mom used to make,” says Matt George, general manager of the Plumsteadville Inn (5902 Easton Road in Pipersville, plumsteadvilleinn.com), affectionately known as “The Plum.”

The Plum’s homemade chicken pot pie with a sweet potato crust, he explains, begins with a classic mirepoix of onion, celery and carrots, sautéed in butter with fresh herbs. 

“The chef then makes a roux with the vegetables and butter to help thicken the gravy,” he says. “After seasoning the roux, the chef then adds our homemade chicken stock and brings that to a boil to reach its desired thickness. The potatoes and chicken are added and cooked to perfection. The finishing touch is seasoning and peas. The peas are added last so they do not breakdown during the cooking process. The pie crust is your traditional recipe of butter, flour and water but is spiced up with pureed sweet potatoes and spices.”

The recipe has been on the menu since the restaurant opened January 9, 2012. The artistic inspiration that brings the dishes to the tables of happy Plum patrons is the result of teamwork, according to Marshall Paul, a chef who has been with the restaurant since its inception, though he has worked with owner Angelo Evangelista since 1996. “So many guys work in the kitchen and have different ideas,” Paul says. “We like to mix it up.”

“The dish is exciting because, where can you go and get a great homemade pot pie other than your mom or grandmom’s house?” George says. “We also like to make jokes about the dish to customers. When presenting to a table, we warn them that the casserole, the inside, the plate and the spoon are all piping hot. It gives us a chance to interact with the customers and give them a sense of … eating at home.”

The pot pie has remained unchanged since it first appeared on the menu, George notes, adding that the pot pie is the restaurant’s top-selling entrée.

“What excites me about our food here is that we do not have one style of cooking or preparation,” George adds. “Our team in the kitchen is [diverse] and they all have their different tendencies and take on different styles of cooking. Our menu is not set to one style or theme of food. We allow our kitchen creative freedom, which I believe brings the best out in them and their food.”

Photograph by Allure West Studios