Table Talk: Carmine's Creole is gone; enter Verdad

The luxurious interior of Bryn Mawr's Verdad, formerly Carmine's Creole Cafe. It will specialize in European small plates. Chef Nick Farina of nearby Blush is managing partner and executive chef.
The luxurious interior of Bryn Mawr's Verdad, formerly Carmine's Creole Cafe. It will specialize in European small plates. Chef Nick Farina of nearby Blush is managing partner and executive chef.
Posted: August 13, 2009

Jambalaya has given way to paella as Carmine's Creole Cafe is now Verdad (818 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, 610- 520-9100), a white-tablecloth Euro small-plate specialist with similarly sumptuous atmospherics (drapery, wrought-iron dividers).

Chef Nick Farina of nearby Blush is managing partner and executive chef. He's working with owner Howard Taylor, whose former partner John Mims founded Carmine's. After a legal dustup, Mims moved out to Phoenixville, where he has a BYOB and pizzeria.

Verdad - that's "truth" - has a 25-selection tequila list and a tight selection of wines from Spain, Chile, Brazil and Mexico, plus Latin beers.

Tabs are about $35 a head for those who go the route of a drink and a couple of small plates, such as ceviches. "Large plates" push the tariff much higher; entrees run from $29 to halibut to $42 for lobster.

It's open Tuesdays through Sundays for dinner, plus Tuesdays through Saturdays for lunch.

What's new

Occupying that subterranean space in Centre Square, beneath Claes Oldenburg's Clothespin at 15th and Market, is the American Pub at Centre Square (1500 Market St., 267-639-6104). Chef Tim Roonan, who was chef at the Federal Reserve, is doing pub snacks, sandwiches and salads from lunchtime to post-dinner weekdays. As the name says, it's a pub, with requisite TVs and a wood/fieldstone look.

Chef chat

Jennifer Zavala, who left Northern Liberties' El Camino Real last week (and premieres Wednesday on the sixth season of Bravo's Top Chef), will become sous chef at Xochitl in Society Hill to help overworked chef Dionicio Jimenez.

Women Against Abuse has amassed a collection of female chefs and restaurateurs for "Dish It Up!," an Oct. 29 fund-raiser at Moore College of Art and Design; details: www.womenagainstabuse.org. Among them: Sheryl Borish of Marathon Grill; Effie Bouikidis of Effie's and Paul; Jennifer Carroll of 10 Arts (and also appearing on Top Chef); Katie Cavuto Boyle of Healthy Bites (recently on The Next Food Network Star); Marie Forte of Cucina Forte; Moon Krapugthong of Mango Moon and Chabaa Thai; Catherine Lee and Luciana Spurio of Le Virtu; Ane Ormaechea of Cafe Apamate; Lynn Marie Rinaldi of Paradiso; and Delilah Winder of Delilah's Southern Cuisine. Each dish will contain an element of purple - the color of the anti-domestic violence movement.

New chef de cuisine working with Cary Neff at Coquette Bistro at Fifth and Bainbridge Streets: Jared Frazer, most recently at Tallula & EatBar in Arlington, Va., but formerly in top roles at the late Ansill and Pif, plus Perry's in D.C. and Alphabet Soup in Audubon, N.J.

Briefly noted

Konak, the Turkish restaurant at 228 Vine St. in Old City, has redecorated (lighter, more contemporary, waterfall). Chef Melek Basaran's menu emphasizes fish, such as branzino, red snapper, striped bass, Black Sea anchovy, mackerel, and red mullet. Specials include a three-course prix-fixe dinner based on whole fish for $25 on Wednesdays, and free wine with entree on Thursdays. Belly dancer still performs Friday nights, and there's a guitar player Saturday nights.

Very early word about Jet Wine Bar, intended for a storefront at 1525 South St. this fall: Managing partner Jill Weber, an archaeologist, envisions Jet as a small wine bar/cafe with a simple selection of food. The idea, she says, is to bridge the gap between the local BYOBs (Pumpkin, Novità, Jamaican Jerk Hut, Apamate, L'Aube) and the bars (Bob & Barbara's).


Contact columnist Michael Klein at 215-854-5514 or mklein@phillynews.com. See real-time restaurant info and menus at http://go.philly.com/insider.

|
|
|
|
|