October 13, 2011
Bistrot La Minette 623 S. 6th St 215-925-8000 www.bistrotlaminette.com Parc 227 S. 18th St. 215-545-2262 Vintage 129 S. 13th St. 215-922-3095 www.vintage-philadelphia.com Zinc 246 S. 11th St. 215-351-9901 www.zincbarphilly.com
October 13, 2011 |
REMEMBER THAT odd little boom in French bistros a few years ago, right around the time the economy was collapsing around us? Oo la la, we were suddenly transformed into Le Philly , awash in cozy French spots like Bistrot La Minette, Cochon, Zinc, 10 Arts and others. There were so many French places here that our dining scene fostered a radical activist group that staged protests against foie gras in front of several bistros. The trend culminated, as it usually does, when Stephen Starr weighed in with Parc, his $9 million, 800-pound gorilla of a bistro on Rittenhouse Square.
September 29, 2011 |
The restaurant space at the Wayne Hotel in downtown Wayne, once the home of Restaurant Taquet, has been expanded and renovated into a dining room and bistro bar called Paramour (139 E. Lancaster Ave., 610-977-0600). As part of the two-year renovation to the hotel, developer S.W. Bajus has also set up an outdoor veranda and a lobby lounge. The bistro has plush semicircular banquettes and floor-to-ceiling windows, and the main dining room - now allowing for plenty of natural light - has an open kitchen, marble floors, and an enormous glass-walled wine display.
July 14, 2011 |
The scene is hopping on both sides of 18th Street north of Rittenhouse Square as a.kitchen has opened on the ground floor of the AKA Rittenhouse Square (135 S. 18th St., 215-825-7030), joining the weeks-old Serafina. It's a polished but not stuffy American bistro from David Fields (ex- Salt ), featuring the food of Django/Talula's Table founding chef Bryan Sikora. From an open kitchen, he is preparing a locally sourced menu of right-sized plates, all priced under $20, that can be mixed; figure on a couple dishes per person.
June 19, 2011 |
Dining with a water view in Las Vegas generally means nachos and a mojito at a hotel swimming pool. But at Marche Bacchus, a bistro-style restaurant in the northwest part of the city, it's the real deal. Marche Bacchus is in Desert Shores, a master-planned community about 10 miles from the Vegas Strip that is set around four elongated man-made lakes. The restaurant's dining terrace looks out over one of them. Owners Jeff and Rhonda Wyatt have been sprucing up the terrace and tweaking the menu since they bought the restaurant four years ago. "We live right there near the restaurant, and we were customers," Rhonda Wyatt says.
September 9, 2010 |
If there's a commonality among restaurants due to open by the end of the year, you can see it on the front windows, in blaze orange: Liquor-license placards. From barbecue joints in Center City and University City to a slew of bistros in the burbs, alcohol is in the mix. Not only are fewer BYOBs being planned, but some existing BYOs have elected to go the bottle route, such as Ristorante Pesto in South Philadelphia and La Fontana Della Citta near Rittenhouse Square. It's not to say BYOBs are going away, just as budget-conscious patrons seem eager to seek them out. It's just that, especially in tough economic times, high-profit-margin alcohol sales often are the difference between success or failure.
September 9, 2010 |
Nobody puts on a suit and tie anymore to go out to eat, as formal dining continues its quick fade. But Philadelphia's restaurants still have some serious style. Here are eight great destinations, from cutting-edge city hot spots to cool suburban classics, a Paris-style boite, and a parkside perch where the people-watching is as prime as what's on the plate. Adsum This fall's hottest no-reservations table comes courtesy of ex-Lacroix chef Matthew Levin, whose debut as an owner-chef is refining contemporary bistro style in Queen Village with a menu that's both cutting-edge and affordable.
August 15, 2010 |
The last time this much good energy surged through Audrey Taichman's resto-lounge at the corner of 20th and Manning, it was 1999 and edamame was exotic, wheatgrass was the word in edible table arrangements, and chic was defined by late-night DJs, squared black leather couches, and shiny metal community tables. After 11 years and a pretension-humbling recession, though, even Taichman concedes that trendy old Twenty Manning was getting tired. So she and her business partner, chef Kiong Banh, decided to go for a homey change.
June 20, 2010 |
Contrary to my early assumptions, the chuckle-inducing name of this new Queen Village bistro - Hoof + Fin - was not the product of an English-as-second-language mistranslation. Jersey-bred co-owner Deanna Ebner insists that neither of the Argentine men in her orbit - chef and co-owner Carlos Barroz, and her husband, Lucas Manteca - can claim ownership of this too-clever twist on surf-and-turf : "That would be me. . . . " The visually minded Ebner was simply aiming for a moniker that conveyed the menu's meat-and-seafood focus, but was also campy enough for the stick-figure logo she had in mind for the window and the garage sale's worth of tchotchkes she's used to decorate the little BYOB, where a paint-by-numbers horse picture, bare Edison bulbs, butcher-block tables, and dark, varnished wood wainscoting lend the minimalist space a retro bistro feel.
May 27, 2010 |
With permission granted from our better halves, the only thing cooler than a simple "guys' night out" is a "guys' night" splashed in craft beer. The hardest part in this brew-obsessed region, where the ale flows from South Street to South Jersey in stupefying variety - from hipster gastropubs to Belgian mussel bars, a German brat hall, and even a brunch spot awash in growler drafts - is simply choosing where to begin. Consider it scouting for "girls' night out," too. Great beer is a gift with equal-opportunity appeal.