March 14, 2010 |
It is unlikely that William Penn would recognize a thing about Square 1682, the snazzy new hotel restaurant lounge at 17th and Sansom Streets named in his honor. Then again, I doubt many modern-day Philadelphians have seen anything quite like it in this city - a bilevel restaurant space with such a hyperkinetic sense of contemporary style, it would make most designer showrooms blush. Devotees of the Kimpton chain, which created the new Palomar Hotel where Square 1682 resides, are familiar with the aesthetic, an über-fashionable hodge-podge of high-tech lights and funky modern art, living room-plush furniture in the dining room, glitzy balloon shades for window treatments, and eco-friendly cork on the ceiling.
March 4, 2010 |
The couple call it "Rock-and-Roll Meets Louis XIV," and if that doesn't make sense to you, well, you'd just have to see the house. Or at least look at pictures of it. Duke Ellington once referred to his music as "beyond category," and that term could as easily be applied to the Villanova home of Harold Gold and Max I. Million. Wedged on a one-acre plot between Route 320 and the fifth tee of the Radnor Valley Country Club, this house could be in the Italian or French countryside.
February 4, 2010 |
Dinner was in danger. A crucial front burner wasn't working, the meat thermometer drew a blank, the skillets wouldn't fit in the oven as planned, and a pot holder caught fire. But as far as Karyn Scher knew, her prize dinner party was proceeding according to plan. Indeed, it was a prize - she'd bid hundreds of dollars for the dinner at a silent auction in the fall to benefit First Person Arts, a Philadelphia not-for-profit that celebrates the many forms of storytelling. Now Scher, a clinical psychologist, and her husband, Eddie Ohlbaum, a Temple University law professor, sat at either end of the dining room table in their Penn Valley home, entertaining 10 friends and feeling quasi-confident that calamity would not strike their kitchen.
February 4, 2010 |
Main Line restaurateurs Win and Sutida Somboonsong have completed their takeover of the short-lived Maia (789 E. Lancaster Ave. in Villanova), which they began last summer with Azie on Main , a pan-Asian concept, on the second floor. Last week, they opened MIXX (610-527-0700), a comfort-fooder with a bar, on the first floor next to Summit Sports Training Center. MIXX is intended as a Main Line drop-in, with a menu of $8 and $9 burgers and sandwiches, $6 to $12 apps, pizzas, salads, and $12 to $16 entrees.
August 16, 2009 |
With a lofty name like Noble American Cookery, it should come as no surprise that every aspect of this promising new restaurant is steeped with tall ambition and a deliberately haute-Yankee twist. The space itself is one of the most handsome new dining rooms around. Owners Todd Rodgers, Bruno Pouget, and chef Steven Cameron have transformed the old Gioia Mia into a stylish bi-level haven of urban eco-farm chic. There's reclaimed antique hickory from an old Jersey barn on the floors, a naturally fallen bobinga tree carved into a bar and table tops, clever flip-up cafe windows for an indoor-outdoor community table at the entrance, and skylights upstairs that allow a soft natural light to fill the airy second floor, atop of which a mini-farm garden grows herbs, tomatoes, and veggies for the seasonally inspired menu.
June 18, 2009 |
In one breath, Susanna Foo explains that she is leaving these elegant digs on Walnut Street, closing her eponymous landmark of a dining room - the wellspring of her groundbreaking style of French-Chinese fusion - because she needs to "simplify. " She is vigorous still, at 65. But she was stressed from splitting herself - sometimes it almost seemed literally - between the Center City kitchen and her sleeker, newer (since 2006) Radnor restaurant, which will remain open. There's another reason to stay closer to her Main Line home: Her husband's health is not what it once was; a worrisome unsteadiness has crept into his gait.
August 10, 2008 |
It isn't often a restaurant feels compelled to provide a map and bullet-point directory to help navigate its inner workings. Then again, it isn't often that the shell of a former supermarket is transformed into a maze of gastronomic ambition the size of Maia. So I found it handy to study the poster-size flow chart near the entrance titled, "Maia is many things. . . . " To the left is the cafe with mod yellow chairs where students from nearby Villanova and I-476 commuters fuel up on Illy lattes and house-baked pastries.
May 7, 2008 |
For Maria Perez, the Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey is more than just a place she stays occasionally - it's another home. Perez, who lives in South Carolina, has traveled back and forth to the house for 16 years as her son, Juan, has been treated for retinoblastoma, an eye cancer, at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. "In the recent years, I've really enjoyed coming here," she said. "This is where my home is. " Now, families like hers can look forward to even greater care as part of a $2 million expansion announced at a news conference yesterday.
January 27, 2008 |
My sister-in-law, Patty, glanced up from the menu at Max & David's with a rebellious look and laid down this commandment with unexpected umph . "I am not going to get the fish!" The pronouncement took me by surprise, at first. Over the dozen or so review meals we've shared over the years, she had dutifully tiptoed across menus strewn with land mines for a kosher eater. With all pork, shellfish, and dishes mixing dairy with meat (let alone any nonkosher meat) crossed off her list, she inevitably settled on fish or veggies.
November 16, 2007 |
Rickety chairs probably don't exist in her world, and she doesn't mind setting a table with mismatched china. Still, even Martha Stewart must occasionally wonder: Whatever possessed me to invite so many people over for Thanksgiving dinner? It's a cinch we mere mortals make do when elbows exceed the available elbow room. Square footage is insignificant at such times. If there are more people than your dining room can accommodate comfortably, it matters little whether you live in a 30-room mansion or a one-room apartment.