October 21, 2007 |
How Jonathan Zeigler makes his living these days shouldn't be much of a surprise. When he was 20 days old, he was adopted by Paul and Gloria Zeigler, part of the family that owned and operated Zeigler's Apple Cider. Jonathan went on to work various jobs in restaurants. And, to boot, his biological parents "met in a restaurant," he said. His adopted parents no longer are in the cider business, but Jonathan and one of his brothers have returned the family name to the food industry.
September 20, 2007 |
Well, the publicists for the Westin Philadelphia hotel's new City Grange restaurant on the 17th Street side of Liberty Place succeeded, sort of: They got my attention. The chef would be serving every buzzword in the book - "Cage-free and Loving it" omelets, and Pennsylvania amber maple syrup, and "comfort in a bowl" chicken noodle soup, and an homage to his pig-farmer grandpa, Pop Lichtman's Pan-fried Center Cut Pork Chop. The centerpiece was a farmhouse table crafted from a slab of black walnut salvaged from a fallen tree.
July 13, 2007 |
They're not exactly "Transformers," but these pieces certainly offer more than meets the eye. The ornate Cary Buffet ($1,800) looks like a glamorous dresser, but it fits the dining room to a T. Available in late July at www.shineeveryday.com . This sconce ($36) takes on a whole new dimension when lit, with no flame required. Available at Urban Outfitters stores (Center City, University City, Ardmore, and King of Prussia) and at www.urbanoutfitters.com . Pull together a room with this hand-tufted plume rug by Thomas Paul (from $270)
May 18, 2007 |
Longtime visitors remember Wida's, a mainstay built in the 1920s that in more recent years billed itself as "an old-fashioned seashore hotel like grandmother used to frequent. " Well, grandma, Wida's is gone. But unlike the island's cedar-shingled bungalows that were torn down and replaced with vinyl-sided seamonsters, Wida's has undergone a face-lift, an update, and a name change. Say hello to Daddy O. Martin Grims, the restaurateur who owns the Moshulu and several Main Line bistros, has turned the old Brant Beach structure into a 22-room boutique hotel and dining room aimed at the hip, urbane patron.
May 7, 2006 |
What we like: This Boyertown restaurant is unabashedly down-home, with a cheerful staff and casual atmosphere. The large, open dining room is paneled and beamed in a country version of chalet style. Plenty of seating awaits the mostly local crowd that wanders in for breakfast, lunch or dinner. What to watch for: A large waterwheel quietly churns in one of the three rooms. Installed 16 years ago, the wheel was made especially for the restaurant. Decorative plates featuring covered bridges - no two alike - line a ledge that rings the main dining room.
April 14, 2006 |
There's something all savvy restaurateurs know about creating a great place to dine. Service, cuisine and furnishings are critical, certainly. But just as key is the lighting. Lighting not only highlights architecture and spotlights food, it's what brings romance and glamour to a room. "When you walk into a restaurant and it has that great orangey glow, it makes you feel good and it makes you look good," says Michael Palermo, development director for the Starr Restaurant Organization.
April 11, 2006 |
I hate endings. I sobbed when each of our daughters went off to kindergarten. I did the same when they left for college. I even get melancholy when the seasons change. So I suppose it's predictable that I face another ending with my usual emotional upheaval. But frankly, I'm surprised at how much this one hurts. I'm preparing for the last Passover seder that my husband and I will host. It was bound to happen. It began with our decision, three years ago, to do what the real estate world calls "downsizing.
March 30, 2006 |
L'angolo is the type of restaurant where you become family the moment you walk in. Maybe it's because the first thing you see is the penalty box-size kitchen. The half-glass counter prevents you from walking right into the chef's space, but gives you a visual taste of what's to come. For me, the best Italian restaurants feel like home. The food is simple, fresh, and most importantly, made by someone who knows how to cook. And the staff makes you feel like they're glad you dropped by. Maybe that's why I like L'angolo as much as I do - nothing fancy, just consistently high-quality plates coming from a kitchen that feels like my mother's.
January 15, 2006 |
A place called Le Virt? is teed up next, though late last month its future dining room was still stripped to the studs, one more eatery on East Passyunk Avenue - in this case, in the old offices of the Italian Newspaper - waiting to happen, to wring a second act from The Avenue, South Philadelphia's alternative universe; "downtown," as old-timers still call it. By late spring, the restaurant (it takes its name from a traditional springtime Abruzzese...
March 23, 2005 |
At 11:10 a.m. the phone call came. Georges Perrier and his assistant were lost among the cow pastures in Salem County. "Can somebody who knows the area talk them through and get them here?" asked Michael Aliberti, a flustered culinary instructor. His 26 high school students had been preparing for weeks to welcome their equivalent of a rock star: Perrier, the world-renowned French chef and owner of Philadelphia's Le Bec-Fin, would be coming to Salem County Vocational Technical School for lunch.