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June 28, 2012 | Jason Wilson
 The Industry 1401 E. Moyamensing Ave. 215-271-9500 theindustrybar.com   The Boilermaker 216 S. 11th St. 215-922-3427 theboilermakerbar.com   Rittenhouse Tavern 251 S. 18th St. Philadelphia Art Alliance 215-732-2412 rittenhousetavern.com   Vernick Food & Drink 2031 Walnut St. (267) 639-6644 vernickphilly.com   Lemon Hill 747 N. 25th St. (Corner of 25th and Aspen)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 22, 2011
LAST WEEK, I visited Lemon Hill, the anxiously awaited spot set to open next week at 25th and Aspen in what's alternately called Fairmount or the Art Museum neighborhood. Lemon Hill's pedigree has raised expectations - it's a partnership between the owners of the acclaimed Supper and Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company, the Center City cocktail temple. Mitch Prensky, of Supper, and Mike Welsh, of the Franklin, showed me around the warm, unpretentious space where the short-lived Lucky 7 had been (and before that the Aspen Restaurant)
FOOD
October 16, 2008 | By Michael Klein, Inquirer Columnist
A tied house, in the traditional sense, is a pub that buys its beer exclusively from one brewery. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board does not allow them. When father-and-son William and Chris Leonard of the General Lafayette Inn, a Lafayette Hill brewpub, sought to open such a gastropub downtown, they relied on William's wife, Rose, and son Jonathan to obtain the restaurant license. So that's why the General Lafayette and the cozy Tiedhouse - which opened last week in the ground floor of the CityView Condos near the Art Museum (2001 Hamilton St., 215-561-1002)
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 2012 | Jason Wilson
You can order stuff off a chalkboard. Male servers and bartenders have unruly beards; their female counterparts sport tanktops and sleeve tattoos. At least one menu item contains the word "toasts. " The menu has a lengthy description of the burger. It also offers bone marrow, fried chicken or an obscure pig part.??? You can get a salad, but you'll never see anybody eating one at the bar. The words "artisanal," "organic," or "wood-fired" will be prominent.?
FOOD
March 22, 2012
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: I hope you avoided drinking green beer during the St. Paddy's Day debauchery. If you were partying at a bar with a porta-potty parked outside, that wasn't a good sign. I celebrated with a snifter of Redbreast and my annual brown-bread bake-day - thanks to this Ballymaloe recipe I got from Simon Pearce many years ago. (Find recipe here.) Reader: Enjoyed your article about Anne Willan and her husband who have a large cookbook collection.
FOOD
February 23, 2012 | By Michael Klein, Inquirer Columnist
Monday is the target opening of Alla Spina (1410 Mount Vernon St., 215-600-0017), the Italian gastropub from Marc Vetri, Jeff Michaud, and Jeff Benjamin. It's just a half-block from Osteria and next door to Stephen Starr's Route 6 and Joe Volpe's catering hall, Vie , at the old Wilkie showroom on North Broad. Alla Spina - "from the tap" - has a wide-open, industrial atmosphere and two prize tables: one in the kitchen for eight to 12 people, and another on top of the beer fridge above the bar for six to eight.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 21, 2008 | By Craig LaBan, Inquirer Restaurant Critic
Everyone knows a pig can't fly. But what about a "pabbit"? The mythical creature has certainly given a charmed lift to Pub & Kitchen, the new gastropub at 20th and Lombard whose creamy brick exterior sports the high-soaring silhouette of a rabbit-headed pig. More likely, the hour-long waits and endless blogger buzz that's been stoked by this replacement to Chaucer's is due to the presence of Philly's hottest young trick chef, Jonathan McDonald....
ENTERTAINMENT
November 2, 2008 | By Craig LaBan, Inquirer Restaurant Critic
A glittering snow of confetti fluttered onto my lap at Izakaya as I opened the menu - when suddenly the waitress snatched it away. Too late. A closer look at the confetti (and its very naughty X-rated theme) made me realize why she was blushing red. "Bachelorette party last night," she sighed sheepishly, meticulously checking a new batch of menus before handing them over. As I settled into a sparkly banquette in the Borgata's sultry new Japanese gastropub, I poured myself a cold junmai ginjo shot of "Root of Innocence" sake and shrugged: What happens in Atlantic City stays in Atlantic City . That old Vegas slogan certainly applies to our own gaming playland, where the anything-goes celebration dinner has helped fuel the growing restaurant scene.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 26, 2009 | By Craig LaBan, Inquirer Restaurant Critic
Put the craft on draft, and they will come. In Philadelphia these days, great beer really does seem to have such transformative powers, where a changing of the brews at an old-time tappie can open the door to a new world of customers and a new source of energy for neighborhood life. Take, for example, the case of the Lucky 13 Pub, which after just seven months has become the latest "old-man bar" to change hands, upgrade its beers, and become a full-fledged player in South Philly's rising gastropub revolution.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 24, 2008 | By Craig LaBan, Inquirer Restaurant Critic
Every great trend hits a moment of sudden saturation when the buzz of novelty wears off and expectations ratchet up to a higher level. That time has come for the gastropub, the exuberant hybrid of hipster bar and neighborhood restaurant where craft beers coexist with serious cooking. It's been a signature trend here for years, helping Philadelphia to secure its growing national reputation as one of America's beer meccas. But a gush of recent newcomers has flowed into the city so fast that the concept's limits are being tested, like a pint of ale frothing over from a hasty pour.
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 29, 2012 | Jason Wilson
AH, IT SEEMS like only yesterday when every new place wanted to be known as a "gastropub. " The recipe was simple, and a fine one: Take your basic bar — or pub or tavern, as the case may be — add a bevy of craft beer taps, and turn over the menu to a chef with a solid pedigree in high-end kitchens. The menu would have gussied-up burgers and grilled cheeses, some haute chicken wings, perhaps mussels or clams, and maybe some fancy mac 'n' cheese and something vaguely vegan beyond a salad or veggie burger.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 2012 | Jason Wilson
 The Industry 1401 E. Moyamensing Ave. 215-271-9500 theindustrybar.com   The Boilermaker 216 S. 11th St. 215-922-3427 theboilermakerbar.com   Rittenhouse Tavern 251 S. 18th St. Philadelphia Art Alliance 215-732-2412 rittenhousetavern.com   Vernick Food & Drink 2031 Walnut St. (267) 639-6644 vernickphilly.com   Lemon Hill 747 N. 25th St. (Corner of 25th and Aspen)
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 2012 | Jason Wilson
You can order stuff off a chalkboard. Male servers and bartenders have unruly beards; their female counterparts sport tanktops and sleeve tattoos. At least one menu item contains the word "toasts. " The menu has a lengthy description of the burger. It also offers bone marrow, fried chicken or an obscure pig part.??? You can get a salad, but you'll never see anybody eating one at the bar. The words "artisanal," "organic," or "wood-fired" will be prominent.?
FOOD
March 22, 2012
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: I hope you avoided drinking green beer during the St. Paddy's Day debauchery. If you were partying at a bar with a porta-potty parked outside, that wasn't a good sign. I celebrated with a snifter of Redbreast and my annual brown-bread bake-day - thanks to this Ballymaloe recipe I got from Simon Pearce many years ago. (Find recipe here.) Reader: Enjoyed your article about Anne Willan and her husband who have a large cookbook collection.
FOOD
February 23, 2012 | By Michael Klein, Inquirer Columnist
Monday is the target opening of Alla Spina (1410 Mount Vernon St., 215-600-0017), the Italian gastropub from Marc Vetri, Jeff Michaud, and Jeff Benjamin. It's just a half-block from Osteria and next door to Stephen Starr's Route 6 and Joe Volpe's catering hall, Vie , at the old Wilkie showroom on North Broad. Alla Spina - "from the tap" - has a wide-open, industrial atmosphere and two prize tables: one in the kitchen for eight to 12 people, and another on top of the beer fridge above the bar for six to eight.
FOOD
February 16, 2012
Craig: After all my recent restaurant eating, it was a joy to do some home cooking. This weekend I tackled David Chang's phenomenal bo ssam roasted pork butt from the Momofuku cookbook, with all the fixings, plus some homemade steamed buns. The pork was amazing, like salty-sugar glazed pork candy. But I was really proud of these buns: Just look at these steamy little guys! Chinatown at home! Reader: What would it take for a three-bell restaurant like Le Virtu to get four bells?
ENTERTAINMENT
December 22, 2011
LAST WEEK, I visited Lemon Hill, the anxiously awaited spot set to open next week at 25th and Aspen in what's alternately called Fairmount or the Art Museum neighborhood. Lemon Hill's pedigree has raised expectations - it's a partnership between the owners of the acclaimed Supper and Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company, the Center City cocktail temple. Mitch Prensky, of Supper, and Mike Welsh, of the Franklin, showed me around the warm, unpretentious space where the short-lived Lucky 7 had been (and before that the Aspen Restaurant)
FOOD
June 2, 2011 | By Elisa Ludwig, For The Inquirer
Philly may be dubbed "The Best Beer-Drinking City in America," but our love of the fizzy stuff has also bubbled over into the way we eat. Walk into any gastropub and witness the inventiveness with which local chefs are incorporating beer into their cooking. "Beer appreciation was always a hobby for me, but working at the Taproom, I've learned much more about using it in cooking, having access to all these great products here," says Jesse Kimball, chef of Memphis Taproom in Port Richmond.
FOOD
April 28, 2011
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Reader: I had a chance to dine at Farm and Fisherman last week, and, in my opinion, this is one of the best restaurants to open in some time. Beautiful setting, warm and knowledgeable servers, and the food was the star! Highlights were semi-boned quail stuffed with duck liver and ramps served in a stinging nettle sauce, Jerusalem artichoke soup with chicken confit, and slow oil-poached bluefish and much more. A great addition to the BYOB scene!
FOOD
April 21, 2011
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat:   C.L.: There's news a-brewing on the local gastropub scene, as Michael Klein reports, the very sudden closing of Fork & Barrel in East Falls. Matt Swartz and his partners have a lot of shuffling goblets in motion but made a decision to close F&B because their new restaurant, The Farmers' Cabinet, "has so many of the same elements," according to an email. "We've also decided to close Tap and Table in Emmaus and bring the concept to Philadelphia in the coming months.
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