October 15, 2009 |
Just as the Constitution represents the work of many creators under James Madison, so too did last Thursday's Liberty Medal gala at the National Constitution Center. To feed honoree Steven Spielberg, presenter President Bill Clinton, and nearly 500 guests (Gov. Rendell, Mayor Nutter, and Sister Mary Scullion), a team of VIP chefs was assembled, including Jean-Marie Lacroix, Guillermo Pernot, and several of his colleagues from Cuba Libre. "We're cooking for stars and these are the stars that I can bring to the table," said John D'Amelio of Max & Me Catering, owned by Libre Management, which handled the banquet.
February 21, 1997 |
During lunch at Nick's Bar & Grill, four of us shoehorned into a booth, lovely bride asks if she can have the portobello mushroom sandwich without the hot Italian sausage. Waitress inhales warily and says something like, "A great deal of time and energy have been put into developing these recipes and we'd like you to have them as is; if not, we urge you to try something else. " Dinner upstairs at Nicholas Nickolas a week later: We dine in a luxurious booth, overlooking Rittenhouse Square, a dimmer switch controlling the ceiling light, bright for reading the menu, romantically soft through dinner.
August 25, 2000 |
One of the first things Ben says after we're seated is, "When you walk by this place, you see all these beautiful people, but when you're sitting inside, they're not so beautiful. Like that guy. " We are sitting in Bleu, restaurateur Neil Stein's latest entry in the bistro stakes - not to be confused with Stein's other French color, Rouge, his first bistro on Rittenhouse Square, or with Stephen Starr's l'Ange Bleu (aka the Blue Angel) at the other end of town. All right, so the fabulousness quotient may not be as high here as it once seemed at Rouge when it opened two years ago. Nevertheless, you've got to hand it to Stein.
November 1, 1995 |
Had my first taste of wild boar the other night. It tasted like . . . no, not chicken, but something in between a veal chop and a pork chop. The civilized setting was Pattaya Grill, a new Thai-French restaurant on Chestnut Street near 40th, occupying the spot where Sweet Basil used to be. Pattaya is named for a beach resort in Thailand and has a sister restaurant directly across the street: Owner Manoch Pornmukda also operates the Thai Singha House...
October 31, 1986 |
For years before their Super Bowl appearance in January, the New England Patriots were cursed as a team with great talent and potential - but unable to put it all together to get into the big one. Having opened in June, the Greenwood Grille has a much shorter history but suffers a similar problem. The elements for a splendid restaurant are there but in several critical areas (in football parlance, execution), it comes up short. The restaurant inhabits the leased SEPTA Jenkintown station.
November 11, 1994 |
Enzo Valent can speak food in many languages. In fact, the native-born Italian, who is co-owner of La Collina in Belmont Hills, still owns a restaurant in Venice that's called Wunderbar. "We have a lot of German tourists in Venice," Valent explained, "so we decided to name it Wunderbar. In Europe, if you want to have a career in this business, you must speak several languages. " After spending some 10 years traveling the globe as a maitre d', Valent opted to settle for one language and opened La Collina in 1986 with local restaurateur Alberto Guadagnini.
January 19, 2003 |
The new chef-owner of a longtime French restaurant, the Black Walnut, is not the only chef in the kitchen of what is now called Siam Cuisine at the Black Walnut. Chum Long is willing to share this small townhouse space along the so-called restaurant row so he may bring diners, he says with pride, French-Thai fusion cuisine. In the kitchen, Long oversees Chris Smith, the Black Walnut's former sous chef, and Peter Phetpha, who once made signature Thai dishes at Long's first restaurant, Siam Cuisine, still on Arch Street in Philadelphia.
April 11, 1986 |
If the menu at the new Jimmy's on Front restaurant seems to have overtones of what generally is considered California cuisine, that's because its owner - a Philadelphian by birth - spent the last several years in the Los Angeles area. Jimmy Katz's West Coast goal, as I understand it, was an acting career. However, much of his money-earning time was spent schlepping pots and pans in such L.A. restaurants as Spago's on Sunset Boulevard - where the stars pay up to $20 for pizza with caviar and where Johnny Carson pops in from time to time for a prosciutto pizza.
August 10, 1988 |
The New Woman Fast and Fabulous Menu Cookbook (Simon & Schuster, $9.95) will not only help you acquire a speedy kitchen repertoire, it also will add a dimension of fun to your tour of duty among the pots and pans. Susan Kessler, the author, is the food editor of New Woman magazine and the creator of its "Short Order Cook" column, which makes her a kitchen counterpart of Heloise. "Next time you accidentally drop an egg on the kitchen floor, sprinkle a layer of salt on it and let sit for a few minutes.
March 21, 1993 |
The name is the same, as are the chef, food style and many members of the staff. Yet the move from small, rather spartan quarters on Spruce Street to palatial digs in the refurbished Bellevue seems to have spawned a new and exciting Ciboulette. The Bellevue space, high-ceilinged and architecturally splendid, calls attention to the quality of the dining experience in the same way that a display in a respected gallery heightens respect for an artist's work. Soupe de poisson at a recent lunch was pure Paris deja vu, a fish broth with a brunoise of precisely chopped vegetables floating in it and traditional additions - croutons, mildly garlicked rouille and grated cheese - offered to add at will.