March 6, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA The situation struck the restaurateur Stephen Starr as "sad" - a big-city public school system where teachers had to go begging for basic supplies for their classrooms. So Starr, who started paying attention after Mayor Nutter recently implored businesses to come to the beleaguered Philadelphia School District's aid, jumped in. Those who dine in the next month at any of Starr's 21 restaurants in the city should be prepared for an up-sell - not to a pricier bottle of wine, but to donate to the district.
February 28, 2014 |
Vetri venturing up Things are looking up at Vetri - Marc Vetri and Jeff Benjamin's tiny flagship restaurant at 1312 Spruce St. It is expanding upstairs, taking over the apartment that for decades has benefited from the aromas that wafted up not only from Vetri but from such gems as predecessors Two Quails, Le Bec-Fin, Chanterelles, and Ciboulette. The opening, pegged for May, will also mean Sunday dinner at Vetri, something that the restaurant has not offered in its 15-plus years.
February 14, 2014 |
Last week was something of a watershed for Nicholas Elmi: His victory on Top Chef New Orleans aired on Bravo, and - even more important, according to Elmi - his 3-month-old Passyunk Avenue restaurant, Laurel, was reviewed by The Inquirer's Craig Laban. Though Elmi had said he would "give up everything" for four bells, he had to settle for a three-bell rave. Over the past season, we learned that Elmi is both intense and intensely talented, that his desert island foods would be bread, butter and Pont l'Évêque (the latter, a cheese, appears on Laurel's dessert menu with chestnut honey)
February 10, 2014 |
KEY WEST, Fla. - I'm sitting in the audience at the San Carlos Institute on Duval Street in Key West, my stomach churning the glass of Montepulciano that I consumed to quell my nerves, surrounded by 50 or so aspiring writers of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. We're in Day 2 of our four-day workshop, led by such writers as poet Billy Collins, humorist Daniel Menaker, and novelist Susan Richards Shreve. While fellow snowbirds focus on their third mojito at Coyote Ugly or croon karaoke during the female drag show down the street, the auditorium where I sit is jittery with ambition and fear.
January 30, 2014
B ARBARA DEVAN, 32, of Southwest Philadelphia, is chef, owner and CEO of Tasties, a soul-food restaurant on 52nd Street above Girard in West Philadelphia. This month she got city approval to run a food truck in University City. She plans to open a second Tasties restaurant next month on Germantown Avenue near Queen Lane in Germantown. Q: How did you come up with the idea for Tasties? A: I started Tasties in North Philadelphia in 2007. But after a year, I took a break to really find myself.
January 12, 2014 |
RESTAURANTS Banana Leaf 1009 Arch St., 215-592-8288; bananaleafphilly.com This Penang spin-off has overtaken the original as my favorite Chinatown Malaysian due to consistency and vivid flavors. Don't miss the delicate roti canai pancakes with chicken curry, spot-on satay, steamed poh piah jicama spring rolls, crispy whole fish in tangy Thai sauce, fried squid with funky "special sauce," or the richly curried beef rendang. Bar-Ly 101 N. 11th St., 215-922-2688; bar-ly.com Come here to drink and watch a game more than to eat. But Chinatown's first craft-beer bar has 60 taps with a generally high-quality lineup (Great Lakes, Unibroue, Staropramen)
January 9, 2014 |
ARDMORE The mixed-use residential and retail development proposed by Dranoff Properties would add 36 public parking spaces in downtown Ardmore, a representative of the firm said during a presentation to the Planning Commission on Tuesday. Josh Weingram, Dranoff project manager, also said the firm was negotiating to bring a "celebrity chef" restaurant to the planned development on Cricket Avenue. One Ardmore Place would include a three-story parking structure, 110 underground parking spaces for residents, and some surface parking.
January 3, 2014 |
OCEAN CITY, N.J. Just as Marie Repici and her husband, Thomas, happened upon the then-for-sale Chatterbox almost 42 years ago, when they came to town to buy a pizza-dough machine and ended up buying a restaurant instead, perhaps a new owner will again stumble on the place. Marie Repici, 82, who has been through floods, deaths of close family members, and the day-to-day stresses of running an eatery, hasn't formally listed the property for sale after recently deciding that it's time to retire.
January 3, 2014
SO, a Trinidadian auto specialist and a Guyanese-Muslim business strategist walk into a combination restaurant, grocery and carpet-installation center in Delco . . . That sounds like the setup to the most convoluted crack in comedic history, but it's not a joke - it's the seed that sprouted Bad Habit, a distinctive Caribbean restaurant in diverse Upper Darby. Exploring the cuisine of the islands through American-influenced street food and a halal-friendly approach, owners Sheldon Crosbie and Zahid Khan are addressing a void many don't even realize demands filling.
January 2, 2014 |
The crystal ball for the 2014 Philadelphia-area restaurant scene shows assorted bright spots: a Jose Garces restaurant where he himself will cook, a Marc Vetri project at the Navy Yard, George Sabatino's solo debut in Rittenhouse, a Mexican restaurant in Rittenhouse, a few brewpubs, a restaurant within a butcher shop, two vegan bars, a locavore-themed bar-restaurant for Washington Square West, and Spike Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery . ...