September 9, 2008
Inquirer: Craig LaBan's special guest today is Stephen Starr, the man behind many familiar Philadelphia restaurants, including Buddakan, Morimoto, Alma de Cuba, El Vez, The Continental, Barclay Prime, Pod and Tangerine. He's also expanded into New York and Atlantic City. Craig: Good afternoon, my hungry friends, and welcome back to our weekly chat on the Philly food beat. Today we have a special guest: Stephen Starr joins us from a remote computer located in the nerve center of the Starr Restaurant Empire at Second and Market.
May 26, 2002 |
Stephen Starr steps inside Morimoto, his new, neo-Japanese restaurant on Chestnut Street, and immediately notices that something is amiss. "I don't hear the water," Starr tells a hostess. "It's supposed to sound like a Japanese waterfall. " A few minutes later at his Havana-inspired Alma de Cuba on Walnut Street, Starr fixes his gaze on a photo of a handsome young Cuban man. "My high school picture," Starr jokes - but inside, he is upset. The picture is "too bright," he suggests, saying it stands out from the others on the wall.
February 19, 2006 |
Chaos and construction surround Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr as he enters the shark-infested kitchens of Manhattan, where dining out is bigger than theater. Actually, it is theater, with sushi and cocktails. There are 24,600 food establishments in the naked city, and Starr has but two. Having saturated the Philadelphia market with 12 outposts and with little left to prove, Starr is set on making it here, beginning with remakes of two of his biggest Philadelphia hits, Buddakan and Morimoto.
August 1, 2010 |
Though it was a relatively modest opening by the company standards - just south of the million-dollar border - Stephen Starr's Mexican makeover for an old dive-diner (the Midtown IV) still bore unmistakable traces of El Conquistador's macho glitz. Dowdy formica counters and grotto-stone walls have been kitsched-up with lacquered Mexican movie posters, velvet Elvises, and bedazzle tiles. The old Naugahyde booths got a lowrider flourish with golden embroidery spelling out "El Rey. " Starr bragged with his usual "Philly's never seen anything like this before" bluster, touting the hideaway Ranstead Room cocktail lounge at the back of the building.
January 10, 2010 |
My friend Ed Levine grabs a slice by its puffy outer lip, lifts it high over the table, and peers at its crusty underside with the knowing eyes of a mechanic looking under the hood of a tomato-red sports coupe. "Uh-huh . . . " he says softly, examining the margherita at Pizzeria Stella and starting to tick through his checklist. The "leoparding" is gorgeous, he says, indicating the perfect constellation of charry dots and heat blisters scattered across the crust. There's a nice rise to the edge, which inflates like a bike tire around the pie. And then there is the chew, a distinct yet delicate outer crisp, giving way to an inner tenderness that has just the right amount of salt and a roasty hint of wood smoke.
October 3, 2000 |
When the University of Pennsylvania asked Stephen Starr to open a restaurant on campus, his natural response was: What kind of restaurant? Retro cocktail lounge, like his Continental? Pan-Asian, like his Buddakan? French bistro, like his Blue Angel? "Midnight at the oasis," like his Tangerine? "My initial thought was to do a family-style Italian restaurant," says Starr, who went to the Penn campus, quizzed passersby, and then asked his minions. They all laughed. Stephen Starr dishing out linguine?
June 8, 2008 |
Striped Bass will close at the end of the month as owner Stephen Starr plans to turn the seafood destination restaurant this fall into a '40s-supper-club-style steak house called Butcher & Singer Steak & Seafood. Starr told staffers yesterday that they'd be offered jobs at his other restaurants, including Parc, the French bistro he plans to open July 1 on nearby Rittenhouse Square. Butcher & Singer was the brokerage firm that occupied the space at 15th and Walnut Streets before Striped Bass opened in 1994.
July 19, 2003 |
We could have asked a TV critic to review NBC's new "The Restaurant. " But we turned it over to a pro - Stephen Starr, who owns the chic restaurants Buddakan, Pod, Alma de Cuba, Morimoto, Tangerine, Jones and the Continental. For me, previewing NBC's newest "reality" show, The Restaurant, was a bit like how I imagine John McCain felt watching Apocalypse Now for the first time. My pulse quickened, my palms were sweaty, and I had flashbacks of my own combat missions - eight grueling restaurant openings.
March 5, 2001
PGW: Are you there? Since the rate has increased dramatically, Philadelphia Gas Works is very hard to reach by phone. Every time I call, the message says: "The wait time exceeds several minutes; please try later. " Recently, I got a shutoff notice, even though my payments have been made every month, according to my agreement. I'd certainly like to know what exactly is going on, but I can't get through, KIM BUCHANAN, Philadelphia Beyond cheesesteaks Neil Stein, Stephen Starr and Georges Perrier have elevated our fair city to a world-class place to dine and entertain.
July 25, 2008 |
Talk about a deluge. In an instant - the time it took Donovan Preddy, 30, and his micro-goateed pal to gulp down their old-fashioneds at the back of the zinc bar at Parc - the scene at Philadelphia's newest and most buzzed-about restaurant was transformed from a cafe on the square to a cafe on the banks of the Seine. With five inches of water coursing southward down 18th Street - drenched greeters huddled beneath the front awning, sidewalk diners fleeing inside, guarding their half-finished plates of duck confit - it was, perhaps, time to reflect.