June 9, 2011 |
One in an occasional series on the demand for locally grown food and its impact on our region. A decade ago, it was de rigueur to augment the description of a dish on a restaurant menu with the name of the farm that provided the precious ingredients. But when Wendy's (yes, the burger chain) declares it has followed "the farm-to-table philosophy from the get-go," you know the food movement has shifted from its core. We've gone way beyond farm-to-table. Now it's not good enough for a chef to buy from a local farm.
March 8, 2011 |
James Kaplan wrote the book on Frank Sinatra - the 700-plus-page biography Frank Sinatra: The Voice. Monday night at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, under the auspices of Michael Smerconish's book club and in front of several hundred Sinatra fans, Kaplan encountered the man who could have written the book - Sid Mark , the Philly radio host who for 55 years has kept Mr. S's flame burning. Kaplan, a veteran journalist who says he regards Sinatra as a genius, recounted anecdotes gleaned from years of research, insisting that he didn't want his story to solely focus on "the women, the mob, and the fistfights.
November 21, 2012
"The last straw" is what Barbara Dallap-Schaer said to her husband, Thomas Schaer, when he proposed a "nanodairy" to make raw sheep's milk cheeses at their 45-acre Meadowset Farm in Landenberg. The two, both large-animal surgeons at University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, had already earned a reputation for their sustainably raised lamb, honey, and eggs in Chester County hot spots such as Talula's Table and Vala Vineyards. At the end of their first year of cheese production, though, Meadowset's debut wheel, aptly named the Last Straw, a bright and peppery pecorino-style modeled after traditional examples in Shaer's Swiss birthplace, has been joined by an equally impressive companion.
June 29, 2012 |
Your restaurant is riding high. Day after day, plates of food go out of the kitchen looking beautiful and come back empty. Costs are in line. Employees are happy. Then one day, the chef sits you down. "I'm leaving. " Such is what happened recently at Fork, Ellen Yin's bistro in Old City. Terence Feury, who joined Yin to fanfare in January 2009, said he had a golden opportunity to invest in the renovation of the Old Swedes Inn in Swedesboro, Gloucester County, and to lead its kitchen later this summer when it opens as Tavro 13. Yin might have been surprised, but she could not have been shocked.
July 14, 2011 |
The scene is hopping on both sides of 18th Street north of Rittenhouse Square as a.kitchen has opened on the ground floor of the AKA Rittenhouse Square (135 S. 18th St., 215-825-7030), joining the weeks-old Serafina. It's a polished but not stuffy American bistro from David Fields (ex- Salt ), featuring the food of Django/Talula's Table founding chef Bryan Sikora. From an open kitchen, he is preparing a locally sourced menu of right-sized plates, all priced under $20, that can be mixed; figure on a couple dishes per person.
August 31, 2012 |
A few restaurant veterans have gathered near the crossroads of Routes 73 and 313 in central Montgomery County. The Asian BYOB FuziOn has closed, and in its place is now Gracie's Cafe (2960 Skippack Pike, Worcester, 610-584-6958), a light and airy BYOB whose menu tackles Asian and Mediterranean cuisines. It's open for dinner daily. Buu Ly, who created FuziOn and later sold it, is the owner. To manage, he's brought in Ian Mark, a former owner of the downtown destinations Cibo and Ciboulette and the Shore spot Red Chopstix, and Billy Wong, whose past includes eponymous restaurants in Old City and Warminster, Plate in Northern Liberties, as well as Tang's on South Street and Mustard Greens in Queen Village.
February 9, 2012
An excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: I'm talking about Sunday's monster package of four-bell reviews, in which I named a new class of four-bell restaurants, the eight other contenders. How do you respond to criticism that Talula's Table isn't really a restaurant with only one seating, one menu per night? C.L.: I always write from the diner's perspective - about dining experiences you can pay for. And if I had $130 to spend on an extraordinary meal, and the luck to nab a reservation, I can think of few places I'd rather dine at than Talula's Table.
December 30, 2010 |
WHEN IT COMES to delicious drinking and dining, 2010 was a very good year. A slew of notable restaurants opened, including Marc Vetri's Amis, Val Safran and Marcie Turney's stellar Barbuzzo, and Jose Garces' namesake Trading Co. and J.G. Domestic. Former Four Seasons chef Marty Hamann earned raves at the Union League's 1862 by Martin Hamann, the best restaurant in town that most of us can't get into. Stephen Starr opened El Rey in the former Midtown as well as the dark and sexy Ranstead Room, and transformed the Museum Restaurant into stylish Granite Hill in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philly finally got a grown-up cocktail lounge/restaurant with a view with the opening of Daniel Stern's swank R2L. Mike Stollenwerk's Fish remains the best place in town to eat seafood, especially if you're not on a diet.
August 9, 2012
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: I've been loving all summer produce that's around us this time of year, and took the family peach picking in Jersey, at Conte Farms in Tabernacle. I did my best to put a dent in the 22 pounds of ripe fruit we picked (in 10 minutes!) before the tractor returned. Reader: Where is the best place in Philadelphia to get artisan cheeses? My friends suggest I move to Bucks County, where I will be a short train ride away from Brooklyn where they have the best artisan cheeses.
April 21, 2011 |
The mechanics of the thing were falling into place last week - the flocks of daffodils jump-started in their beds, the wall of vintage spigot fountains trickling and, inside, the last of the drapes getting draped from the 20-foot-high ceilings. But at the edge of Washington Square, Aimee Olexy was still chewing over an intangible, even as her ambitious restaurant Talula's Garden opened last Wednesday, serving up its first oven-warm brioche (with a lick of spring-ramp-infused butter)