October 22, 1999 |
Before Hadar Nisimi opened Prego, in Old City, he had spent just about all of his restaurant career surrounded by Northern Italian cooking. As a college student from Israel he began working first as a busboy, then a waiter. Next it was, as they call it, the front of the house (hosting), and then it was the back (helping manage the kitchen). His most recent stint was at Il Cantuccio, in Northern Liberties. Prior to that, he was at La Locanda del Ghiottone, in Old City.Now Nisimi has taken over the short-lived Monterey Grille, which has a generously attractive outdoor seating, and has fashioned a menu around Northern Italian and Mediterranean cooking.
September 30, 1994 |
What do you do when you've spent 10 years as executive chef at a number of restaurants with good name recognition and even opened a place for investors? Frank DeCotis decided it was time to open his own restaurant. He selected a spot, at 24th and Lombard Streets, that most recently had been a Persian restaurant named Omar Khayyam. He named his place Foggia Ristorante - Foggia is the town in Italy that his parents came from - and decided he'd give it an Italian bent with emphasis on health-conscious dining.
June 13, 1993 |
Aglio, the new Italian-style restaurant on Passyunk Avenue, is one of those rare breeds that seem to have it all: a creative menu, designer-worthy presentation, and first-rate food. The restaurant has been open about a month. Its name is Italian for garlic, a plant that chef and co-owner Frank Audino is quite fond of. He also wears his love affair with food on his sleeve, so it's not unusual to see Audino stop by a table to check on his customers. "What I do is I listen," he said.
October 8, 1989 |
Even without its founding chef, Village Auberge in Strafford is one of our finest suburban restaurants. Opened in February by Marcel Brossett, formerly of La Camargue in Philadelphia, the restaurant replaces Helen Sigel Wilson's L'Auberge at the Spread Eagle Village across from the Lancaster Farmers Market. Brossett left in July to go into the catering business. His place has been taken by Marc Dubie, who moved up from chef de cuisine; he seems to be a worthy successor. The enormously attractive restaurant is little changed from its previous ownership.
April 14, 1995 |
The Knave of Hearts on South Street is one of those places that not only seem to do most things right but make them appear so easy. The restaurant opened 20 years ago and was on the cutting edge when the city began slicing itself a piece of national restaurant recognition. Since then, it has continued to deal us creative food. The Knave also knows a good thing when it has it. A number of dishes that were favorites when the doors first opened are still on the menu. If you've been there, you probably remember the Chicken Cozumel ($14)
July 15, 2010 |
One needn't subscribe to a vegetarian diet to find pleasure in lightly smoky, caramelized vegetables prepared on the grill. Numerous varieties - squash, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, eggplant, and fennel, to name a few - take extraordinarily well to this method of cooking. Vegetables are largely ignored once they hit the grates, when in fact they require, and sometimes deserve, the most attention. With the right treatment, they can easily be the star of the meal. And, because their time on the grill is short - most need just about 10 minutes' cooking time - even a last-minute barbecue can come together quickly.
July 17, 2008 |
IF YOU CAN'T stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Sure, it might be too steamy to cook, but you still have to eat, right? Take a page out of the cookbooks of six area chefs and keep it light, simple and flavorful the next time you make a summer supper, best enjoyed outside in the garden, on the deck or patio. Any chef worth his or her sea salt will agree that cooking with lots of fresh, seasonal ingredients is the place to start. Use the grill for just about everything, and when you turn on the oven, keep the cooking time short.
June 29, 2003 |
Without so much as a blip of cosmic change, Philadelphia has moved a little closer to the suburbs. At least, that is the carefully crafted impression that the owners of Roux 3 - a stylish new bistro that has evolved since it opened here nine months ago - have created. Billed as a "Center City caliber restaurant," Roux 3 seems to exemplify the best of urbane fine dining. That might include an executive chef skilled in French cooking techniques and an in-house pastry chef who creates elaborate geometric constructions worthy of an architectural award.
June 14, 1989 |
Dressing has been typecast. Because it has played sidekick to salad for so long, most of us never think of it in any other role. It's time to correct such shortsightedness, for salad dressings are among the easiest means of adding a spark of exotic flavor to a meal without additional time, expense or labor. Salad dressings can be the piquant glaze on a roasting chicken or the marinade for a breast of lamb. They can be the secret ingredient in mashed potatoes, the sauce for a chilled poached salmon, the seasoning on a side dish of green beans and the intriguing twist to a favorite chili.