January 19, 2012
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat. Craig LaBan: I'm thrilled to see the Rittenhouse Farmer's Market still ticking along each Saturday into winter, with hot cider and the Renaissance Sausage cart to keep us warm, as well as a new-ish Jersey seafood stand with everything from fluke to scallops from Barnegat - all of it fresh and local, not frozen. They'd sold out by 1 p.m. when we arrived. We were in plenty of time, though, to plunder the Rineer Family Farms - one of the best all-purpose stands around: grass-fed rump roast; eggs with yolks as bright as the sun. But most interesting, Rineer has also recently been selling freshly ground white cornmeal (great for crusting fish)
November 4, 2010 |
Between trips to the Middle East, archaeologist Jill Weber makes her home in Philadelphia, where she's affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania. Dig this: She's turned her passion for international food and drink into a Center City spot, Jet Wine Bar (1525 South St.). Due to open this week, Jet has a sleek bar on the ground floor and a lounge with tables in the lower level. Chef Matt Zagorski, last at Rouge on Rittenhouse Square, has put together a menu of meats, cheeses, and sandwiches designed to pair with the beverages.
July 1, 2010
Want to know what that unctuous server was really thinking when he took your overcooked steak back to the kitchen? Pop over to the Restau-RANT at SketchJobs.com, where those who toil in the food industry anonymously vent. Sample rant: "Some cat announced that his beer had hints of Alaskan halibut in the nose. Who talks like that??" You'll need a stomach for strong language - not to mention disturbing tales of barroom excess - but it's kind of funny, especially if you've ever waited tables.
April 29, 2010 |
So our supper begins. It hasn't begun so humbly in days, various feasts and celebrations having spirited us to finer tables, in one case concluding in the take-home gift of a hollow dark-chocolate pig commemorating the birthday of a friend born in the Year of the Pig. One sprawling dinner in an Old City bistro included a passed hors d'oeuvre of tiny potato blinis topped with a bud of house-cured salmon, exquisite and sweet. Another, in a cozy townhouse dining room, was an homage to spring foraging - a mince of wild ramps beneath the pecorino in tender ravioli; and baby fava beans slick beside spongy morels in the rabbit dish.
March 25, 2010
Ever since the bagel shop closed many years ago, this tiny boutique of a space just south of Rittenhouse Square has struggled to find an enduring tenant. How about the small-plate appeal of Venetian cichetti and a wine bar? Former gondolier Andrea Luca Rossi, also a veteran of Girasole and numerous Boston restaurants, is giving the concept from his native town a try - and I like the early vibe. Out with the fussy white leather couches and marble of the old Italian wine bar. In with more rustic woods and casual buzz of the small-plate cantina.
March 4, 2010 |
There should be little surprise about what's on the menu at Queen Village's Hoof + Fin (617 S. Third St., 215-925-3070), which filled the former Gayle last month. Owner Lucas Manteca, who owns Quahog's Seafood Shack and Sea Salt in Stone Harbor and is chef for Cape May Resort, has opted for a rustic look at his South American-influenced BYOB grill: suspended clear lightbulbs, butcher-block tables, and assorted tchotchkes. Prices are aimed at the neighborhood; figure on under $20 for main courses.
November 12, 2009
Tonight Phiz Fest , featuring a wide array of Champagnes and sparkling wines along with appetizers, cheeses, and other foods from area restaurants and food purveyors, with net proceeds to benefit the Neonatal ICU at Jefferson Hospital. $69 per person or $59 each for a couple online; $75 cash only at the door. 6-8:30 p.m. at the Grand Ballroom of the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue, Broad and Walnut Sts. To purchase tickets and for additional information, visit www.phizfest.com . More information also available at 610-649-6330.
August 30, 2009 |
Economic forces continue to pummel the restaurant industry, with more than three dozen closings in the region this year. Yet, surprisingly, at least as many eager opportunists have stepped in, checkbooks in hand, to open new ones. "Restaurateurs are, almost to a fault, optimists," said Michael O'Halloran, who two weeks ago opened Kong, a Chinese bar-restaurant in Northern Liberties with a low-priced, small-plate menu. But there is a difference: Unlike the barn-size, $10 million-plus projects like the plush steak houses that were the norm as recently as a year ago, restaurants now on the books tend to have fewer seats, lower prices, and less lofty ambitions.
August 6, 2009 |
New and just off City Avenue: Avril (134 Bala Ave., Bala Cynwyd, 610-667-2626), a cozy BYO bistro from chef Christian Gatti and his wife, April Lisante - hence the name. Gatti's Mediterranean menu starts in southeast France and heads into Italy. It will go farther inland as the weather cools off. Lisante, who spent a decade as a reporter, food writer, and editor at the Philadelphia Daily News, met Gatti in 2003 when she interviewed him for a feature about hot, young chefs.
April 9, 2009 |
Another steak house is coming down the pike. Win and Sutida Somboonsong - who own Mikado Thai Pepper in Ardmore, Flavor in Wayne, Azie in Media, and Teikoku in Newtown Square - signed a deal for the old Roux 3 site (4755 West Chester Pike) by the United Artists cineplex in Newtown Square. Parker's Prime , a steak house named after the Somboonsongs' youngest child, Parker, will have a wine list put together by winemaker/importer Gino Razzi of Penns Woods Winery. A late summer/early fall 2009 opening is planned.