Thursday, July 30, 2015

Starr's next restaurant: El Rey

He's going back to Mexico.

Starr's next restaurant: El Rey


Stephen Starr's Mexican restaurant at 2013 Chestnut St. (see previous here) now has a name:

El Rey. 

And a concept: Home-style cuisine from Puebla to Veracruz from chef Dionico Jimenez, formerly of Xochitl, in what Starr told me will be a gritty-looking roadside bar setting. (The Midtown IV, the previous occupant, could have fit that bill.)

The banquettes are getting vibrant-colored Naugahyde upholstery, and the lunch counter is being transformed into a 12-seat bar. The place will be decorated with flea-market finds from Southern California and Mexico. Shawn Hausman Design, which did Chateau Marmount and The Standard in L.A. as well as Starr's Parc and Butcher & Singer, is behind it.

There also will be a back-room bar with a speakeasy feel and private entrance.

Expect in-house-made tortillas, tacos, tortas, guacamoles, and molés, and such dishes as queso envuelto (panela cheese, mushrooms, zucchini blossoms, onion, wrapped in banana leaves and served a la plancha); cazuela de carne (skirt steak, salsa, black beans, avocado, cactus); chilapachole de Jaiba (blue crab in a spicy broth), and chiles en nogada (roasted poblanos stuffed with ground beef, almonds, dried fruit, walnut sauce).

Starr is basing the name on the fictional Mexican town featured in the Jim Thompson pulp novel The Getaway and Robert Rodriguez film From Dusk Till Dawn, which is alternately spelled El Ray and El Rey.

Opening will be in late April.
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

Michael Klein
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter