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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: May, 2012

POSTED: Monday, May 21, 2012, 4:36 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk

The Sixers are getting love from five traditionally Irish eateries, which are giving up their Celtic spirit today.

The Plough & the Stars in Old City is going by The Plough & the Sixers

Fado: Traditional Irish Fare in Center City > Fado: Traditional Sixers Fans

POSTED: Monday, May 21, 2012, 10:57 AM
Filed Under: TableTalk

Bravo is sending its customized “Top Chef” 18-wheeler around the country, and it will stop at JFK Plaza on May 30 with chefs Jennifer Carroll of Philly facing her Season 6 rival Eli Kirshstein of Atlanta in a series of cooking battles in front of a panel of judges and audience members.

Shows will start at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. It's free to watch.

In addition to the battles, people can participate in on-site activities, including: a “Top Chef”-themed Cornhole Toss; Tip the Scale, where fans will be tasked with putting items in order of weight; and a “Top Chef” Horseshoe Toss.

POSTED: Saturday, May 19, 2012, 5:49 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk

Updated (Sunday morning)

Fish, at 13th and Locust Streets, should not only be back in business this week, it will be expanding.

Fish was closed over the weekend after what Stollenwerk described Saturday to Eater Philadelphia and to me as a dispute with his investors. But his investor, lawyer Evan Prochniak, now says they've cleared the air and are proceeding with a previously laid plan to add a smaller venue on the other side of the courtyard in Fish's building, the Independent Hotel. The new venue will serve breakfast and lunch, Prochniak said.

POSTED: Saturday, May 19, 2012, 9:08 AM
Filed Under: TableTalk
The latest Han Dynasty, at 3711 Market St., resembles Midatlantic, the space's previous occupant.

Dan Dan noodles for University City: Han Chiang has soft-opened his fifth location of the Sichuan palace Han Dynasty, taking over the former Midatlantic in the University City Science Center at 3711 Market St. (215-222-3711). Chiang changed little in the woodsy-meets-industrial space, but gutted the kitchen to accommodate woks. There's a full bar, whose operation will be ramped up to make the spot - on a mighty lonely stretch of Market Street after hours - more of a late-night destination.

Burgers for Dragons: The Sabrina's Cafe in Ross Commons at 34th and Powelton on Drexel's campus (227 N. 34th St.) has opened Spencer ETA Burger across the hall. (They're playing with college Greek-dom here, as the "e" in "ETA" is fashioned from a sigma, Spencer ΣTA Burger.) It definitely keeps college hours: 8 p.m. to midnight Thursdays, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 4 to 10 p.m. Sundays. All burgers are $8.50, and a combo of burger plus fries (parm, plain, or sweet potato) is $12. Menu is here.

Specials: The University City District obtained the services of Iron Chef Jose Garces - who owns Distrito and JG Domestic in the area - to host a preview video for the next University City Dining Days, which will be July 12-26 with specially priced three-course meals at a record 34 restos. (This just in, fyi: Ambler will have its own restaurant week from July 20-29; stay tuned for details.)


POSTED: Thursday, May 17, 2012, 4:52 PM

Once upon a time in Philadelphia back in the 1990s, Philippe Chin was the man.

The Harley-driving, Paris-born chef - a publicist/girlfriend on his arm - owned a boutique spot called Chanterelles, serving uppity French/Chinese fusion, at 1312 Spruce St. (He sold the salon to a kid from Abington named Marc Vetri.) Chin's next stop was a restaurant at the Locust Club, then at 1614 Locust St. He left there - quickly - in early 2001. He landed at the Partridge Inn in Augusta, Ga. (signature restaurant Bambu), then went the solo route with a restaurant called CuiZine in Aiken, S.C., before the economy tanked and he took a job with Centerplate Inc. He ran food at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in D.C.

Chin, now 49, is back in the area. Surfaced on the bay in Somers Point, N.J., with Philiippe Chin French-Asian Bistro & Deck Bar at 800 Bay Ave. The year-round restaurant, opening Memorial Day weekend, previously was 800 Bay after seasons as Fanucci's and Tucker's. It's a 300-seater in its multiple rooms and is accessible by land (comp valet parking) and water (private slips).

POSTED: Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 10:27 AM
Filed Under: TableTalk

Five owners of the popular Nifty Fifty's throwback-theme restaurant chain were accused today of beating the IRS out of millions of dollars, which the feds claim was stashed in safes.

The feds also allege that this was business as usual from the founding of Nifty Fifty's in 1986. The chain now has five locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The stores plan to remain open.

Robert Mattei, 73, of Del Ray Beach, Fla., Leo McGlynn, 52, of Swarthmore, Brian Welsh, 48, of Springfield, Joseph Donnelly, 49, of Springfield, and Elena Ruiz, 46, of Drexel Hill, are charged with conspiracy to commit tax evasion, and tax evasion, for allegedly constructing a long-running scheme to avoid paying millions of dollars in personal and employment taxes as related to their restaurant chain, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 8:02 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk
The former Octo and Rock Lobster, April 10, 2012. (philly/com)

Morgan's Pier will be the name of the seasonal restaurant/beer garden that is planned for a May 25 opening at the former Rock Lobster, the landmark club at 221 N. Columbus Blvd. (It was known as Octo in its last incarnation.)

Four Corners Management's Avram Hornik says he's in talks with a name-brand chef* to serve a backyard grill menu - "like you'd get at the home of a chef."

Morgan's Pier, intended as a family friendly destination by day and nightspot by, um, night, will be heavily landscaped to thwart the sun.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 3:55 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk

Paula Deen will be a part of this year's Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival, July 26–29.

She joins the line-up which includes Andrew Zimmern, Tyler Florence (host of Tyler's Ultimate), Robert Irvine, Nadia Giosia (a.k.a Nadia G), host of Bitchin' Kitchen, Anne Burrell of Food Network’s Secrets of a Restaurant Chef and co-host of Worst Cooks in America, Aaron Sanchez of Chopped and Heat Seakers, and Buddy “The Cakeboss” Valastro.

About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here. Reach Michael at mklein@philly.com.

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