Thursday, December 18, 2014

Archive: January, 2009

POSTED: Thursday, January 8, 2009, 12:10 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk
Owner Nongyao "Moon" Krapugthong at MangoMoon in Manayunk, with chef de cuisine Ya Charatsil behind her in the open kitchen. (SHARON GEKOSKI-KIMMEL / Staff Photographer)

Here's a look at the new Manayunk bistro's Thai-influenced menu. Not an Evil Jungle Princess in sight.

The high-style restaurant is directly across from the parking lot off Lock and Main Streets and serves dinner only. In the photo, note the Thai lettering on the wall. That's actually 186,000 nails. Owner Nongyao "Moon" Krapugthon translates the lettering as a plea to the moon goddess: "Moon Goddess, please give me rice, give me curry, give me a gold ring, give me a bracelet, give me an elephant and give me a horse."

What? No plea for a full reservation book?

POSTED: Wednesday, January 7, 2009, 3:15 PM

It's the O'Reilly factor, all right. With Bill O'Reilly out of the radio picture, talk stations are looking for product.

Enter Michael Smerconish. The Doylestown-bred lawyer turned morning host at WPHT (1210), whose CBS show was recently simulcast in Washington, D.C., just signed a deal with syndicator Dial Global for a second radio show, confirming a report I had here two weeks ago.

His first station, starting Feb. 2, will be New York's WOR (710), according to Dial Global and CBS. 

POSTED: Wednesday, January 7, 2009, 10:04 AM
Filed Under: TableTalk
An artist's rendering of the new Union Trust steakhouse. (DAS Architects)

Lots of restaurants are on the way, despite the miserable economy. 

Keep in mind that many were conceived in flusher times. Whether the brisk pace of openings continues is anyone's guess. Every economy supports "little projects," such as the Wings to Go opening imminently at 15th and Vine Streets and the Chili's under construction to replace the Houlihan's at Noble Square in Jenkintown. As for larger-scale works, I'm hearing about three in the pipeline. None has been fully signed and sealed. Two are in Center City (from two of the city's most-respected chefs) and a third will be an ambitious tavern operator's foray into University City with a novel pizza/beer concept.

Here's a sampler of what's on the immediate radar, according to their respective owners.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 6, 2009, 3:30 PM

Radio host Chris Booker, let go suddenly by Q102 last May, signed a deal today to do afternoons on New York's WXRK ("K-Rock"). He starts Wednesday. 

This is a homecoming for Booker, thrust in the limelight from time to time in the last year because he's the boyfriend of anchor Alycia Lane.

After starting on K-Rock's evening shift in 1996, Booker met Howard Stern, who called him "Booger" on his show and gave his career wings. Booker left K-Rock for a spell in 2003 and returned to do afternoons in 2005. He left New York for Q102 in 2006.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 6, 2009, 2:58 PM

Michael Ortega, who has had the Tex-Mex cantina Pico de Gallo on the northwest corner of 15th and South Street for six years, told me over the summer that he wanted to branch out. He'll be getting his wish in the next couple of weeks, now that he has a line on a liquor license.

He won't go far -- right across the street, into the southwest corner of 15th and South.

Here's how it will play out: The main operation of Pico de Gallo, which will be more refined in cuisine and decor (and will include a full bar), will occupy the southwest corner. The present Pico de Gallo, where beer is served, will be set up as a takeout-delivery operation called Pico To Go with a lower-priced menu (most dishes under $6.50).

POSTED: Tuesday, January 6, 2009, 11:47 AM
Filed Under: TableTalk

The Kildare's Irish Pub at Head House Square (Second Street just north of South) is giving way to the Get Happy Pub.

On Monday, Kildare's boss Dave Magrogan sold the pub to veteran barman Paul Lauriello, the former managing partner of Kildare's King of Prussia and a five-year Kildarean. Lauriello will run the front of the house, and his wife, Christine, a caterer, will be chef.

Get Happy will open tonight. They're going for comfort foods and a "Cheers"-style scene. As for Kildare's, Magrogan says he's aiming toward college towns as he expands.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 6, 2009, 8:14 AM
Dave Huddleston

Three 10 o'clock news shows in town?

CBS3 is cooking up plans for a 10 p.m. newscast on its sister station, CW Philly 57, to go up against Fox29 and the MyPHL News at Ten Powered by NBC10.

If what I'm hearing is true, the CW Philly's half-hour show's anchor would be CBS3's Dave Huddleston -- putting him up against Fox29, his old station.

POSTED: Monday, January 5, 2009, 4:49 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk

There's not much turnover in the kitchen at Fork, one of the early comers to the Old City restaurant scene (1997) and one of the area's most decorated restaurants.

But with chef Thien Ngo announcing his retirement after seven years -- he's going home to Vietnam -- owners Ellen Yin and Roberto Sella tapped an old-timer to replace him.

Not that Terence Feury is old. He's just seasoned. He most recently was executive chef at Maia in Villanova, after tours with the Ritz-Carltons in Georgetown and Philadelphia, Striped Bass in Philadelphia and Le Bernadin in New York.

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. Reach Michael at

Michael Klein
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