Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Monday, March 24, 2014, 2:37 PM

The crew from Old City's Fork and its sizzling sibling, High Street on Market, is now set up at a.kitchen and a.bar, in the AKA Rittenhouse Square at 18th and Walnut Streets.

It's an unusual partnership. David Fields, who created a.kitchen, has yielded much of the day-to-day operation to his longtime friend, Fork founder Ellen Yin, and executive chef Eli Kulp. Fields, meanwhile, is concentrating on other AKA properties, and veteran manager Michael Dombkoski is running a.kitchen's dining room.

Yin and Kulp - now operating High Street Hospitality Group - hope to set up similar partnerships with other restaurants.

POSTED: Monday, March 24, 2014, 5:00 AM

They say 2014 will be a rebuilding year for the Phillies.

Same for Aramark, which handles the food at Citizens Bank Park.

For its 11th season at the ballpark, Aramark rebuilt many kitchens. The new equipment will allow for new food options and perhaps add some speed this season.

POSTED: Saturday, March 22, 2014, 4:32 PM

Thursday, March 20 marked the end of the road for Philly's branch of Elephant & Castle, the English themer in the Sonesta hotel at 18th and Market Streets (previously a Holiday Inn).

The lease was up, and the chain packed up its trunk. If you need an E&C fix, D.C. has two of 'em.

Doug Green of Michael Salove Co. says negotiations with new restaurants are underway, so the space may not be dark for too long.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 2:15 PM
Forcella, 310 Old York Rd., Jenkintown.

When is a BYOB so tiny, it's more like dining in a private home?

That may be the case at the day-old Forcella, a plush, Italian 14-seater two doors from Drake Tavern in downtown Jenkintown.

Jose and Jennifer Vargas, who burst on the scene in 2007 with the two-bell Rylei in Mayfair, are offering three- and four-course tasting menus ($44 and $55, and there are vegetarian options) in the former Wild Dog House at 310 Old York Rd. (267-400-6155).

POSTED: Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 4:44 PM
Bar at Tria Taproom, 2005 Walnut St. (Photo: Holley Robbins)

For all the hometown pride that surrounded February's announcement of the James Beard Foundation's list of semifinalists, today's release of the actual finalists is a slap in the face.

The 215 has been overlooked again by Beard voters.

Dozens of Philadelphians studded the big list of semifinalists. Of the 30 semifinalists for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic region, 9 had Philly ties.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 10:44 AM
Route 6 is at Broad and Mount Vernon Streets, with its entrance through a patio on Mount Vernon. (MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com)

Stephen Starr says he is pulling the plug on Route 6, his 2½-year-old seafooder at Broad and Mount Vernon Streets.

Last night will be Thursday, March 20.

Starr said he was searching for a new concept and chef and planned to open something new there in September.

POSTED: Monday, March 17, 2014, 10:59 AM

After a brief lull, the region's restaurant scene has come roaring back to life with new openings.

Start with last weekend's rollout of the second location of the pizza/wine bar Zavino, in Chestnut Square in University City (3200 Chestnut St., 215-893-3195). This Zavino is three times the size of the original at 13th and Sansom Streets, with two ovens, a spacious charcuterie counter, an expanded menu from chef Carlos Aparicio and all sorts of seating - not a bad seat in the house. It's along Chestnut Street, just east of 33d Street and a concrete's throw from Shake Shack. 

Estia Taverna - the semicasual offshoot of Estia, Center City's luxest Greek restaurant - is now in soft-opening mode at 140 W. Route 70 in Marlton (856-596-5500), replacing the partners' Pietro's Coal-Oven Pizzeria. Another location is up for summer at 200 S. Radnor-Chester Rd. in Radnor Township.

POSTED: Monday, March 17, 2014, 10:14 AM
Dmitri's at 23d and Pine Streets.

The Dmitri's location at 23d and Pine Streets on Fitler Square pulled the plug over the weekend after 14 years.

The building was sold, and owner Dmitri Chimes says he would have had to pay "much higher rent" for his Greek seafood specialist. 

Chimes told me that he is not sure what his next move will be, though he wants to open a new restaurant - perhaps even nearby. He owns the liquor license, which is worth north of $85,000.

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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