Monday, August 31, 2015

A taste of France in Wash West

It's called Cafe Maurice, and it's the homecoming of a Mount Airy guy who went off to seek his fortune in the south of France.

A taste of France in Wash West

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The building at 114 S. 12th St. in Washington Square West, which has been a series of restaurants both memorable and forgettable (Odeon, Bistro Bix, Les Bons Temps) and a dance club called TPDS, is to get new life in the spring.

Name: Cafe Maurice.

Chef: David Cunningham, whose been around the block a few times (Yardley Inn and Old Original Bookbinder's around here, Petrossian and Lenox Room in NYC).

Owner: Edward Bianchini, a Mount Airy native who moved to France 25 years ago and opened Les Muscadins, a restraurant/hotel in the south of France. He operated it for 18 years, and believes he is the only American to get a Michelin star. From the mid-1990s, he also was a partner for 10 years at the Lenox Room.

After he sold Les Muscadins, "I thought I was retired. But I was always enamored of the idea of duplicating what I did in France here in the United States."

He thought of his hometown.

(The project has been kicking around for a bit; chef Luke Palladino's name was attached to it earlier this year, but Bianchini said nothing was signed.)

Opening is scheduled for spring.

Also coming to the neighborhood is Ulysses Voyage, an upscale Greek restaurant where Deux Cheminees was.

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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.

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