Friday, July 3, 2015

Oh, about your 'new' stove...

A chef attempts to gift his old stove to a friend. Incompetence ensues.

Oh, about your 'new' stove...

The future Avenue Deli in Lansdowne.
The future Avenue Deli in Lansdowne.

Here's one from the No Good Deed Goes Unpunished Department:

Chef Peter Woolsey beat up his stove long enough at Bistrot La Minette, so he ordered a new one. Childhood buddy Laura Frangiosa is opening The Avenue Delicatessen in Lansdowne and needed a stove. A used one would do. 

Frangiosa accepted Woolsey's old stove, which he disconnected and hauled out of the kitchen.

All would be right with the world, except that the installers opened the box of his new stove to find it massively dented, beyond repair.

"I felt like having my gelt stolen at Hanukkah, opening a box to find my new Christmas toy smashed, getting into an accident 30 seconds off the lot with a new car, or actually like waiting months for very expensive new stoves," Woolsey wrote on Facebook.

He had to slide the old stove back and hook it up again.

They'll try this stove shuffle again in a couple of weeks when the new stove arrives. (Side point: Peter's new stove arriving broken is not unusual. If you're wondering why many restaurateurs' hair turns white or falls out during construction, it's because of general incompetence: The mill sends the wrong fabric for the banquettes, the 48-inch bar-back refrigerator comes in at 54 inches, 28 chairs arrive from Hong Kong when 35 were ordered, and so on.)

Meanwhile, work is progressing on Avenue Delicatessen, and the missing stove probably won't delay things. It's due to open in late March.

Avenue Deli will not be a "cold-cut hut," says Frangiosa about Avenue Delicatessen, which she is opening with  husband Joshua Skaroff and business partner Brian Flounders.

It's a Jewish-Italian deli - some items will be straightforward Jewish cooking (house-cured corned beef), others will be old-school Italian, and "some will be a marriage of the two." Example: Jewish wedding soup, a riff on Italian wedding soup with matzo balls, mini-veal meatballs and escarole.

Becca O’Brien, who cooks for Green Aisle Grocery on East Passyunk,  will actually be using that stove.
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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.

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