With a movie and TV show being shot in Philadelphia, the stars come out.
In front of TV cameras, Gordon Ramsay is the potty-mouth Scottish scold on Kitchen Nightmares, the Fox restaurant-makeover show. Last Saturday night, he and fellow producers could not have been friendlier at The Blind Pig, the pub in Northern Liberties. Debra Ciasullo and David Hentz stood by as they ordered quesadillas, poutine, lamb sliders, salads, and the signature fried turkey-dinner balls. They had previously visited Zocalo in West Philly for an episode to air in early 2012. Apparently not sick of Mexican eats, Ramsay hit Distrito in West Philly Monday and Tuesday nights.
Robert De Niro, here filming The Silver Linings Playbook, had customers texting excitedly Saturday night. He visited not one but two Stephen Starr restaurants. He and his wife started at Talula's Garden on Washington Square, where they were tucked in a corner, and wound up later for a nightcap at Il Pittore, near Rittenhouse Square. Last night, I got word they joined the friends-and-family meal at Route 6, opening Friday 11/18. De Niro's costar Bradley Cooper, meanwhile, is a sorta-regular at The Dandelion, another Starr restaurant near Rittenhouse Square. (These guys get Starr gift cards on Day One of shooting?)
Saturday night at Tashan (777 S. Broad St.) was packed with Silver Linings Playbook folks. Director David O. Russell, John Ortiz, Jackie Weaver and 30-plus cast and crew members came in for dinner and stayed well after midnight. Joining them were Chris Tucker, Paul Herman, Bollywood star Anupam Kher, Shea Whigham (aka Eli Thompson from Boardwalk Empire), and local actrees Brea Grant. Madhu Narula, wife of Tashan owner Munish Narula, landed a nice "credited" role in the movie.
This sighting is a bit late, but on Nov. 4, Vice President Biden dined among a party of five at Portobello’s, a BYOB in downtown Kennett Square. Chef Brett Hulbert fixed him a nice tomato and mozzarella salad and chicken Parm.