Chef Jim Burke has returned from NYC

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Jim Burke (right) with Daniel Boulud.

Restaurateurs Jim and Kristina Burke, who sold their critically acclaimed James in Bella Vista three years ago to move to New York for some high-profile work, have returned to Philly.

Kristina posted a photo of their new rowhouse on Facebook, announcing the return. There's more of them; they now have two kids, a son who is 4½ and a daughter who is 7 months.

"It was a quality-of-life thing," Jim told me. "New York is New York for a reason. Two kids in a walk-up? It was tough. Then there is the whole school topic."

Jim, who was one of Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs for 2008, first landed in NYC at Caffe Storico, the Stephen Starr project at the New-York Historical Society on the Upper West Side.

Just four months ago, he reopened Daniel Boulud's db Bistro Moderne in the Theater District.

He called the departure from Boulud's orbit mutual. "They were fine with it," he said. "We were trying to make something work that wasn't going to."

He said he was not sure about his next stop.

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