Saturday, July 4, 2015

Restaurant notes: A Collingswood duopoly; a cantina goes BYO

Blackbird and West Side Gravy hum side by side.

Restaurant notes: A Collingswood duopoly; a cantina goes BYO


Alex Capasso reopened his Collingswood comfort-fooder West Side Gravy on the eve of Valentine's Day, and it now shares the former Haddon Avenue Woolworth's store with his fancier Blackbird Dining Establishment, which moved in from Collins Avenue. It's a neat footprint as both BYOBs get window space, and they're separated by a high wall. Besides a kitchen and address (714 Haddon Ave,), they now also share a phone number: 856-854-3444.

Tequila Joe's in Oreland is now a BYOB ("till further notice," says owner John Anderson), open Wednesdays-Sundays.

Bubby's Brisket, literally a hole-in-the-wall (as in, serving hot dogs and roast beef behind a sliding glass door on 15th Street just above Arch), has opened a location in the food court at Moorestown Mall. PREIT, the mall operator, also says Red Mango, the South Korean fro-yo giant, has opened a kiosk at Cherry Hill Mall, near Macy’s Court.

Lots of joy in restaurant land, as the James Beard Foundation is out with its list of semifinalists for 2011 Beard Awards. This list will be winnowed significantly by March 21 when the finalists are announced. Awards ceremony is May 9.

The locals include:

  • New restaurant: Amis, Barbuzzo
  • Restaurant: Vetri
  • Restaurateur: Stephen Starr, plus a few chain operators including Tom Baron, whose Pittsburgh-based Big Burrito Restaurant Group owns Mad Mex; Roger Berkowitz, the Boston-based main lobsta at Legal Sea Foods; Steve Ells of the Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill
  • Chef: Jose Garces, Marc Vetri
  • Pastry chef: Carla Gonçalves of KOO ZEE DOO,  Erin Stafford of Barbuzzo
  • Rising star chef: Lee Styer of Fond
  • Chef, Mid-Atlantic: Pierre Calmels of Bibou, David Gilberg of KOO ZEE DOO, Chip Roman of Blackfish, Adán Saavedra of Paloma, Michael Solomonov of Zahav
  • Service: Lacroix at the Rittenhouse, Vetri
  • Wine service: Melissa Monosoff of Savona in Gulph Mills, Michael McCaulley of Tria
  • Wine and spirits professional: Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Del. (even though beer is neither wine nor spirit)
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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.

Michael Klein
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