Saturday, January 31, 2015

POSTED: Friday, January 30, 2015, 2:03 PM
Bob Barrar, now with 2SP Brewing Company.

Bob Barrar - who picked up 19 Great American Beer Festival and 10 World Beer Cup medals during his 15 years at Iron Hill Brewery in Media (Russian Imperial Stout is his) - is about to break ground on a brewery with Michael Stiglitz and Ben Muse, owners of the Two Stones Pubs.

They're calling it 2SP Brewing Company and it will take space at 120 Concord Rd. in Aston, Delaware County.

Stiglitz, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (and former Iron Hill-er himself), and beer veteran Muse founded Two Stones in Newark, Del., in 2011, followed by spots in Wilmington and Kennett Square.

POSTED: Thursday, January 29, 2015, 12:15 PM

Part of Marc Vetri's diatribe against food critics was his incredulity that a critic would evaluate a hummus counter on the same scale as more uppity establishments such as his.

This came off as a slap in the face against his protege Michael Solomonov, who was awarded three Craig LaBan bells for his hummus shop, Dizengoff.

In this Instagram video released Thursday, the guys seem to have kissed and made up.

POSTED: Thursday, January 29, 2015, 11:14 AM
Dana Smith Farrell and Gregory Smith at Avenue Kitchen, Villanova. (MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com)

Dana Smith Farrell, who opened Avenue Kitchen in Villanova nearly two years ago, is planning her second location.

The bistro will take a spot next to Starbucks in Glen Eagle Square (477 Wilmington West Chester Pike, Glen Mills) - a shopping center she knows well. She recently parted as an investor in Harvest  Seasonal Grill, located nearby.

Farrell, again working with her brother, chef Gregory Smith, says the Glen Mills branch will have a similar menu and city-meets-burbs aesthetic.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 3:26 PM
R2L's dining room on the 37th floor of Two Liberty Place.

Juno what's up?

Center City District Restaurant Week, which was scheduled to wrap Friday, Jan. 30, has been extended because of the recent snow scare.

Some of the 120 restaurants will continue offering $20 lunches and $35 dinners on Monday, Feb. 2, Tuesday, Feb. 3 and Wednesday, Feb. 4.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 12:45 PM
Marc Vetri. (MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com)
Marc Vetri lit a match, heated the griddle, went to work - and food critics would have none of it.

Vetri - never one to shy from his opinions on such subjects as wheat farming, gluten allergies and restaurant week - called out food journalism, food journalists and in particular restaurant critics Tuesday in a rant on Huffington Post.

He described a series of ills and wrongs, alleging a lowering of standards and decrying a move toward "click-y" online content, including “best of” lists and “listicles" at the expense of in-depth stories.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 12:40 AM

Sarah Levine, a former bartender and now freshly minted MBA, is about to take the first-time-restaurant plunge.

She plans a Feb. 20 opening of Luna Cafe, which will replace Panini's at 317 Market St. in Old City.

Levine, who enjoys eating "clean, organic and local," has brought in chef Jordan Andino, whom she met while both worked at the Westin Hotel in Center City, to set up the kitchen and menu. He'll later yield the stove to a to-be-named chef.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 27, 2015, 2:17 PM
Marc Vetri, who opened Vetri in 1998, also teaches at his alma mater, Drexel University. (MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com)

Marc Vetri would make a dandy critic. He's well-schooled, erudite and never one to shy from his convictions, whether it's the inanities of restaurant week or the wide-ranging ignorance surrounding gluten.

His latest topic is food journalism.

"How Food Journalism Got as Stale as Day-Old Bread" is the headline on an editorial he wrote for the Huffington Post.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 27, 2015, 1:08 PM
Ron Kauffman outside his Rita's shop at 1511 Spruce St.

On this snow day, note that Rittenhouse is getting ice.

As in, the Rita's Water Ice shop at 1511 Spruce St., which has been shut since the end of 2012. 

When owners came in to set up for the 2014 season, they found vandals had damaged the ice and custard machines and cash registers and had trashed the store.

About this blog
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. Reach Michael at mklein@philly.com.

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