Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Saturday, August 30, 2014, 3:58 PM

Many of us live life by a credo, whether it's "I believe in the Church of Baseball" or "Never eat anything bigger than your head."

Daniel Kemelman found his mission statement on a bumper sticker: "Gravity is just a theory."

"There's nothing stopping you from flying," he adds.

POSTED: Friday, August 29, 2014, 9:58 AM

A year and a half ago, 13th Street restaurant pioneers Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran took over the spaces beneath the Independent Hotel at 13th and Locust Streets that briefly had Fish and Rhino Bar.

Last fall, they opened Nonna's, an Italian spot, in the former Fish space on the Locust Street side.

With their renovation at Lolita up the street behind them - and Barbuzzo, Jamonera and their retail shops humming along - they have finally disclosed their plans for the corner:

POSTED: Friday, August 29, 2014, 5:00 AM
CityPass.com is out with a list of 15 of what it bills as the most decadent, heartstopping and outrageous foods.

Northern Liberties' PYT makes this list with a Sarancha Burger, a combo of sriracha, ranch and salsa, cheese, guac and chips on top of a burger.

Varga Bar in Washington Square West gets its due for Jumbo Lump Crab Cheese Fries, which sound tasty enough but frankly not "outrageous" when compared to the list's Piggy Fries from L.A.'s Oinkster, which tops its fries with Thousand Island dressing, caramelized onions and cheddar.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 12:02 AM
The Farmers' Cabinet, formerly at 1111-13 Walnut St. (MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com)

Thirty-five former employees of Matt and Colleen Swartz's crumbled bar empire have gone to Common Pleas Court to seek a total of about $100,000 in wages.

The aggrieved workers - from the Farmers' Cabinet, Logan Goat and Sutton's Parlor - are the cogs that make any restaurant go: managers, cooks, prep staff, bartenders, a musician, an event planner, and $2.83-a-hour waiters. Most of the debts are fairly recent.

In the complaint - filed Tuesday by Henry Yampolsky of Galfand Berger in conjunction with the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Philadelphia, a worker-advocacy group - the former employees say they are owed anywhere from a few hundred dollars to in excess of $10,000 in tips, straight pay and overtime.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 2:34 PM
Chris Scarduzio says he's relinquishing Mia's at Caesars.

Chris Scarduzio was sitting in his car not too long ago - as he drives three, four hours a day - and he was taking stock of his work world as a 48-year-old chef:

Mia's at Caesars in Atlantic City. Scarduzio's at Showboat in Atlantic City, closing with the casino on Aug. 31.  A casino-restaurant deal on the table in Bucks County. A restaurant under construction in South Philadelphia.

And he got a call from Alberto Guadagnini, his friend for decades. Over the last 40 years, Guadagnini has owned a bunch of restaurants here, including San Marco and La Buca in Center City, Ristorante Alberto in Bala Cynwyd, La Collina in Belmont Hills, and Villa Strafford in Wayne. He currently owns Teca in West Chester with his son, Roberto.

POSTED: Monday, August 25, 2014, 4:10 PM
On "Hell's Kitchen" season 13, top, left to right: Ashley Sherman, Jennifer Salhoff, bottom left to right, Sade Dancy and Denine Giordano. (FOX)

The 13th season of Fox's Hell's Kitchen launches at 8 p.m. Sept. 10.

This time, four women from Philadelphia and its environs will be among the cast of 18 competing for big money and glory as they submit to the tender ministrations of Gordon Ramsay.

Fox is a bit skimpy on bios, but I've managed to flesh 'em out a bit.

POSTED: Monday, August 25, 2014, 2:22 PM

Kenny Poon - whose restaurant holdings include Ken Shin Asian Diner in Northern Liberties and Tea-Do in Chinatown - is behind Kai, a snug Japanese spot at 12 S. 10th St., filling in for the former Bumblefish and Tea Talk.

Interior is a forest of blond wood, and includes a seven-seat sushi bar.

For such a small space, the menu is enormous, with requisite rolls augmented by cooked dishes including teriyaki, don, udon, and tempura. Lunch sushi deals ($10) are a steal.

POSTED: Monday, August 25, 2014, 11:06 AM
Facade is now wrapped at Lorenzo & Sons, 305 South St. (MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com)

Lorenzo & Sons - the South Street pizzeria famed for its 28-inch pies and its appeal among late-night bar crawlers - is opening a location in West Chester.

Giuseppe "Joe" Pulizzi told West Chester Dish that he bought the former home of Sprazzo at the busy corner of High and Gay Streets. He said the menu would be larger than the one on South Street and would include pizzas, stromboli, calzones, and sandwiches.

The regular menu will run through 9 p.m. to cater to courthouse workers and families. The shop will sell slices only until 3 a.m.

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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