Saturday, September 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 11:45 AM

Just when that Philly Beer Week buzz starts to fade comes autumn, and with it is King of Prussia Beerfest Royale, billed as the largest outdoor beer festival in the Philadelphia suburbs.

This year's event is Saturday, Oct. 4, outside the Court at King of Prussia, adjacent to Route 202. It will feature more than 100 craft and international beers on tap, plus food (for sale), in two sessions - from noon to 3:30 p.m. and 6 to 9:30 p.m. Ticket prices start at $40.

Besides the outdoor beer garden, the festival will feature live music and traditional German dancers, and an annual specialty beer crafted for Beerfest Royale. This event has sold out in its first two years.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 1:39 AM
Founders Richard Vague (left) and Audrey Taichman (second from left) at a Feastival event. (Matthew J Photography LLC)

More than five years ago, Richard Vague - an entrepreneur, deep-thinker and chairman of what is now FringeArts - was musing about the relationship between the performing arts and the culinary arts.

He had reason to muse. The culinary arts were doing quite well in Philadelphia, while the performing arts - especially five years ago - were taking a financial hit.

He turned to one of his best friends, restaurateur Audrey Claire Taichman.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 11:49 PM

One side-effect of the recent pizza boom is the heightened demand for good pizzamakers.

As Frank Nattle of the Phoenixville pizza destination Vecchia (249 Bridge St.) prepares for the imminent opening of his branch in downtown Wayne, he has been training a bunch of people to make Neapolitan pizzas. Nattle is many things, but he cannot be in two places at once. He's been working out of Phoenixville, as the oven in Wayne is not yet ready.

Nattle says it kills him to throw away good pizza. So from noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, Nattle plans to give away hundreds of margheritas that his trainees will bake in Phoenixville. 

POSTED: Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 10:45 PM

Rob Halpern, who got great notices at Marigold Kitchen in West Philly during his five years, sold the joint over the summer and got married earlier this month to a nurse who had tasted his mac and cheese and vowed to marry the guy who made it.

Halpern did not go far to find the buyers: two of his righthand men, Andrew Kochan and Tim Lanza, young bucks in their mid-20s who met at culinary school. Halpern's executive chef, the Culinary Institute of America-trained Keith Krajewski, will remain.

Kochan and Lanza closed the BYOB for some renovations/new equipment, and will reopen to the public Sept. 25.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 12:56 PM
Marlo and Jason Dilks outside the future P'unk Burger, 1823 E. Passyunk Ave.

South Philly's East Passyunk Avenue has many wonderful cuisines in its fast-growing restaurant collection - Italian, French, Dutch, American, Mexican, Japanese, low-fat - and plenty of bars. Come this fall, it will have another Italian and an Asian restaurant.

What East Passyunk does not have is a burger shop.

This deficiency will be remedied this November with P’unk Burger (1823 E. Passyunk Ave.), owned by Marlo and Jason Dilks, who have the SLiCE pizzerias in South Philly, Rittenhouse and Washington Township. It's taking Chhaya's former spot.

POSTED: Monday, September 15, 2014, 2:26 PM
Courtney Lapresi graduated from the University of the Arts. (FOX)

With a meal for the judges that included crispy pig's ear, sumac duck breast, and cherry meringue, Center City's Courtney Lapresi was named the season winner of Fox's MasterChef.

She gets $250,000, a book deal, and bragging rights.

Lapresi, 25, worked the stove in front of Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot. The show brought together 30 home cooks in a boot-camp-type show.

POSTED: Monday, September 15, 2014, 5:00 AM

Jon Taffer and his Bar Rescue crew last night unveiled for the Spike TV cameras their handiwork on another makeover.

What was Plush Nightspot on Keswick Avenue in Glenside is now Osteria Calabria, an Italian-theme bar/cafe. It will open to the public on Sept. 19.

A week ago, the Bar Rescue-rs were on South Street as they transformed the two-story Lickety Split into 2nd State Lounge and Alleged Pizza.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 5:00 PM
Gordon Ramsay, already behind a pub at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, will open a branch at Caesars in Atlantic City.

Atlantic City has not had a lot of positive news lately.

Let's view the information that chef Gordon Ramsay will open a restaurant at Caesars in Atlantic City as a positive.

Ramsay, the cantankerous host of TV's Hell's Kitchen and formerly Kitchen Nightmares, is taking over the space soon to be vacated by Mia's, as chef/owner Chris Scarduzio plans to consolidate his life in Delaware County.

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. Reach Michael at

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