Sunday, March 1, 2015

POSTED: Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 1:58 AM

Out with The Saint James (a what? a bistro?) and in with a concept that is much more definable:

Pizza, pasta and salads in a family-friendly atmosphere.

Sunday, March 1 marks the official opening of Parlor Suburban Square (30 Parking Plaza, Ardmore, 610-649-6200), though Rob Wasserman's wood-fired, Modena-made Pavesi oven has been cranking out thin-crust pies during a soft opening.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 12:45 AM

Several years ago, Connie Correia and her now former husband, Bill "Stink" Fisher, were looking to open a second Pop Shop, their Collingswood ode to the '50s soda fountain/diner.

They wanted to find another walkable small town with plenty of families nearby. They met builders Gary and Joanne Gardner, who had a line on the circa-1837 Farmers & Mechanics Bank building at the corner of Main and Bank Streets in Medford. They became partners. (The bank was known as Burlington County National Bank when it was chartered in 1865.)

A year and a half later, The Pop Shop (1 S. Main St., 609-975-6888) is up and running; grand opening will be Saturday, Feb. 28. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, till 10 p.m. Friday ands Saturday, and till 8 p.m. Sunday.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 10:36 PM
Clark Gilbert at Gemelli in Manayunk in 2011. (LAURENCE KESTERSON / Staff Photographer)

Clark Gilbert has gone from chef to chef-owner and back to chef, and now he has taken over the kitchen at Isabella in Conshohocken.

I'm told that the food will maintain Isabella's Mediterranean backbone, though will lean a bit Franco-Italian per Gilbert's background.

Gilbert's resume includes ownership of the former Gemelli in Narberth (and then in Manayunk, which later was reflagged Bisou), as well as longer terms at the Four Seasons, Restaurant Taquet, the Saloon and La Terrasse.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 9:15 PM
Moe's Hot Dog House at the intersection of 26th Street, Washington Avenue and Grays Ferry Avenue. (

The voicemail at Moe's Hot Dog House - the breakfast-lunch joint on the triangular intersection where Grays Ferry Avenue converges with 26th Street and Washington Avenue - confirms the wurst:

It's closed after nine years.

In a text message, owners simply told me that they had retired.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 12:01 PM
Mark Bellini (left) and Stephen Latona of Smoke Kitchen on (CNBC)

Two chefs in their early 50s have an idea for a rotisserie chicken restaurant in the western suburbs.

They have savings and money from investors but need a few bucks more.

Tonight (Tuesday, Feb. 24), Steve Latona and Mark Bellini - instructors at the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College - appear on CNBC's Restaurant Startup to pitch their idea to restaurateurs/investors Joe Bastianich and Tim Love. 

POSTED: Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 11:02 AM
Chicken (spicy and soy) from Bonchon, 1020 Cherry St. MICHAEL KLEIN /

Bonchon - the Korean fried-chicken specialist - is utterly swamped in its early days at 1020 Cherry St. in Chinatown.

Management says it will not offer phone takeout orders till further notice - you can show up, place an order, and wait a half-hour or more. And you can dine in; there's a full bar to keep you occupied while the chicken cooks.

Also, lunch service is off the table, at least for now. It now opens at 5 p.m. daily and has its last seating at 11 p.m.

POSTED: Monday, February 23, 2015, 1:39 PM

For 80 years, there's been a large, curved marquee hanging over a building near the train station on Anderson Avenue in Ardmore.

For 40 years, until 1979, it advertised the Suburban Theater. After that, it hung over the entrance to the Ardmore Farmer's Market before it moved up the street.

Starting Monday, Feb. 23, the marquee becomes the front of a roof deck for a restaurant, Not Your Average Joe's.

POSTED: Monday, February 23, 2015, 10:36 AM
Laurel, on East Passyunk Avenue, left; Lo Spiedo at the Navy Yard. (Staff file photos)

Another week, another list of "the best new restaurants in America."

Alan Richman, the Philly-raised Philadelphia Bulletin alum who is the critic for GQ magazine, comes home to insert two Philadelphia newcomers to his list of 25.

At #8 is Laurel, Top Chef winner Nicholas Elmi's BYOB salon on East Passyunk Avenue. Richman notes that "the room might well be a shotgun apartment" and writes that "there's not much decor, save for a few black iron sconces and hanging lamps." He raved about the catfish in a coconut-clam broth, duck magret and foie gras." 

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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