Friday, March 27, 2015

POSTED: Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 12:18 PM
Pizza from The Dairy Cafe.

Philanthropist David Magerman's Main Line kosher empire has expanded with the recent opening of The Dairy Cafe (321 Montgomery Ave., Bala Cynwyd, 610-808-9045).

You might consider the Dairy Cafe a counterpoint to C+R Kitchen (the former Citron + Rose), the fleishig (or meat) restaurant down the street. Magerman also owns Six Points Kosher Events in King of Prussia. 

The Dairy Cafe's vegetarian menu includes lattes, bagels with spreads, breakfast burritos and sandwiches and eggs cooked to order in the morning. The rest of the day's focus is on pizza, pastas, house-made cheeses, as well as a grab-and-go case. Pastries and gelato are available, too.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 11:30 AM
James Beard nominees (clockwise from top-left) Marc Vetri, Rich Landau, Joe Cicala, Alex Bois, Greg Vernick and Stephen Starr.

Some older names and one newcomer are part of this year's field of nominees for the James Beard Foundation's awards.

The awards are regarded as the Oscars of the food world, with categories spanning restaurants, cookbooks and journalism. This represents a winnowing of the list of semifinalists released in February.

Philadelphians have three of the five nominations for best chef, mid-Atlantic: Joe Cicala (Le Virtù, Brigantessa), Rich Landau (Vedge, V Street) and Greg Vernick (Vernick Food & Drink).

POSTED: Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 9:47 AM

The death of Scott McLeod, the chef at Alma de Cuba, was attributed to heart disease, according to the city medical examiner's office, which cited "natural causes."

Frantic co-workers found McLeod, 41, unresponsive in a locked restroom at the posh Latin restaurant near Rittenhouse Square during dinner service Sunday night. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

McLeod was known as a friendly, heavily tattooed chef (and workout fiend) whose versatility got him raves in top-flight Latin kitchens (such as Pasion, Cuba Libre and Alma de Cuba).

POSTED: Monday, March 23, 2015, 4:32 PM
At the 2014 John DeBella Comfort Food Festival, winner Scott McLeod (second from right) joined judges Mike Jerrick (left), DeBella, and Hope Cohen.

Alma de Cuba chef Scott McLeod was pronounced dead at a hospital Sunday night after he was found unresponsive in a restroom at the popular Rittenhouse Square restaurant during dinner service, sources said.

Owner Stephen Starr said he did not know the cause of death. Alma de Cuba closed Monday out of respect.

McLeod, who worked in Philadelphia for at least a decade at such restaurants as Pasion, Cuba Libre, Bridget Foy's and Azafran, was a native of Louisiana. He was in his early 40s.

POSTED: Monday, March 23, 2015, 4:02 PM
Tangier stood at 18th and Lombard Streets for 32 years.

SouthGate, a Korean-inspired gastropub, is targeting a mid-May opening on the northwest corner of 18th and Lombard Streets, the former longtime home of the watering hole Tangier.

Peter Hwang and family, who own Center City's Oh So Good, are behind the project.

Hwang says he has hired the well-seasoned chef Clara Park, an alumna of Osteria and Momofuku Ko who won a Chopped episode last summer.

POSTED: Monday, March 23, 2015, 3:00 AM
The former Robinson Luggage store at Broad and Walnut Streets (Laurence Kesterson / Staff Photographer, file)

Homegrown convenience grocer Wawa plans to announce that it will open a store at the former Robinson's Luggage store at the southeast corner of Broad and Walnut Streets.

A Wawa rep told me Sunday that the site is under contract, and that the company is working to obtain approvals in time for an April 16 announcement.

Wawa's opening a large (5,300-square-foot) store at one of Center City's busiest intersections could be considered a small step in retailers' acknowledging the booming Center City population. In December, grocery goliath Ahold USA, which operates Giant of Carlisle, Pa., opened a supermarket called Everything Fresh at 1222 Walnut St. It bills it as an experimental urban store.

POSTED: Monday, March 23, 2015, 12:15 AM
Margaritas at Johnny Manana's. (via Facebook)

Johnny Manana's - Tim Bonnie's East Falls cantina - is on an expansion streak.

By Cinco de Mayo, expect a second location to open at 1080 N. Delaware Ave., across from SugarHouse Casino. It's next to Dottie's Dinette.

Then in the summer, says investor Jeff Larsen of private-equity firm Larsen MacColl Partners, a third Johnny Manana's location will be online at 1408-10 Chestnut St., just to the left of Prince Music Theater.

POSTED: Sunday, March 22, 2015, 4:39 PM
Joe Scarpone, chef/owner of Ulivo, a BYOB in Queen Village. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)

Two staffers at Ulivo - the Italian restaurant where Sixth and Catharine Streets meet Passyunk Avenue in Queen Village - say that Saturday, March 28 will be the finale.

Chef Joe Scarpone, who opened the BYOB in November 2011 in what was Trattoria Alla Costiera, has not replied to texts or voicemails over the last week, and a manager declined to comment. But my call to the restaurant inquiring about a reservation was met by news of the closing.

Craig LaBan awarded two bells to Ulivo in a 2012 review.

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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