Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Archive: April, 2012

POSTED: Friday, April 20, 2012, 11:49 AM
Filed Under: TableTalk

Dettera in Ambler has started construction on an alfresco wine lounge, which will place 18 seats on the Butler Avenue sidewalk beginning May 10. It will double Dettera’s outdoor dining capacity, as developer Frank Lutter had built an enclosed outdoor courtyard into the place for its 2009 opening.

The Sofitel (17th and Sansom Streets) has chosen Earth Day to unveil its rooftop garden, which it's calling Jardin des Fleur de Lis. Its vegetables and herbs will be used in chef Jim Coleman's cooking and in mixologist Marc Yanga's drinks - much as the Four Seasons Hotel does on its own roof.

Georges' in Wayne is about two weeks from opening a revamped patio that will be covered by an awning.

POSTED: Thursday, April 19, 2012, 3:15 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk

Catch Zahav's Michael Solomonov on NBC's Today show on Friday, April 20 in the 9 a.m. hour.  

He will prepare grilled chicken shishlik marinated with ramps and amba, along with his signature fried cauliflower.

Dude is great in front of the camera, as you'll see below in our "Chef's Corner" video in which he makes his famous hummus.

POSTED: Thursday, April 19, 2012, 2:55 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk
Most of the new shops are run by first-timers, says Renee Gilinger of the East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District. Above, its logo in steel.

You have nine hours to snag a $5 discount to April 28's Flavors of the Avenue, the annual East Passyunk Avenue street fest.

In one big top tent, 21 chefs will offer samples of signature dishes, including pork belly anticuchos with fava bean salad and margaritas from Cantina Los Caballitos, chilled lobster miso soup from Izumi, roast porchetta from Le Virtu, and wild boar pate from Fond with a lemon poppyseed cake for dessert from Belle Cakery. The VIP hour includes craft beer from Philadelphia Brewing Company, wine and a sizable cocktail selection.

After 11:59 p.m. April 19, a VIP ticket is $50 (includes an extra hour in the tent from noon to 1 p.m with limited attendance and premium menu items). General admission is 1 to 4pm and costs $30. For tickets and more info:

POSTED: Thursday, April 19, 2012, 2:15 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk

Kayur Popat did not set out to get into the Indian restaurant business.

Popat, 39, born in Uganda to Indian parents, bought into a fast-food franchise that went cold. Then he hit it big with two Saxby's coffee shops. He also bought Bonte, the waffle shops.

Back home in Mechanicsburg, Pa., he was offered a stake in a pizzeria in 2009. His family suggested that he add Indian cooking. So Friends & Family Pizza Buffet became Bombay Junction & Pizza Buffet - a fitting meld of this fun-loving, easygoing American guy interested in maintaining his cultural heritage. (And talk about heritage: He traveled to India to find a bride. After a year of diplomatic red tape, his wife, Mona, joined him in Philly recently.)

POSTED: Thursday, April 19, 2012, 12:58 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk

Tuesday, April 24 is the public go-live for Rittenhouse Tavern, inside the grand Art Alliance on the edge of Rittenhouse Square (251 S. 18th St., 215-732-2412). 

Le Bec-Fin alum Nicholas Elmi is at the stove, under the direction of chef Ed Brown and Restaurant Associates. Elmi told me that the cooking is refined but definitely not French. His menu includes Deviled Eggs with pork scrapple; Spring Bean Salad with soft egg, cured and crunch pork; New Jersey Striped Bass with Tuscan kale, hedgehog mushrooms, hibiscus-red wine; Rack of Berkshire Pork with crisp belly, purple mustard, quinoa crust, endive; Brown Butter Cake with rhubarb, lavender, crème fraiche sorbet; and Blueberry Red Wine Soup with thyme, lemon-sage ice cream.

LaFrieda is doing a custom burger blend. There's a  family style whole fried Amish chicken, served with buttermilk biscuits and a side.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 5:39 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk
Han Chiang of Han Dynasty plates a five-alarm noodle dish.

Dan Dan Noodles for University City!

Han Dynasty, the rapidly growing Sichuan empire from Han Chiang (Royersford, Exton. Old City, Manayunk), will grow to a fifth location later this spring.

It's taking over the former Midatlantic at 3711 Market St., in the Science Center. (The center confirms that the lease was signed today.)

POSTED: Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 10:18 AM
Filed Under: TableTalk

Huge news for East Passyunk:

Pumpkin chef de cuisine Christopher Kearse, whose resume includes Chicago's Tru, Alinea, and Charlie Trotter, Napa's French Laundry, and Philly's Lacroix and Blackfish, is going solo.

Kearse has signed a lease at 1911 E. Passyunk Ave,, which the nonprofit Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corp. has been rehabbing.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 5:02 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk
Jose Garces at Amada in Atlantic City, April 6, 2012. (Michael Klein /

Jose Garces will be on the Dr. Oz show on Wednesday April 18 (4 p.m., Fox29), cooking with homemade adobo marinade. (Topic: adding flavor without extra calories.)

The show will be rerun on Wednesday, April 25 at 11 a.m.

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.

Michael Klein
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