Friday, March 27, 2015

Archive: September, 2012

POSTED: Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 10:57 AM
All the chef's men - and a few women. Photo: SHOLA OLUNLOYO

Sept. 23, 2002 - a Monday - saw the debut of Lacroix at the Rittenhouse, a luxe redo of the Rittenhouse Hotel's second-floor TreeTops restaurant into a posh showcase for Jean-Marie Lacroix.

Lacroix had been the longtime chef at the archrival Four Seasons Hotel, and Rittenhouse owners were delighted at their coup. (Officially, Lacroix retired from the Four Seasons in May 2001 and surfaced a few months later at the Rittenhouse to supervise the almost one-year construction of Lacroix.)

Flash forward to Sept. 24, 2012. "Papa," who left his namesake restaurant in 2006, returned as 10 chefs from Lacroix's past feted him with 10 courses on the 10th anniversary: Jon Cichon and Fred Ortega, now at Lacroix, plus Jason Cichonski (Ela), Michael Fiorello (Garces), Matt Levin (Square Peg), Matt Ridgway (PorcSalt), Peter Scarola (R2L), Brinn Sinnott (Talula’s Garden), Lee Styer (Fond), and Townsend Wentz  (McCrossen’s Tavern).

POSTED: Monday, September 24, 2012, 4:08 PM

You'll enter through a ramshackle metal gate topped with barbed wire, head along a concrete wall until you hit a brick patio. A rusted steel beam hangs overhead. In front of you is an old shack with squeaky door, plus picnic tables and other communal seating.

You're going for barbecue. Unadorned BBQ, sold by the pound and splayed out by the counter person on sheet pans topped with butcher paper, and everything is washed down with beer and whiskey.

That's the lowdown on Fette Sau.

POSTED: Monday, September 24, 2012, 1:47 PM

Adam Kanter took to Facebook to announce the closing of Rum Bar, his spirited Caribbean themer at 2005 Walnut St., after 5½ years.

Last call will be Saturday, Sept. 29.

"We were able to achieve a rare balance," he wrote. "Our concept was built to be 'Everything to some people' and what we ended up achieving was becoming 'Something to everybody.' Thank you all for this wonderful ride."

POSTED: Friday, September 21, 2012, 5:48 PM

Christopher Lee - who won four bells awhile back at the Starr-owned Striped Bass - is returning to Philly.

Of course he's going to East Passyunk, the hottest strip in town.

Lee and team will join Joe Massara at Salt & Pepper at 1623 E. Passyunk Ave., which is currently operating. Right now, Lee told me, they're in design phase and it's unclear when the restaurant will close and then reopen. He said the concept is still being fleshed out but would be a neighborhood place with "great food, tasty drinks, and friendly service."

POSTED: Friday, September 21, 2012, 2:27 PM

Entrepreneur Sarah Lockard was plugging away at her online lifestyle magazine in early 2010, "pounding the pavement" looking for sales opportunities when she began considering the restaurants in her backyard.

"The big cities had already done it," she said. "But I saw that wealthy pockets in suburban areas [around the country] were starting to cook with restaurant weeks."

At the time, only the Center City District and the SJ Hot Chefs in New Jersey had regular, semiannual restaurant weeks, in which restaurants band together for marketing and advertising while offering prix-fixe meals.

POSTED: Friday, September 21, 2012, 1:38 PM

David Katz - consulting chef at Morgan's Pier and late of Center City's Meme - will be doing the I-295 shuttle as he has landed at the forthcoming Tavro 13 - the former Old Swedes Inn in Swedesboro. Katz will consult with Terence Feury at the opening in mid-October and will develop the wine list to be complement the menu. (Meme's next occupant will be the crew from Pub & Kitchen, as I reported the other day.)

Eric Paraskevas has been named executive chef of the forthcoming Bainbridge Street Barrel House, due to open next month at Sixth and Bainbridge Streets, across from Beau Monde. Paraskevas' resume includes the Happy Rooster, Continental, Lolita, Slate, and Terra. Its GM will be Agi Czapka, whose CV includes Paradiso, Fork, and Rae.

POSTED: Friday, September 21, 2012, 9:37 AM
Le Bec Fin's Nicolas Fanucci (left), Walter Abrams and Jennifer Smith at Feastival 2012. MICHAEL KLEIN /

Inquirer restaurant critic Craig LaBan returns to Le Bec Fin to see life under new owners Nicolas Fanucci and chef Walter Abrams. Review runs Sunday, Sept. 23 in the Arts & Entertainment section.

Earlier this year, LaBan dropped LBF - under outgoing owner Georges Perrier - from four bells to two.

What do you think he'll find?

POSTED: Friday, September 21, 2012, 9:25 AM

Triumph Brewing Co., the brewpub operating at 117 Chestnut St. for six years, is listed for sale with InnSite Hospitality Properties.

According to a flyer making the rounds, it's a turn-key operation including a 13,000-square-foot facility, al assets, liquor license, and brewing equipment. The listing claims $2.4 million annual sales ($1 million in beer alone) and says a "motivated seller" will consider all reasonable offers.

Asking price is $995,000.

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

Michael Klein
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