Tuesday, March 3, 2015

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

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." 

POSTED: Friday, February 20, 2015, 4:59 PM

Tuesday, Feb. 24 Wednesday, Feb. 25 is the targeted opening of Chestnut Street Philly Bagels at 1705 Chestnut St., in the former Tokyo Lunch Box across from the new Forever 21 store.

It's an offshoot of the popular South Street Philly Bagels, at 613 S. Third St.

Aaron Wagner, whose family of New York emigres also owns the Bagel Spot in Cherry Hill, has brought in Jonathan Yamini as his business partner.

POSTED: Friday, February 20, 2015, 3:24 PM
Jim's Steaks at Fourth and South Streets, July 25, 2014. (MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com)

The South Street location of Jim's Steaks will be closed from Monday, Feb. 23 through the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 27.

Management says it's redoing stair treads and risers, tile and painting, replacing counters, major equipment cleaning and refurbishing and what it calls "other necessary maintenance."

POSTED: Friday, February 20, 2015, 1:59 PM
Elements Cafe will pay $2 per inch per person at the table. (Photo courtesy of Elements Cafe.)

One of the frustrations of the restaurant business are the weather forecasters.

All they have to do is whisper the word snow, and the reservations begin to vanish.

It doesn't matter if the weather-guessers are right or wrong.

POSTED: Friday, February 20, 2015, 11:24 AM
Kitsch decorates the Tin Roof on Broadway in Nashville. (MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com)

Tin Roof - the Nashville-based chain of bars with live music - will not open in Philadelphia, after all.

The $2 million project at 1525 Sansom St.- in a renovated building whose Chestnut Street front is now occuped by Liberty Travel - has been derailed by what owner Bob Franklin called zoning issues that were taking "too long for all parties." He described the decision to back off an "amicable agreement by all parties to go another direction."

The project was green-lit in fall 2013.

POSTED: Thursday, February 19, 2015, 3:46 PM

For her restaurant-ownership debut, Drexel MBA Sarah Levine has realized a longtime dream by setting up a quaint 30-seat BYO bistro in the heart of Old City.

Luna Cafe (317 Market St., 215-309-3140), opening Friday, Feb. 20, ascribes to the eco-friendly, fresh-and-local mantra where possible. "I want to have a community place," Levine said.

She called on former coworker Jordan Andino, who was cooking at the Westin Hotel's Winthorp & Valentine while she tended bar, to set up the menu.

About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, 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 mklein@philly.com.

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