Friday, October 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 4:33 PM
Joy Crump, Coatesville High 1986. (BRAVO)

Top Chef's season 12 starts Wednesday, Oct. 15 (10 p.m., Bravo).

The cast usually has some sort of a Philly connection, and the Boston season is no different.

Joy Crump, 46, a 1986 graduate of Coatesville High, is executive chef and co-owner of Foode, a restaurant and catering service in Fredericksburg, Va.

Crump, one of five kids, says her parents divorced when she was 3. With her father in L.A. and later in Atlanta, "we spent our money on airfare getting together, so we didn’t go out to dinner. We stayed at home and we cooked. Cooking became an extension and an expression of love. It's the only thing I’ve ever known."
POSTED: Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 3:37 PM
Brian Ricci, whose last stop was Kennett in Queen Village. (DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer)

The executive chef has been hired for Brick & Mortar, the restaurant, lounge and meeting space on track for a late-November opening on the ground floor of the Goldtex Building (315 N. 12th St.) in the Loft District.

He's Brian Ricci, who recently left a four-year spell as executive chef at Kennett. (See Craig LaBan's review here.) His resume also includes posts at Django, Supper, and Pub & Kitchen, plus Tabla in New York.

Ricci has a line of condiments (Nifty Spreads) sold at Green Aisle, Fair Food, Elixr Coffee, and Greensgrow.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 11:07 AM
On Sundays, Cuba Libre in Old City has $5 mimosas and sangrias, plus unlimited tapas $26 per person until 1:30 p.m. (DANYA HENNINGER)

Lee Porter is a man about town, a comedy writer/producer, and a beer writer.

He also likes to eat and drink cheaply. And apparently, he is not afraid of tedium.

Which leads to his hobby of drink-list curation.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 1:05 AM
Finnigan's Wake at Third and Spring Garden Streets. (LUIS FERNANDO RODRIGUEZ / Staff Photographer)

An agreement of sale for Finnigan's Wake is null and void, says one of the partners, and the future of the now-shuttered Northern Liberties bar is still unclear.

Without going into specifics, Mike Driscoll said he and his partners and the potential buyer could not go to settlement last week.

The prospective sale price was never disclosed, but the property on the northeast corner of Third and Spring Garden Streets had been marketed most recently with a $3.9 million price tag.

POSTED: Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 3:06 PM

Perhaps as soon as Saturday, Oct. 18, Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby will open V Street, the couple's vegan bar off Rittenhouse Square (126 S. 19th St.), next to Zama.

Where their Washington West vegan restaurant Vedge is more of a dinner destination, they envision V Street as more of a drop-in - a stop during a night out. No reservations. You're on your own.

The narrow space, a former salon, is set up with an eight-seat bar in front, followed by a 20-seat dining room with white-painted brick walls and bare-topped tables. Two high-tops and six seats at a counter in the open kitchen should be the "fun" spot. You can chat up sous chef Jeremy Scullin and try to place his accent. (He's from New Zealand. You know, Kiwis are vegan.)

POSTED: Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 10:50 AM

Shake Shack's first Philly location selected the Mural Arts Program as its charity partner when it opened two-plus years ago.

As part of the arrangement, 5 percent of the sale price of the Center City Pretzel frozen custard concrete goes to Mural Arts.

Now the relationship has moved beyond quiet fundraising efforts.

POSTED: Monday, October 13, 2014, 1:53 PM
High Street Grill in Mount Holly. (via Facebook)

High Street Grill in Mount Holly, which marked its 10th anniversary in August, will shut down after business Tuesday, Oct. 14.

Owners John and Nancy McDevitt, who relocated to California two years ago, took to Facebook to say that it was impractical to run the bar-restaurant by long distance:

"We leave with mixed emotions and heavy hearts. It was here that we built long lasting friendships, shared many wonderful events with so many people, and built a livelihood, together, as a team."

POSTED: Monday, October 13, 2014, 11:58 AM
Frida Kahlo, a self-portrait.

Raul Castro, who co-owns the Washington Avenue Mexican restaurant Plaza Garabaldi, is a fan of the artist Frida Kahlo.

So much so, that he has selected Frida as the name of his second restaurant, which should open sometime next year at 1000 Wolf St., the corner of 10th and Wolf Streets that formerly was Gavone's and Priori's

The liquor application was posted last week.

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
Also on
Stay Connected