Friday, March 27, 2015

POSTED: Wednesday, March 4, 2015, 11:04 AM
Alden & Harlow. (via Instagram)

Restaurateur Michael Scelfo of Cambridge's Alden & Harlow is fielding many attaboys for posting an Instagram photo last weekend of two women seated in the red-hot restaurant, which is on the James Beard list for best newcomer of 2015.

By posting the photo, he was shaming them.

As he wrote in the caption, it was a "shout out to these two winners for seating themselves with no reservations, insulting and berating our staff, refusing to leave and all the while yelping away in front of us as a means of threat." 

POSTED: Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 11:46 PM
Future home of Tamarindo's, 726 Bethlehem Pike, Flourtown. (MICHAEL KLEIN /

Tamarindo's - one of the longer-running Mexican restaurants in the Ambler/Blue Bell area - is preparing a move 10 minutes away to Flourtown this summer. 

When Fernando Sauri opened his BYOB in Broad Axe Shopping Center 16 years ago, there were few Mexican options in the area. (Chief along them was Marita's Cantina in Fort Washington, now the home of the well-regarded and more refined Cantina Feliz.)

"This will be better for everybody," said Sauri, who is looking to rejuvenate the business though maintain "the same food, the same staff and the same heart."

POSTED: Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 12:27 PM
Nom Wah Tea Parlor, 218 N. 13th St., as its sign is installed in January. (via Instagram)

Wilson Tang is not quite ready to open the dining room of Chinatown's Nom Wah Tea Parlor to the public.

But the kitchen is ready, he says.

At lunchtime Wednesday, March 4, Nom Wah will begin taking orders for delivery exclusively through Caviar, the upmarket delivery service that already works with such joints as Amada, Cuba Libre and Davio's.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 10:57 AM
Michael Griffiths (left) and Kevin D'Egidio are opening helm.

Two up-and-coming chefs are planning to strike out on their own with helm, a locally focused BYO, at 1303 N. Fifth St. It's the former Philly Food Factory next door to Taco Riendo at FIfth and Thompson Streets (a block above Girard Avenue).

Kevin D’Egidio started cooking at the old Tangerine, followed by a term at Lacroix at the Rittenhouse, a spell as opening sous chef at Will, and the executive chef's job at Stateside. Michael Griffiths worked at a country club through culinary school and moved on to Lacroix, where he rose to sous chef. Next stop was Ela, then Rittenhouse Tavern under Nicholas Elmi, and most recently Fork, where he was a sous chef.

They're going for casual ("this is not like fine dining," Griffiths says), with a blackboard menu whose dishes will be dictated by that day's availability of vegetables. Figure on low- to mid-$20s for entrees.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 7:16 AM

IHOP will give away short stacks of its buttermilk pancakes - one per customer - on Tuesday, March 3 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

In return, patrons will be encouraged to donate to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. The goal is $3.5 million.

Since beginning its National Pancake Day celebration in 2006, IHOP restaurants have raised nearly $16 million to support charities.

POSTED: Monday, March 2, 2015, 11:30 PM

Though the restaurant scene in the Philadelphia area seems to be on a steady rise, that is not the story nationwide.

The number of restaurants nationwide dropped 1 percent between 2013 and 2014, and the decline was attributed to a 2 percent decline in the number of independent restaurants, according to the NPD Group, an information company. 

NPD's fall 2014 ReCount, which includes restaurants open as of Sept. 30, 2014, noticed that chain restaurants had notched a 1 percent increase during the period, especially in the fast-casual segment.

POSTED: Monday, March 2, 2015, 4:09 PM
In the kitchen-slash-dining room at Volver are chef Jose Garces and designer Marguerite Rodgers. (MICHAEL KLEIN /

Approaching its first anniversary in the Kimmel Center, Jose Garces' splashy Volvér is adding yet another less-expensive dining option.

Starting Wednesday, March 4, Volver's six-course tasting menu, usually priced at $75, is $55 if you arrive between 5 and 6 p.m. or between 9 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday. (It's not available Friday and Saturday.)

The 12-course tasting menu is still $150 per person and the adjacent Bar Volver offers a smaller menu a la carte.

POSTED: Sunday, March 1, 2015, 1:41 AM

Now that Teddy Sourias' German beer hall Bru is rolling along at 1318 Chestnut St., things are looking down.

As in, downstairs, in a space beneath Bru and next door.

U-Bahn (1318-20 Chestnut St.), opening at 4 p.m. March 5, has a lot going on: arcade games, a stage where live acts will play at least three nights a week, and two bars.

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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