Thursday, March 5, 2015

POSTED: Friday, February 6, 2015, 4:28 PM
Chef Pierre Calmels and his wife and partner, Charlotte, at Le Chéri (DAVID M WARREN / Staff Photographer)

Bibou - arguably Philadelphia's most famous French BYOB - is turning 6 with a couple of substantial changes:

Pierre Calmels is returning to his old kitchen. He has been overseeing BIbou while also running the show at Le Chéri, the polished Rittenhouse Square bistro that he and wife Charlotte opened in November 2013.

Spurring this change: Ron Fougeray, who has been the day-to-day chef at Bibou (and Pierre's righthand man for 12 years - including when he was chef at Le Bec-Fin), is relocating with his family to California. Fougeray's last day at Bibou will be March 29.

POSTED: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 11:08 AM
A bar selection from Los Camaradas, 918 S. 22nd St.

The Southwest Center City corner of 22nd and Carpenter Streets has been home to a series of bar-restaurants over the last several years - Divan, SoWe and most recently The Strip Joint.

A new concept is on the way soon: Los Camaradas ("the comrades"), a contemporary Mexican, will be run by Joseph and Theresa Rimmer Scull. (He was chef at the late Solaris Grille in Chestnut Hill, while she is a former beverage manager at La Calaca Feliz in Fairmount.

Details are skimpy, but I'm told that the menu will be traditional dishes with a contemporary approach.

POSTED: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 10:33 AM
Jeremy Nolen signs "New German Cooking" while wife Jessica greets a guest at a Feb. 4 booksigning at Brauhaus Schmitz. Daughter Kiera, 6, tries to avoid photo-bombing. (MICHAEL KLEIN /

The promotion blitz has begun for the new Philadelphia-bred cookbook New German Cooking, in which Brauhaus Schmitz chef Jeremy Nolen, his pastry chef Jessica Nolen, writer Drew Lazor, and photog Jason Varney offer a fresh take on Teutonic treats.

In other words, it goes beyond sausage, schnitzel and sauerkraut, as Publishers Weekly blurbed in its recent review ("This is terrific update on an often-overlooked cuisine").

The Nolens have additional signings booked: Fante's in the Italian Market (noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 14); at the Upper Dublin Library (7 p.m. March 2); and Barnes & Noble in Wyomissing, near Nolen's childhood home (1 to 4 p.m. March 14). A Reading Terminal Market appearance is being discussed.

POSTED: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 12:53 AM

Shawn Darragh and Ben Puchowitz are taking their time opening Bing Bing Dim Sum, their East Passyunk sequel to Center City's Cheu Noodle Bar.

It's that triangle-shaped building at the South Philadelphia crossroads of 12th, Morris and Passyunk, across from Birra and Cantina Los Caballitos.

The place is pretty much ready to go, but the public debut will be Feb. 16.

Bing Bing was at least a year in the making for the friends, who opened the snug Cheu in April 2013 in Washington Square West.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 2:39 PM

Thai Singha House - one of the older names on Philadelphia's Thai scene, dating to 1990 - is back in business in University City.

In fall 2013, it closed at 3939 Chestnut St., relocated by construction.

Thomas Gamble has brought it back, taking space on the ground floor of the Chestnut Hall apartments down the street at 3906 Chestnut St. (215-382-8001, which you may still have on speed-dial).

POSTED: Tuesday, February 3, 2015, 11:35 PM
Counter at Fat Jack's in Jenkintown.

Fat Jack's BBQ will close its location in Jenkintown at the end of the month as it moves a bit south into Elkins Park's Shops at Yorktown (8120 Old York Rd.), taking the former Burger.Org.

The new shop, whose menu will expand to include brisket tacos and quesadillas, will open sometime in early March.

No new tenant has been named for the current location at 505 Old York Rd., which previously was Rosey's BBQ after a long spell as Abner's.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 3, 2015, 10:57 AM
Exterior of Jose Garces' future Buena Onda at the Granary, on the 1900 block of Callowhill Street.

Can an Iron Chef open a restaurant in total silence?

That seems to be the case surrounding Jose Garces' latest project.

During an interview last year, he mentioned a slew of forthcoming restaurants, including a spot at the Granary, the building on the 1900 block of Callowhill Street that also houses Pizzeria Vetri and Gyu-Kaku. Pressed for details, he smiled and remained silent.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 3, 2015, 6:54 AM
Jim Burke's chicken paillard-style wings, for a limited time at Sidecar Bar. (MICHAEL KLEIN /

One of the little inside jokes of the poultry business is that there is no such thing as a boneless wing. For that to happen, there would have to be a limp chicken. Boneless wings are just fried chicken - breast meat most often.

Which brings me to chef Jim Burke of the late James Restaurant in South Philadelphia

Sidecar Bar & Grille at 22nd and Christian Streets has launched a series called Wing Thing on the first week of the month, in which a guest chef prepares chicken wings his or her way. The special starts on Monday and runs for a few days.

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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