Sunday, March 29, 2015

Archive: August, 2012

POSTED: Saturday, August 18, 2012, 12:28 AM
The interior of Will, 1911 E. Passyunk Ave. MICHAEL KLEIN /

Christopher Kearse is what you'd call a chef's chef.

The Levittown native worked at some of the best restaurants in America, like Charlie Trotter’s, Tru, Alinea, and French Laundry, after his 2005 graduation from the Restaurant School. He returned to the Philadelphia area as a sous chef at Lacroix and moved on to Blackfish in Conshohocken, followed by 2½ years as the chef de cuisine at Pumpkin. (OK, so he's among the most traveled, too.)

Hard worker, meticulous, cool under fire... Kearse's name is not yet widely known outside the restaurant world. But ask young chefs like his Restaurant School classmate Jason Cichonski, Chip Roman, Jessie Prawlucki, Lee Styer, and Matt Levin who would be in their top-five around town, and all will drop his name.

POSTED: Friday, August 17, 2012, 11:46 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk

It's old home week near the crossroads of Routes 73 and 313 in Central Montgomery County.

The Asian BYOB FuziOn has closed, and in its place, we now have Gracie's Cafe (2960 Skippack Pike, Worcester, 610-584-6958), a light and airy mix of Asian and Mediterranean cuisines. It's open for dinner only daily.

A bunch of veteran restaurateurs are at work at Gracie's. Buu Ly, who created FuziOn and later sold it, is the owner. Over the years, Ly had a piece of Ly Michael's in Overbrook Park and Chinatown and now also has Tazia in Chinatown. To manage, he's brought in Ian Mark, a former owner of the downtown destinations Cibo and Ciboulette and the Shore spot Red Chopstix, and Billy Wong, whose past includes eponymous restaurants in Old City and Warminster, Plate in Northern Liberties, as well as Tang's on South Street and Mustard Greens in Queen Village. (Wong is back after being "away." You may remember the story.)

POSTED: Friday, August 17, 2012, 11:11 AM

The empty spot on the 18th Street side of 1801 Market St., last occupied by Pikkles Plus, is getting a new tenant.

Devon & Blakely - an upmarket sandwich/salad spot with a strong delivery business at its locations in Washington, D.C., and New York City, just signed on. This will be the first Philly location.

It's due to open by the end of the year.

POSTED: Friday, August 17, 2012, 10:48 AM
Filed Under: TableTalk
At Tashan (from left), owner Munish Narula, Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, and chef Sylva Senat. (Photo: TYLER WARD)

Tashan, the modern Indian restaurant at 777 S. Broad St., had a visit Thursday night by actors Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman, who are filming the thriller Paranoia hereabouts. (The two play adversaries again. See below from Air Force One.)

Chef Sylva Senat whipped them up a gigundo tasting menu: gol gappa, malai kofta lollipops, spinach salad, grilled octopus, shrimp, vegetables Sariya, bread basket, kobe beef kebab, aloo tikki, quail, and tandoori lobster with corn curry. Plus dessert.

POSTED: Thursday, August 16, 2012, 4:12 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk
The stand at Reading Terminal Market formerly occupied by Delilah's.

Reading Terminal Market is getting close to finding a new operator for the stand previously occupied by Delilah's, the longtime soul fooder that shut down in mid-March amid bankruptcy proceedings.

The concept will be soul food again.

Market general manager Paul Steinke confirmed that four potential operators are in the running, and that all will audition for the market board later this month. He declined to identify them.

POSTED: Thursday, August 16, 2012, 3:48 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk

Jim Caiola and David Salama, owners of the Queen Village creperie Beau Monde, today were named the future operators of the Central Park landmark Tavern on the Green. They will maintain Beau Monde, their rep says.

The city of New York will award the pair a 20-year license term to run an informal restaurant and outdoor cafe; it's just west of the Sheep Meadow near 67th Street.

They've hired Caiola's Johnson & Wales classmate Katy Sparks as executive chef. She was a 1998 “Top Ten Best New Chef in America” by Food & Wine Magazine and her experience includes the Quilted Giraffe, Mesa Grill, Bolo, and Quilty’s,

POSTED: Thursday, August 16, 2012, 1:28 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk

With all the on-the-road programming that the Food Network does, it's hard to get the chefs and the restaurants straight. Did Guy Fieri hit Tony Luke's? It was actually Marc Summers on The Best Thing I Ever Ate.

I knew this because I just downloaded the free On the Road app for iPhone and iPad that the Food Network just released.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 10:18 PM

TV food host Adam Richman toured the country and sampled 28 sandwiches, and when the smoke cleared, he named DiNic's roast pork, served at the Nicolosi family's stand at Reading Terminal Market, the best in the nation.

Week by week, Wednesday's Travel Channel series had been showing off the contenders. A wild card also came from Philly: John's Roast Pork's cheesesteak. (How about a John's and a DiNic's pork sandwich, head-to-head, eh?) John's steak did not make the final bracket.

The DiNic's sandwich includes thin sliced pork, broccoli rabe, and extra-sharp provolone on a roll from Carangi's. Then it gets a splash of gravy.

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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