GoodTaste: Back-to-basics bowl cures all

The chicken noodle soup at the Pub and Kitchen, 1946 Lombard St., Philadelphia. ( ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer )

It hasn't always been easy following Jonathan Adams, the popular chef who helped make Pub & Kitchen one of Philly's best gastropubs.

But former Daniel Boulud's DBGB chef Eli Collins, who returned home to Philly and took the Pub's reigns last spring, has finally found the right balance between his own ambitions and the familiar comforts the neighborhood crowd really craves.

His talent is crystal-clear in this rendition of what appears to be a most basic dish: chicken noodle soup. Behind its seemingly simple elements, Collins crafts impressive layers of flavor, from the finely shaved aromatics that give the broth depth quickly without overcooking the meat, to the grill char that lends a smoky savor to the chicken thighs and rosemary sprigs, to the rendered schmaltz infused with bright Meyer lemon that beads on top.

Add tender diced meat, sweet Kyoto carrots, and impressively silky hand-cut noodles, and it's little wonder Collins finally got over the cold that inspired him to make it so lovingly in the first place.

- Craig LaBan

Rosemary chicken soup, $9, Pub & Kitchen, 1946 Lombard St., 215-545-0350.