Monday, November 30, 2015

Craig LaBan

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I joined the Inquirer as its restaurant critic in 1998, after a stint covering the food beat for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans. Having eaten about 500 restaurant meals a year here ever since, I never cease to be amazed by the diversity and sophistication of Philadelphia's kitchens. To travel from its many authentic ethnic neighborhoods to the gastronomic temples of Walnut Street to its beery gastropubs, cozy BYOBs and multitude of greasy-but-great steak joints, is to know this town delivers satisfaction at every level of the food chain. Including online dish.

Live chat: Join Craig at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays in the chatroom.

Book: The Philadelphia Inquirer Restaurant Guide is available through our online store.

4 Bells: According to Craig, the best restaurants in the Philadelphia area.

Lucas Manteca has been striving to distill the essence of land and sea at his bucolic Red Store in Cape May Point. With talented new chef de cuisine now on board to help, has he finally created one of the best restaurants at the Shore?
With a deep breath of ocean air for optimism and some midday waves to stoke an appetite, I've enjoyed largely charmed experiences each year in Jersey Shore restaurants.

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