Saturday, February 13, 2016

Craig LaBan

Email claban@phillynews.com   Follow on Twitter

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.

 
In a year in which new restaurants have been steeping in retro Americana, Whetstone Tavern is doing something many of the others have not: turning more squarely to local flavors for inspiration.
Daniel Brennan hasn't followed the usual path to winemaking success. The Delran native grew up in the restaurant family that owns McCrossen's Tavern on 20th Street and managed the band called Seeking Home. But when he suddenly got the itch to learn about
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