Thursday, July 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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.

Where there is pinot noir, great chardonnay will follow. That's true in Burgundy, the Continental homeland for the dynamic red-white duo. And it's true on the West Coast, too. Of course, California is best known for its fat and buttery chardonnays. But th
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The intrigue of Southwest France's wines
Muscadet is an oyster's best friend
The shrimp and grits were going to be taken off the bill. So were the fried pickles. And it was the least this friendly but utterly confused dining room staff at Southern Cross Kitchen could do after showing up beside our table with hot entrees - oblivious to the fact that we were obviously still digging into our starter plates.
Video: Southern Cross Kitchen
Review: 1 bell for Bainbridge Street Barrel House
Review: 2 bells for Nan Zhou

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