Monday, September 1, 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.

Stella didn't invent the notion that a Neapolitan-style pizzeria could become the new neighborhood bistro. But in Philadelphia, at least, Stephen Starr's stylish take on the concept three years ago, focused on serious wood-fired pies, fresh salads, and prices still within reach of local regulars, certainly landed ahead of the trend - and has remained influential.
Video: In Riva
Gallery: In Riva
Smooth Irish whiskey is rolling in Pennsylvania, where sales of the most popular brand, Jameson, grew by 20 percent last year. But with a discount and free shipping on the PLCB website in March, this is the month to explore some of the Emerald Isle's fine
Tasty wines from South Africa
Drink a City Hall at Pub & Kitchen
An amazing deal on a riesling

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