Tuesday, February 9, 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.

Late one evening at dinner in Bryn Mawr, amid the deep-freeze of yet another brutal winter storm, I looked up from my window seat at Restaurant Cerise to see a young man outside stride by with a brightly colored skateboard in hand.
Whenever I get the chance to travel to Northern California, there is always great wine. But San Francisco and the nearby wine country, of course, also serve up some of America's best dining - typically the kind setting trends that Philadelphians might see in a year (or two).

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