Friday, February 12, 2016

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.

When Rosemarie Tran and her chef-husband, Gianluca Demontis, opened Melograno a decade ago at 22d and Spruce, it was like they'd uncorked lightning in a 30-seat BYOB.
The reinvention of Fork Etc. as High Street on Market is still new, the shelves replaced in favor of more seating to feature chef Eli Kulp's exceptional scratch cookery.

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