Sunday, February 7, 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.

 
The international headlines on Nov. 13 were horrific as I headed out to my first meal at Restaurant Neuf. As someone who had lived in Paris for a couple of years, my mind couldn't help but linger over the scenes of Boulevard Voltaire, where terror that night had transfixed the globe.
Nothing says retro Americana quite like the parasol-topped scowling-face mug of a good tiki drink. The Yachtsman in Fishtown has been at it for a year. And now Bud & Marilyn's is dabbling in island kitsch with a pop-up holiday tiki bar.
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