Friday, May 22, 2015

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.

 
'Cider is my next frontier," says Tim Kweeder of Petruce et al., echoing a growing sentiment among curious drinkers. He features some fine examples (Cyril Zangs, Isastegi) of the old Euro style - earthy, tart, lightly effervescent - that are far from
'I haven't picked up a vegetable peeler since I've been here - and it feels so good." Several thoughts strike me when Justin Petruce tells me this. Number one: It must be liberating to finally be the boss, as the 33-year-old and his co-chef brother, Jonathan, 32, are in their debut at Petruce et al., the buzzy Center City restaurant where they've partnered with one of Philly's top wine geeks, Tim Kweeder.
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