Wednesday, February 10, 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.

'It's emotional," says my colleague Karl, an Elkins Parker who lives a quarter-mile up Montgomery Avenue from Park Plates, the BYOB where we were having dinner.
Don't feel bad if you haven't heard of Picpoul de Pinet. Bernard Grigri grew up near Aix-en-Provence, a couple hours from the Languedoc towns near the Thau Lagoon where this golden-green grape - the name translates to "lip stinger" - is made int

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