As restaurant critic and Drink columnist for the Inquirer, I cover the culture of Philly food as I chronicle the rise of our culinary stars, the decline of some, and the dramatic evolution of a dining scene that shapes emerging neighborhoods and helps define our region's identity, one plate at a time.

Latest Stories
Review

Seorabol review: With Korean BBQ kissed by charcoal, Olney original still the standard

Korean food has never been more popular on mainstream menus in Center City and Philly’s suburbs but the old-school charcoal-fired grills are becoming an endangered species. The original Seorabol, the best of those survivors, is definitely still worth the trip.

Drink this: Don’t Cry Be Bitter at Cry Baby Pasta

Cry Baby’s bar manager Guy Smith has expertly weaved complex liquors into his list of creative cocktails.

Review

Cry Baby Pasta review: Dry your eyes, a great neighborhood restaurant has been born

The neighborhood restaurant has been reimagined for 2019 by the family behind Bridget Foy’s at this well-loved Queen Village corner tavern.

Column

Why I’ll keep giving ratings to restaurants | Craig LaBan

In an industry that has continuously struggled to remain relevant, I’ve always viewed usefulness as one of the local newspaper’s highest callings.

Review

Review: Philly embraces omakase at its own speed and budget

Philly’s increasingly busy sushi scene is finally having its own omakase tasting-menu moment, rolling on offbeat locations and competitive prices.

Review

Scannicchio’s review: Corner BYOB keeps old-school Italian flavors alive in changing South Philly

It's part of a dying breed, that next wave of “post-red gravy” places launched by second- and third-generation Italian American families whose recipes evolved to embrace the prosperity upgrades of a slightly fancier pantry,

Review

Georgian Bakery & Café review: A voyage to the hearth-baked wonders of Georgia in Northeast Philly

A trip to the Caucasus awaits in an unlikely location — the backside of a Northeast Philly parking lot across from a Home Depot.

What to drink this weekend: Saperavi, a noble Georgian red

Winemaking in Georgia goes back at least 8,000 years. But this dry red is no stone-age drink.

All-purpose spice blend captures spirit of Georgia

It has an aromatic backbone of blue fenugreek, dried marigold flowers, coriander, dill, and hot pepper.

Sulguni from Georgia is Craig LaBan’s cheese of the month

Sulguni is a semi-firm fat disk of brined cheese similar in look and texture to low-moisture mozzarella. It can be made of cow or buffalo’s milk, or a mix of the two, and can also be aged or intensely smoked.