Craig LaBan is full of praise for MacGregor Mann’s Junto in Chadds Ford, calling it the best suburban dinner he’s had in a long time.
But there were so many highlights, especially with seafood, that my quibbles were minor. Huge scallops were perfectly fried in a sheer tempura crust made from sweet corn, amped by an intense brown chip of dehydrated scallop and a creamy remoulade of pureed mussels and lovage. Tart sorrel granita and shavings of fresh horseradish enlivened briny raw Cape May Salt oysters. Beautifully steamed black bass fillets basked in anise-scented froth over poached fennel. A lemon verbena white wine butter glaze added a subtle herbaceousness to that juicy fillet of smoked sturgeon.
Three Bells – Excellent
Read Trey Popp’s similarly positive review of Junto from the September issue of Philadelphia magazine.
Junto: One of the suburbs' top new restaurants [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Junto | Photos by Courtney Apple
“Do you know of any deserving young beginner lately set up,” members of Ben Franklin’s mutual aid society would ask one another, “whom it lies in the power of the Junto any way to encourage?”
They’d ask the same thing about “deserving stranger[s] arrived in town since last meeting.” And while neither description exactly matches MacGregor Mann, who’s cooked in Philadelphia for more than a decade, they’re close enough. Before naming his solo debut after Franklin’s eclectic club, the Garces vet went on a culinary walkabout ranging from an Idaho fly-fishing lodge to a stage at Denmark’s Noma—often named as the best restaurant in the world. And when he returned, he was bent on digging deeper into his home turf.
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MacGregor Mann, who was chef de cuisine at Amada has returned to the area. Michael Klein is reporting that Mann is opening a BYOB, Junto in Chadds Ford. Junto promises “Pennsylvania-sourced ingredients prepared with a blend of old world techniques and modern cuisine knowledge.”
After leaving the Garces mothership, Mann staged at Denmark’s Noma for eight months. Noma was named the best restaurant in the world in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Mann is predicting a Spring opening for Junto but today you can find him at Fairmount’s La Calaca Feliz. Like Feliz owner Tim Spinner, Mann was often seen on Jose Garces’ Iron Chef teams.
Garces alum opening a BYOB [The Insider]